[This is an excerpt from my coupon marketing book, Groupon: Why Deep Discounts are Bad for Business]
Did you see the movie Alien? Of course you did. Remember the scene?
Yes THE scene .
The one with the alien popping out of the chest of the guy while at dinner with everyone? The alien had used his body as a host and destroyed him.
The online discount sites, “deal-of-the day” blogs and their ilk are using your deal to build their lists.
The customer loyalty is going to their pages, their offers, their friends - not yours.
I think you're delusional if you've been thinking otherwise.
The money that could be making your shopping experience more competitive, keep your inventory fuller and letting you hire better is vanishing. And you’re the magician.
In a New York Times article recently a woman complained about what’s wrong with America, “You cannot sit and expect someone to hand out to you.” Yet the rise of all these discount coupon sites shows Americans WANT someone to hand out to them.
Milt Garner, a legendary hardware store owner in Los Angeles used to say, "There are people who will go to great lengths to convince you that your money, in THEIR pocket, is good for you!”
They’re Groupon customers – Not Yours
Used to be if a customer was on your list, they would get better treatment, special perks or advance notification of your big sales.
Anyone who walked into your store during your promotion could get the sale prices too, but your best customers were (rightfully) your priority. After all, your regulars are the ones who pay your bills month in and month out.
Groupon and the other online coupon sites attracts people to their list, not yours. Those “deal of the day” coupon users are really a customer of theirs – not yours.
So if your good customers happen to notice a Groupon, they get it. But if they aren’t on your list, another company gives them a better deal than you do. And a question mark arises whether you are overpriced since the online coupon company can save them so much money.
And that’s dangerous. Think of it this way…
You’re the Florist
Do you remember the last time someone sent your flowers? Do you remember the florist? Or the person who sent them?
I’ll bet its the person who sent them.
Groupon and their clone online deal companies are the person sending the flowers, you as the merchant are the florist providing the flowers.
You aren’t memorable, the other guys are.
Even worse, you're footing the bill!
Tomorrow: The Perfect Storm For Businesses To Welcome Groupon
This is an 11-part series on discounting, couponing and why it is so damaging to your business.Here are the previous posts in case you missed them: