The Groupon Effect
Getting selected as a Deal of the Day on Groupon is like winning the lottery. But drinking from the firehouse can also be challenging. I suppose it’s kind of like being featured as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things (BTW… Oprah has featured Groupon as one of her Favorite Things). Once you’ve been mentioned you better be ready!
How to get featured on Groupon
- Apply to get your deal featured on Groupon – If you’re lucky enough to be selected this is the most powerful effect. Your deal has to be selected and approved and includes a premium write-up from Groupon. Groupon keeps 50% of each Groupon sold as a featured Groupon.
- Open a Groupon Store – You can feature your own deals on your Groupon merchant profile page and pay to have Groupon promote it for you. Groupon take a 30% cut on each promoted deal, and only a 10% cut on non-promoted deals.
Groupon merchants get a deal stats dashboard that reveals shopper demographic information, including a map mashup showing where their Groupon purchases are originating. This new feature, merchants say, is addictive. Much like feverishly checking one’s email, a merchant can become obsessed with checking in on the deal stats dashboard.
My Mini Interview
Last Friday night I went to dinner at a restaurant that had featured a deep discount coupon on the Internet, much like Groupon, but on Travelzoo’s new Local Deals program. I asked the server what it was like to work in the restaurant the Friday night after a Groupon or Travelzoo Local Deal had been featured. She confirmed what I suspected:
- The cooks get bent out of shape because they’re typically paid hourly. So if you’re a cook, Groupon means working your tail off for no additional income.
- The server I interviewed said that most people are generous and realize they should tip based on what the total bill would have been without the coupon. That, coupled with the surge in restaurant guests usually bodes well.
- The restaurant owner needs to calculate the cost/benefit of the coupon. Is it a good investment of time and energy? Does it really result in additional loyal customers?
Here’s a Groupon video interview with a delicatessen owner who talks about his Groupon gold rush and how to prepare for the new surge of customers:
A little More about Groupon
Maybe Mason should have sold while the selling was good?
- Sources estimate Groupon’s annual revenue at close to $1 billion
- Roughly 300 employees
- 35 million Groupon subscribers
- 18 million groupons sold in North America
Groupon Is A Wannabe In Asia
The business challenge of needing to grow internationally isn’t unique to Groupon, however. In fact, McKinsey forecasts that if China follows the historical experience of other countries, its saving rate will decline over time as the country grows richer, as happened in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other economies. Therefore, a strong presence in these countries will become increasingly important for truly global corporations.
Asia only accounts for 2.3% of Groupon’s global traffic now, but that’s likely to grow fast since Groupon last month snapped up daily deal sites in three Asian capitals with small but sophisticated populations: Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Singapore’s Beeconomic, Hong Kong’s uBuyiBuy and Taiwan’s Atlaspost will change their URLs to Groupon addresses in early 2011. (The Beeconomic deal will also take Groupon into the Philippines, where there has been little activity in the daily deal space). -AdAge
If you’re thinking about using Groupon do the numbers first. Consider whether you’re likely to realize a positive ROI. If you’ve got the type of business that becomes more profitable with full occupancy or usage then Groupon is for you. Examples would be booze cruises, movie theaters, concert venues, most events.