Groupon : Good or Bad?

If there is one thing that seemed to be missing in popularity in the social networking atmosphere, it is certainly making up for it now.

We had Spree, in fact we still have Spree Books, but what use are they to the online marketing people of today, and their potential customers who tend to spend most of their time online

Yes, they provide fantastic paper vouchers for us to use day to day, but the online deals are easy to find, and are a much more attractive prospect to many smaller businesses.

These days, everyone seems to be whispering about Groupon and their ilk.  We seem to struggle to name these companies properly, and calling them  Online Discount Sites seems to be universal.  For the majority of them, the idea is that you sign up, and when a voucher that you are interested in appears on the site, you can buy it for a discount online. Armed with your voucher code (or printable receipt) you then contact your chosen purchase provider directly to redeem your code. It does work well, and I have benefited from a few Groupon deals myself.

Most of us are aware of what theses sites are. They buy in bulk from companies and sell to us at a discount rate. it is a bit like bulk buying 500 pairs of jeans, but instead of us having to buy the 500 pairs of jeans to get them at a lower price, the online discount store manages to find 500 people who buy 1 pair and everyone benefits from the discount.

It is easy to see why they are becoming so popular. I am even tempted to open up an online discount store myself!!!!! The biggest thing that it does do for businesses is help to build the BRAND.

Why are Online Discount Sites so Popular?

There are more and more Groupon type sites springing up. Some are UK wide, and others are just City wide. Even celebrities are getting in on it.

– Discounts are usually quite big. What’s not to like about that as a customer?
– There are new offers daily, people just keep checking until offers come up that they like.
– Even if the offer is something people are not looking for, they pass offers on to people they think WILL like them.
– They can target your specific customer base.

Online Discount Stores in the UK – Groupon Competitors

Kate Garroway Goodypass

Do Groupon and Groupon Like Sites Build Loyalty

Its even easy to see why they are popular, but can small businesses realistically afford them? Think about it like this. To be able to put big discounts out to a large group of people, you really have to look at the content, and the math to make sure you can afford to work for those prices. Large businesses can cover the costs realistically, but small businesses may just find that big online discounts are what drives them into despair.

All businesses need to make the decision of whether there is going to be any loyalty coming from the customers who take them up on the one time offer. Yes, you may be very busy after a discount shows, but how many of those customers are going to come back and use you again. I know I have bought Groupon offers simply for the cheap offer, and then gone back to my regular haunt.

Online Discount Sites seem to be great for building the word up for a BRAND, but that is the only way small businesses should be looking at these offers. It is a long term investment for your business rather than a short term one. It is one of getting your name into the public domain. The virality of the emails used on Discount Sites means that your name can reach very large audiences in your target market zones. Be prepared to make the most of that and build it to your Social Media Strategy.

Should YOU Advertise on Groupon?

Yes these sites can work, but they have to be cost effective for your business. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon because your competitor is.   Make sure you  jump on the bandwagon- ONLY- when you KNOW it is the right decision for your BRAND.

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