If you recall back in November of 2010, Groupon.com offered a 50 percent off deal for Nordstrom Rack (which was also feature by Oprah). Long before the auction time expired, not only had the offer sold out, but the incoming traffic crashed the daily-deal site’s servers as people tried to grab the hot coupon.

So, today at 1:35 pm when a LivingSocial notification hit my Inbox for a CVS deal – $20 value for $10 – I knew time was of the essences. By 2:23 pm, I was one of the 33,598 who had purchased the offer. Sure enough, less than 2 hours later the offer was sold out at 35,000 ‘PURCHASED.’

As a recipient of both Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com notification, I was curious to see the how the audiences of these two companies stack up. According to The Nielsen Company:

  • Visitors to LivingSocial are 49% more likely than the average Internet consumer to earn $150,000 or more annually, compared to 30% more likely for Groupon’s visitors.
  • LivingSocial’s audience also is more educated than Groupon’s, with 46% having a college degree, compared with 39% for Groupon.
  • Groupon is favored by a higher percentage of consumers 35-64 years old (57% compared with 51% for LivingSocial).
  • LivingSocial has a higher concentration of younger visitors, with those 21-34 years old making up 33% of its audience compared with 25% for Groupon and 21% across the entire web.
  • Groupon’s customers tend to be from the Northeast and Living Social visitors are more often from the South and West.

With Google Offers and Facebook Deals launched in 2011, it will be interesting to see how this space evolves. In the meantime, this infographic by Online MBA shows an interesting comparison of the today’s four main players; LivingSocial, Groupon, Facebook Deals and Google Offers.