I rarely post other’s articles here, not because I think I know everything (I most definitely do NOT), because you can read those elsewhere. However, I thought this one was worthy. One, apparently techcrunch diehards took on the task of bashing Groupon and finding former disgruntled employees. The continual negativity reminds me of how the tabloids find “a friend” to provide gossip about a celebrity. It’s always interesting how that “friend” is no longer a friend or was some distant acquaintance. Two, I believe in constructive criticism. Continual bashing is not constructive criticism.Three, the article excerpt here provides some great insight.
Techcrunch did publish a response from a company that has used Groupon. I don’t believe everyone has had a great experience with Groupon. As a frequent Groupon user from the consumer side, I know that businesses may get hundreds or thousands of new customers in a short period of time from Groupon. If you are not prepared to handle the dramatic increase in customers and the issues that may present, you cannot take full advantage of Groupon. Also, if you bring all these people in but do nothing to get them to return, then you’ve lost out on a great opportunity. Many small businesses aren’t prepared. Just because something works well for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work well for you. You may need to make some significant changes in order to capitalize on that same opportunity.
That said, read this excerpt from the article on how this business was able to fully capitalize on what Groupon had to offer:
——————–From the The Rib Man’s Response To Groupon Bashing, “Let me say this loud and clear—for my business Groupon has worked incredibly well. The first deal I ran was $10 for $20 worth of food and drink. I was told to expect nearly a thousand deals sold and was pleasantly surprised that we sold nearly 1,200. Of those 1,200 customers, we found that 70% of them were new customers, a great average right off the bat. Of those 800+ new customers, we have seen more than half of them return. Also, let’s not forget all the people who came into my restaurant in the weeks following the Groupon deal and told me that they saw my business on Groupon, missed the deal, but still came anyway because they wanted to try out a new restaurant. That kind of exposure for a small business is invaluable! We were seen by tens of thousands of potential customers in our area and that didn’t cost a dime!
Now, back to the Groupon customers. We tracked every Groupon redemption on our point of sale (POS) system and found that only a handful (literally five or six), had a ticket total that was under the price of the Groupon ($20). We found that customers, on average, spent at least $12 on top of the price of the Groupon, and that was before they came back and paid full price (most more than once). And this is at a BBQ restaurant! One consistent factor has been that Groupon customers are much more likely to add an appetizer or dessert to their check, since they know the first $20 only cost them $10. This has been a wonderful way to not only up the ticket average on the redemption, but also has given the customers a broader taste of our menu. When they come back without the Groupon, they are more likely to order that extra item again. Also, I found Groupon customers to be better than the average “coupon” customer. These are people that were interested in trying a new restaurant and open to the idea of coming back. There was only a small percentage of guests who were just looking for a bargain.”—————————————
Go to The Rib Man’s Response to Groupon Bashing , to read the article in its entirety.
Admittedly, some Groupon employees may be much more adept at recruiting small businesses and communicating the advantages and disadvantages to owners than others. Don’t let this dissuade you from using Groupon or LivingSocial or any other similar entity to spread the word about your business and bring in new customers. If you get an employee who seems much more focused on getting you in and out than helping you have a good experience, get another representative. If you can’t, opt out for the time being and complain to an area or district manager. When companies hire at the rate Groupon is hiring, you are bound to get people who will ultimately be (or need to be) weeded out.