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Enter your email to reset your password Or sign up using: Sign in if you're already registered. But does is really make good business sense? Yes it can if you design the promotion just right for your company. Getty Groupon, the group buying site offering daily deals, has proven to be wildly popular with consumers.
Great discounts are given for restaurants, retail stores, spas, theaters and much more. People love discounts, especially during hard times when money is tight. Investors also are enamored with Groupon. Now all eyes are on the Chicago-based firm to file for an initial public offering before the year ends.
A Groupon IPO will likely generate a fortune for early investors, according to market analysts. Launched inGroupon is a fast growing company, having transformed the world of online shopping.
It has boosted the number of markets where it operates to and has 70 million subscribers. It has a staff of 1, working at locations in cities throughout the U.
Who's not loving Groupon?
It appears to be merchants. A study by Rice University's Jesse H.
Jones Graduate School of Business surveyed small to midsize businesses in 19 cities spanning 13 product categories.
Findings revealed 66 percent of the merchants said the Groupon promotions were profitable while 32 percent said they were not. More than 40 percent of the companies wouldn't run a Groupon offer again.
Restaurants fared the worst among service businesses with Groupon deals, while spas and salons were the most successful. The real deal is that any business looking to use Groupon, or one of its competitors like LivingSocial, must have a much broader perspective.
You don't want to devote a lot of your budget to these daily deal sites. Such a promotion has to be part of your overall marketing plan along with how you are using Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, and so on.
You can make a deal as long as it's the right one for your line of business. The problem is that businesses often go into a promotion without a good understanding of what they want to accomplish. The Rice study found that the ability of employees to handle the surge of business from bargain shoppers, for example, was critical to the success of that company's particular promotion.
The way it works is that Groupon offers different deals each day for a local good, service or event in a city where it operates. Discounts range from 50 percent to 90 percent off. The promotion is only valid if a certain number of consumers purchase the deal within 24 hours.
Groupon keeps 50 percent of the revenues from each coupon deal.
Business owners don't think through their costs and how they are going to make money on the promotion. They don't recover it from customer behavior," he explains. Take for instance a massage therapist who complained that everyone who came in for his promotion got a massage and then walked out.
Most of them didn't spend anything beyond getting the freebie. He lost money on the promotion itself and there was no way to recoup that lost. Dholakia suggests that instead of promoting a particular service such as a massage or a facial, the owner should have promoted a particular dollar amount.
This increases the chance that the consumer will come in and buy more than just one item. Now a newbie might come in to get a massage but then decide to get a facial as well.
You have to prepare your staff to engage customers. You have to be careful how you structure the promotion," says Dholakia. Groupon has its pros and cons, so, you need to decide if this is something worth your business getting into.
Here are five reasons in favor of and five reasons against group buying promotions. It attracts a lot of consumers.
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