No need to fear, Groupon is here!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

By Christine Kapurch

Flash forward to this weekend: you and your boyfriend have nothing to do and all of your friends are headed out of town. However… no need to fear, Groupon is here! With an assortment of discounted restaurants and activities, this unique marketing tool has allowed local businesses to prosper and residents to enjoy new experiences at a reduced rate.

Considered the fastest growing company —ever— by Forbes Magazine, this website has saved consumers more than $1.5 billion in the last year. This unique twist to the traditional coupon clipping not only works to the advantage of the subscribers but to the companies as well. Groupon has worked with 58,000 local businesses and served more than 100,000 deals worldwide since it began in 2008.

These discounts encourage consumers to try something new and drive business to where the featured deals are located. Who can resist 51 percent off horseback riding lessons or 68 percent off the new restaurant in town? These discounted rates give inquisitive customers the opportunity to try something new without falling victim to a hefty price tag. If the customer leaves satisfied, she is very likely to become a repeat visitor, not to mention a glowing online reviewer for the world to see.

“Groupon offers a win-win situation to consumers and businesses,” Groupon founder Andrew Mason said. “New Yorkers save money without sacrificing fun, and participating businesses experience an explosion of sales thanks to the promotional help, guaranteed business and exposure that we provide.”

The influx of customers from Groupon and similar sites also help increase companies’ search engine optimization (SEO) through the interaction of social media and social networks. This increase is important because it makes websites more visible in search engines, thus increasing site traffic and potential business.

Customers who “check in” using social media networks, such as Foursquare, increase the social content of the company, allowing it to receive more exposure and improve its brand visibility.

According to a Mashable article, “The nature of the social web encourages participation: sharing, voting, commenting and linking. Popular social content gets exposure, traffic and can result in a substantial number of relevant inbound links.” The more a company links to its website, the greater its SEO results will be.

Through purchases on Groupon, consumers have the ability to increase local business’ SEO and ultimately help them remain (or in this economy – become) prosperous. So take that adventure or try that new restaurant to break the boredom without breaking the bank.

3 Comments

  1. Josh Morris

    Your article represents the consumer’s point of view fairly well, but behind the scenes there’s more than meets the cost-conscious eye. Here’s a great piece from the business (marketing) point of view on deal sites: Burned by Daily-Deal Craze, Small Businesses Get Savvy – http://on.wsj.com/hgtBh4 And for a more colorful take on Groupon: The Groupon Backlash Is On – http://t.co/qrxjmsb

    Disclaimer: I stopped purchasing Groupons after the Super Bowl commercials fiasco (lost respect for its leadership due to hellish PR – or lack there of), but do still randomly buy deals from competing sites.

    I’m sharing these articles because when you think of it from a cost perspective of the businesses and the behavior perspective of consumers, will this really be a sustainable marketing practice? How long will Groupon continue to demand so much of the revenue from businesses already losing money on deals? How long will businesses risk losing money on the chances of increased search rankings when they can pay for sponsored links at a fraction of the cost?

    The verdict is still out and only time will tell, but I’m looking forward to the first few in-depth case studies on the true benefit of deal sites for businesses large and small. If you know of any I would love to read them! Thanks for sharing and for letting me share too, Christine!

    Reply

  2. Jaclyn McNeil

    Groupon is able to attract consumers and businesses with deals for the consumer and profit and awareness for businesses. No one knows better the importance of awareness like a non-profit organization. According to the demographic research by Groupon, 68% of its subscribers are under the age of 34. Probably not the best demographic for fundraising. However, Groupon has recently launched the G-Team, a non-profit program to support various philanthropies. In fact, Groupon’s roots are in fundraising. In 2008 Groupon was born out of The Point, http://www.thepoint.com, created by Groupon CEO, Andrew Mason. Mason started The Point in 2007 with the hopes to increase the power of people working towards one cause by giving people the platform to announce campaigns and raise funding. Mason realized the site was not gaining enough traction, and went on to develop something a bit different and profitable: Groupon.
    Non-profit organizations, especially little-known local organizations, could benefit from working with Groupon’s G-Team, by raising awareness and funding. And let’s face it, in this economy giving incentives or donation deals for possible donors is ideal for non-profit organizations.

    Reply

  3. Christine Kapurch, Platform Student Editor

    Josh,
    You’ve made a few great points concerning the business side of Groupon. However, I think it comes down to the fact the Groupon raises immediate awareness of companies that would other wise be lost in the clutter of typical advertisements. These local businesses have the opportunity to draw new customers in and depending on their experience keep them coming back.

    Here’s a link to a short case study from a salon who used Groupon and the benefits that ensued http://oursocialtimes.com/index.php/2011/02/a-small-business-groupon-case-study/.

    Jaclyn,
    I wasn’t aware that Groupon stemmed from another platform. Do you know why the site wasn’t generating traffic?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will never be published or shared and required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).