Groupon clone of the day: Groupola

Faith Merino · December 23, 2010 · Short URL:

The site operates in 65 cities in Europe and the UK

Today’s Groupon clone of the day hails from the other side of the pond.  Groupola is the Groupon of Europe and the UK, serving 65 cities in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain.

Launched in February 2010 in eight cities, the site has expanded rapidly, averaging more than one launch in a new city per week since its debut.  The company, founded by Mark Pearson, is powered by, of which Pearson is also the founder and managing director.  Groupola was creating using the partnerships and merchant relations forged with MyVoucherCodes and, like other Groupon clones, capitalizes on the group-buying platform to bring consumers deep discounts of 50-90% off.  

The weird thing is, the more I read about group-buying sites in Europe, the UK, and Asia, the more I realize that haggling is an accepted part of everyday life in every other country except the United States.  This is why Groupon’s popularity exploded to such unimaginable proportions—while people in China, France, and Italy have been hiking up their britches and haggling down prices in person for years, Americans were waiting for an easier, less time-consuming haggling process.  It would be nice to attribute this to our demur, non-confrontational style, but that’s not what we’re known for.  What are we known for?  Laziness.  We were waiting for the products to haggle themselves down.

But enough of that.  Groupola wields some steep competition against Groupon, but is it enough?  With Groupon's May acquisition of CityDeal, the world’s largest Groupon clone, the U.S.-based company was able to secure footing in more than 80 cities throughout the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Poland, Finland, Denmark, and soon Norway and Belgium. 

At the time of its launch, however, Groupola had the largest group buying platform in England, having launched in eight of the largest UK cities, including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.  While Groupon has easily eclipsed Groupola’s reach, Groupola’s expansion has been rapid and impressive.  At launch, the company promised to expand to one new city per week, and it has made good on its word.  Users can also request that Groupola come to their city, and the company will launch in whichever cities demonstrate the most interest.

While the deals look great and the company doesn't try to mimic the snarky Groupon voice, the user interface could use some tidying up.  It's pretty garbled and the user has to take some time to get oriented.  I wish all Groupon clones could be more like Yipit, with its clean, simple, easily navigable UI. 

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