April 26, 2011, 4:58 PM

LivingSocial attracts younger and more educated consumers than Groupon

Nielsen also says visitors to LivingSocial are more likely to earn $150,000 annually.

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While visitors to Groupon and LivingSocial are similarly split by gender, the local deal sites’ audiences differ widely in age, education and geographic location, according to new research from The Nielsen Co., which measures online activity.

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, Nielsen says. The national average for all web users is 25%. Nielsen provided no similar data for income.

Additionally, 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.

Nielsen also found that nearly half of coupon site visitors are interested in gardening and roughly one-third are interested in home repair and renovations, religious involvement and landscaping. While both sites offer discounts in various cities, Groupon’s customers tend to be from the Northeast and Living Social visitors are more often from the South and West.

In the last two months, both LivingSocial and Groupon have announced new strategies that will allow them to target deals based on shoppers’ locations.  In early March, LivingSocial began testing a mobile app feature that allows customers to search for deals within a half-mile radius of their current locations.  Last week, Groupon announced it had acquired Pelago, the creator of location-based check-in service Whrrl.

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