If you’re an avid group deals shopper, you’ve probably noticed that many of the discounted specials you receive in your in-box have a distinctly feminine flavour. From pedicures to peels, the Groupons of the world are pushing hard to attract women. To serve men who love deals, Toronto-based GroupDudes has entertained the market. As my friend Maurice said when he told me about the site, “I love to eat cupcakes, but I don’t need a cupcake deal every day.”
“GroupDudes developed the website to offer deals that appeal to these neglected male professionals,” says CEO David DiGiuseppe. Yesterday GroupDudes.com had a $49 offer for “Rent-A-Maid.” As the ad said, “Dudes are dirty sometimes and need a hand cleaning up! Don’t be a pig, get this deal!” Turns out more than 50 people agreed and ordered this coupon, which was discounted 62 per cent. Also this week, for $30, you can buy a ticket to the Toronto FC Champions League game plus admission to the CNE. This offer is a 50 per cent savings.
As for the most manly deal to date, DiGuiseppe says it was probably a three-hour ATV/Dirtbike adventure. However, the site isn’t a boys-only club. Currently the CEO says the ratio is about one woman for every three men.
It’s too early to say if GroupDudes is a surefire win. Group buying is a crowded space, with new sites popping up every day to serve specific audiences. For example, Chirpme just launched a dating site based on hooking people up via good deals. Snapdeal is focusing the automotive market. The list of new ventures goes on and on and on. In fact, some analysts are predicting the group buying collapse is coming, commenting that the business model is not sound (in short, businesses offering the deals are giving up too much revenue and the deal-makers are taking too much of a cut).
In order to survive a saturated market, companies such as GroupDudes will have to offer exceptional service. When you buy a deal from the site, there should be no problem redeeming that deal within a reasonable amount of time and expiration dates should be flexible. This is a problem many of these services have right now; the businesses offering the deals simply can’t keep up with the demand.
Out of all the niche-oriented group buying sites, GroupDudes does seem to have an advantage. They’re honing in on an audience of “neglected” men who like to shop, like to save money, but would prefer pilot flying lessons and hockey equipment sanitizing over spa visits, and yes, cupcake deals.