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March 09, 2012 at 10:53 AM EST
Building New Habits with MyHabit?
Image from: HaveSeen / Shutterstock 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 [...]

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Image from: HaveSeen / Shutterstock

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.

Visits per Person to Private Sale Sites

A few months ago my mother introduced me to MyHabit (you know when a site actually begins to hit the primetime when your mom tells you about it), and I have to admit I’m still surprised to find myself going back every day despite never feeling the need to check out any of the other private sale sites. Looking at Compete data in the below graph, Amazon’s MyHabit was able to quickly come close to the other private sale market leaders since its launch last May, though it is clear that MyHabit still has a far way to go in terms of users’ average time spent browsing through the site. In this case, Ideeli captures the lion’s share of time spent browsing, perhaps due to the wide variety of products offered on the site.

Average Stay to Private Sale Sites

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!

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