I've got a feeling that social commerce is still in its infancy. The daily deal business has turned out be a tough one for companies like Groupon or LivingSocial. Both of them are struggeling in their own way. LivingSocial laid of 400 employees in December 2012 – 10% of their workforce – during the holidays and posted almost a net loss of 700,000 USD.
The entry barrier to the daily deal business is pretty low. Many company try out this industry. My impression is that the daily-deals space is looking a bit overfished. This is why I am not surprised to hear about Groupon's (their non-US business shrunk by 26% in Q2, 2013) intention is to focus more on promotions that don't expire and mobile payments.
Why am I talking all about this?
Already in August 2012, when I first time wrote about how Groupon can help golf course managers in sales, I had some reservations about the benefits of using Groupon to boost golf club membership sales and other golf course services.
Since then, I had to realize consumers and among them golfers as well, have a finite amount of disposable income, and they’re loyal to the deal, not the brand. My other finding is using Groupon costs nothing upfront, but can turn out to be very expensive for vendors.
In the very same sunny August, I was happy to read the guidelines of NGCOA (National Golf Course Owners' Association). With one-year delay, in these day, EGCOA (European Golf Course Owners' Association) published their own version, how to use 3rd party resellers.
I recommend to think over especially the 3. (best rate guarantee), 4. (database ownership) and 5. (payment model) recommendations.
Why do I highlight database ownership? Just like in case of Google or Facebook the ownership of data makes them so powerful. The power to know how people live, how, what and where do they buy can help marketers a lot.