Business

Beyond Daily Deals: Trade Group Looks Past Groupon

The eDeal Association, built from the Global Daily Deal Association, is working to improve a fast-growing industry that has already faced some hard knocks.

With online deals sites growing like weeds, it was only a matter of time before the sector got a trade group of its own.

It may have come just in time. Based on recent headlines, the past few months have been tough for the daily deals sector, and things are only getting more challenging. Examples:

So clearly, the eDeal Association (eDA) has its work cut out for it. But, less than a year after its launch, it’s already broadening its approach.

Once known as the Global Daily Deal Association (GDDA), eDA looks to help ease those challenges, particularly for smaller sites that may not have the name recognition of Groupon and LivingSocial. The U.K.-based trade group, which represents deals sites worldwide, recently changed its name to focus beyond the daily deals sector—at the behest of its members.

“Our members wanted the trade body to have a broader remit to be able to support the whole e-commerce deals industry better,” Stavros Prodromou, the eDA’s director, told Associations Now. “By rebranding and adapting our mission, we hope to ensure the e-deal industry grows with integrity through education, innovation, and regulation.”

Much like the industry itself, the group evolved quickly. It announced its relaunch just last week, citing dramatic changes in the sector since the GDDA’s founding in April.

Burnishing the Industry’s Image

The group is acutely aware of the issues the industry faces—including both its rapid growth and the negative press it has received from individual retailers, such as Washington, DC’s Back Alley Waffles, which dramatically closed earlier this year, blaming Groupon.

Prodromou, who calls such issues “teething problems” that any new sector is likely to face, says his group is creating a voluntary code of conduct to improve the reputation of the industry, specifically in the area of merchant relations.

What Goes Up …

So what to say about the industry’s comedown after a period of extremely fast growth? Prodromou admits things moved a little fast for a while.

“The industry has seen tremendous growth and created a lot of jobs in a very short period of time,” he says. “It is also incredibly unique in that it has shown relatively large growth in a recession but this was clearly not sustainable.”

But that doesn’t mean the industry doesn’t have a bright future, according to Prodromou, who’s positive that consumer demand will buoy the e-deals industry “as it continues to learn and evolve from all the widely publicized successes and failures.”

“I have no doubt that by bringing together deal providers from across the world to collaborate on industry initiatives and standardize approaches the e-deals industry will grow with integrity,” he says.

What advice would you give the eDeal Association as it—along with the industry it represents—works on getting its long-term footing? Let us know in the comments.

(iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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