Back in the day when deal sites were all the rage and Andrew Mason was still CEO of Groupon he would talk about "clones" all the time. Clones being competitors. It seemed he used the term in a derogatory manner that always struck me as odd.
In every large fast growing market I have been in, Internet service, email security, social media analytics, and online deals, the market is flooded with competitors. It's flooded with competitors that are pretty much the same sans positioning. It's the execution that wins.
Regardless Groupon is making some interesting moves. Groupon has changed it strategy of sending out daily emails for short-term running offers to building an e-commerce marketplace of longer-running deals that can be searched for on its website. This is a powerful move with great operating leverage. It is actually this exact same model that attracted me to Half Off Depot back in 2011. It was Half Off Depot's model. And it works.
Groupon's most recent move is to ungate it's website. To allow visitors to see the products it is selling without inputting an email address. Another smart move and one that Half Off Depot implemented shortly after my arrival in 2011.
As Charles Caleb Colton once said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I'll just leave it at that.