Groupon: bringing local businesses and social spenders together

Let’s face it. This recession is really affecting our social lives.  Going out to a restaurant for dinner or getting a massage at your favorite spa have fallen wayside to the important everyday purchases like gasoline and groceries.  Every penny counts and we know it.  So will we ever get a break from the monotony of budgets?   As cautious consumers, will we ever get to see our friends out on the town again? 

The answer, thanks to the ever popular, is YES! 

If you’re new to the revolution, Groupon is an online company that features daily deals on everything from local restaurants to pedicures, to whitewater rafting to photography workshops.  Groupon offers discounts in 111 cities across the U.S., Canada and Europe.  They take on the challenge to focus on one good or service each day.  This helps eliminate the overwhelming choice for customers to decide the inevitable question “what do you feel like doing?”  Instead of heading to the same local hangouts, we as customers now have a ticket to try something new and finally experience all the hidden gems our cities have to offer.  

All you have to do is subscribe online.  Go to their website, enter your email address and preferred city. You’ll automatically begin receiving one free daily email outlining your city’s deal of the day.   

What makes Groupon stand out from the usual cut out coupon is that it’s social.  You’re encouraged to share your newfound deal with friends on Facebook or Twitter.  You receive endless deeper discounts in the form of $10 Groupon Bucks, if you refer a friend and they buy a Groupon.  So on and so forth.   You have the ability to not only share discounts, but also spread the word about that wine and painting class you just discovered thanks to Groupon.  Sharing really can be addictive. 

From a business standpoint, Groupon works as customers purchase the daily deal.   Only when the minimum number of people purchase the deal offered that day, does that deal become activated.  This ensures a worthwhile venture for the participating business.   Groupon then pools the money, pays that business per Groupons sold and takes a percentage.  The participating company in turn, only has to honor the deal for customers who bring in a printed receipt or more recently a redeemable mobile receipt.  Businesses featured on Groupon generally experience an immediate rush of both new and loyal customers.  This is especially appealing to local retail companies.  According to John Jantsch, author of “Could Groupon Save Your Business?”and founder of Duct Tape Marketing “Groupon has a very practical and tried and true advertising offering – put a discounted offer out there and only pay when you attract new business.”

Julie Mossler, PR/Consumer Marketing Manager at Groupon encourages merchants to reach out to Groupon through if they are interested in being featured.  She says the wait can be as little as a few weeks to be featured, depending on the market size and other deals waiting to be scheduled.

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