Sites like Gilt Groupe, Ruelala and Groupon are raising lots of money and acquiring members quickly.  It is a real land grab to see who will own the social commerce/flash marketing/private sales market space.  Since these sites are mostly member based and communicate their offers by email to their members, the EDS panel is ideally suited to tracking which of these players is gaining momentum.  The following is a run down of some of the main players, their comparative reach / membership base (based on the number of unique EDS panelists reached each overly the last thirty days) and some of their strategies and techniques when it comes to engaging customers via email.

1.  Gilt Groupe:  The luxury brand flash sale site reached an estimated 2.65 million uniques during the 30 days ended July 15.  Each day Gilt sent out an email blast for its main sales event that starts at noon.  As many as seven different subject lines are used for each blast, usually with a different ordering of the brands that are on sale.  Additionally an “after hours” sale takes place every few days, and Gilt sends out a blast to its entire membership base promoting this event.  The Jetsetter travel offshoot of Gilt reached an estimated 400,000 uniques during the same 30 day period.

2.  Ruelala:  Over the last 30 days Ruelala reached an estimated 1.47 million uniques.  This is a fairly low number, given that as of two months ago EDS logged Ruelala as reaching 2.0 million uniques.  It could be that the site is experiencing ISP delivery issues or (less likely) a drop off in membership.

3.  Groupon: I guess it can’t hurt to get a $135 million investment to grow your membership base.  Groupon, the city by city “deal of the day” site that gets deep discounts for members based on the number of people who sign up for the offer, reached a whopping 11.1 million unique users by email during the last 30 days, according to EDS estimates.  Where is Groupon’s membership the largest?  Atlanta, surprisingly, is at the top of the list.

4.  Shopittome: Shopittome, started well before the rest of the gang, and using a different approach, seems to be reaching an impressively large audience.  Our recent estimate is that they are reaching 5.6 million users, which is significant given that Techcrunch reported their membership as 3 million in April.  A major site re-design launched May 31 could be a contributing factor.  Unlike the others in this group, which send a few offers to a large number of people, Shop It To Me allows users to specify specific brands that they want to see offers on.  Offers are then collected from multiple sources and sent in an email digest.

We will check back in a month to report on which of these sites has gained or lost email market share.


Comments are closed.