Spending on deals found online -- including the daily deals, instant deals and "flash sales" offered by Groupon and the like -- will reach $3.6 billion by the end of 2012, according to new research.
The figure means the online deal market will grow 86.9 percent compared to 2011, market research and advisory company BIA/Kelsey found.
Deal spending is expected to grow by a further 23 percent in 2013, with between 1 percent and 9 percent growth in the following few years. As a result, deal-hungry U.S. consumers could boost the market to $5.5 billion by 2016.
And more small and medium-size businesses are getting in on the trend: according to the company's latest Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) report, 26 percent of small businesses surveyed said they are either "very likely" (15 percent) or "extremely likely" (11 percent) to participate in online business deals over the next six months, while another 24 percent said they were "somewhat likely" to do so -- meaning over half of SMBs are likely to offer such deals.
"After astronomical growth in 2012, the online deals marketplace is showing signs of maturity," said Peter Krasilovsky, vice president and program director of BIA/Kelsey. "There has been consolidation in the space, deal conversion rates may be suffering due to over-familiarity and the market may be near saturation. Still, market leaders continue to exhibit growth as market awareness and penetration spread."