A growing number of massage therapists is using daily discount sites, such as Groupon, to promote their practices and bring in clients.

A new study examined the thought processes involved in consumer use of such sites.

The study on group buying mechanisms—LivingSocial is another site consumers use to purchase daily deals—reveals that telling buyers who come later to the offer how many have already signed up increases the number of purchasers.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management wanted to understand why group buying sites that have entered the market recently have enjoyed greater success than those operating a decade ago, such as Mercata and MobShop. Earlier attempts typically left potential buyers waiting for days before confirming whether or not they had got the offer they had signed up for.

“We think one of the reasons group-buying has been successful recently is because of the short time horizon,” says Rotman Prof. Ming Hu, who co-wrote the study with Prof. Mengze Shi and PhD student Jiahua Wu. “It allows for a herding effect.”

Editor’s note: For more in-depth information, read the feature article, “Daily Deals: Discounts Bring Clients to Massage,” in the February issue of MASSAGE Magazine.