It seems lately that social coupon sites are all the rage. If I understand correctly, these sites offer discount coupons to popular businesses. Customers just have to get enough people to commit to buying a coupon in order for the coupons to be offered (ie. get 100 people to buy this 50% coupon to McDonalds, or there will be no coupon).
We’ve had several representatives of these sites in our store in the past few months, with deals varying to “no cost to us” to “pay us $200 a year.” They all want to convince us this is great marketing visibility for our store. But they haven’t managed to do it yet.
One of my partners recently came from a similar store that offered coupons and special offers through flyers and bulk mailings to everyone in the surrounding area. His experience was that such things brought in two types of people: 1) people who came in for their discounted/free item and then never came back again, or 2) regular customers who were now getting a discount on something they would have usually and gladly paid full price for.
So I’m posing this post as an open question. Has anyone out there used these “groupon” sites? Do they work? Do they bring in lots of new customers, who you then convert to repeat customers? Do they somehow build greater loyalty (and hence either more frequent visits or larger purchases, or both) from existing customers? Please tell me your experiences. I’d like to know if it’s just us, or if these sites really help all that much.
Tell me about your experiences with social coupon sites! Leave comments below!