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Even after much of the glamour seems to have gone from the daily flash sales model over the past half year, there are still a number of companies working on carving out their own niches. While the two largest brands, Groupon and LivingSocial, continue to remain at the top of the heap, private sale sites have been able to appeal to their users by creating tightly knit and engaged communities with more specialized sales and exclusive atmospheres.
Leveraging data from Compete’s online consumer panel, the graphs below show that while private sale sites may not attract the same amount of visitors as Groupon and LivingSocial, the private sale sites seem to attract a much more loyal fan base. In terms of visits per person as a measure of user engagement, Groupon and LivingSocial actually end up ranking near the bottom with Ruelala leading the pack – showing that while more people are aware of Groupon and LivingSocial, they do not feel the impulse to click through the emails and visit the site as often as their peers over at Ruelala.
In my own experience, though, while I subscribe to all the usual emails across the main flash deals sites, it is a rare occasion for me to anxiously check back in on a site everyday to see what new deals they have, but I find myself often going back to MyHabit to see if I can catch anything still in stock. While Amazon took some early criticism when MyHabit first opened with its attempt at creating an exclusive atmosphere (essentially, anyone with an Amazon account automatically became a member), they have managed to build their own exclusivity with the limited inventory of products that are offered at any point in time – many of the most coveted products seem to sell out within the few hours of becoming available. Can Amazon manage to continue to build their presence in the private sale space and leverage the large user base they already have access to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!