By Tani Cohn
(New York)—With the recent success of Groupon, an online group coupon site that delivers localized daily deals to millions across the nation, Jewish-oriented Groupon-style sites have sprouted up to capitalize on the lucrative kosher market. Several sites now compete for deals and diners, including Jdeal.com, KosherKouponz.com, Jewdle.com, and Jewpon.com. While some of these, notably KosherKouponz, offer mostly kosher food coupons, all of the above sites are attempting to capitalize on other aspects of the Jewish market by offering non-food services and products geared towards Jewish consumers. Indeed, a recent sampling of offers from the sites listed above included everything from restaurant deals, 50% off on children’s toys and clothing and a steep discount on short-term Israeli cell phones.
When it comes to effectiveness Groupon-sites are a mixed bag. According to one New York Times article, “Groupon is a beast,” as it holds both massive potential and risk for retailers. Seemingly, Groupon-style sites, such Jdeal and Jewpon, while not reaching hundreds of thousands like Groupon, still carry a strong potential and risk factor for those who use their services. According to AdWeek Advertising Magazine sites like Jdeal have memberships upwards of 5,000, so merchants who use the service are guaranteed a wide audience, if not actual costumers. Thus, Jewish Groupon-style sites seem to certainly hold the means to be effective advertising mediums, albeit actual results may vary. While Jewish Groupon-style sites are still in their nascent stages, their affect on the kosher restaurant market in major cities like New York has already been felt. Indeed, with restaurants and kosher food providers throughout the city and its suburbs offering discount deals on simchas, sushi and steak dinners, those who don’t jump on the Groupon bandwagon may be at a disadvantage. Seemingly then, Jewish Groupon-style sites hold potential to grow as membership naturally increases and to become an integral aspect of the kosher food market. Conversely, because of the localized and tight-knit nature of the Jewish community, restaurants and other food providers may not feel the need to use a Groupon-style site, since the ROI might not be worth it.