What is Groupon?
How to use Groupon
There seems to be some confusion over what Groupon is and how it works. In order to clear up any puzzlement, we went straight to the source and talked to Chad Nason, a Groupon spokesperson.
Professional Carwashing & Detailing: Please describe how Groupon works.
Chad Nason: Founded in Chicago in November 2008, Groupon is a shopping website that features a daily deal on the top goods, services and cultural events in more than 500 markets spanning across more than 45 countries worldwide.
Groupon is a win-win for local shoppers and business owners. For the consumer, Groupon brings unbeatable deals on top local experiences — everything from restaurants and salons to skydiving, hotels, carwashes and more. For local businesses, Groupon has changed the way they are able to market themselves and drives a guaranteed number of new customers through their door. For some brick and mortar establishments, Groupon creates an unprecedented online marketing platform that drives results unlike any other forms of local advertising (print, broadcast, etc.). Businesses pay nothing up front (as with traditional methods of marketing) but instead receive checks from Groupon as part of the revenue-share model the Groupon concept is based on. Deals, which are anywhere from 50-90 percent off, are typically available for purchase for 24 hours and then buyers have a specific amount of time to redeem their purchase.
PC&D: Why should a carwash or detail shop consider using this Internet-based forum?
CN: Carwashes and detail shops are perfect examples of local businesses that can benefit from working with Groupon. Many local businesses are struggling to find new customers and are confident that if they could get new people through the door, they could turn them into repeat customers. Groupon is a proven marketing tool that guarantees customers for businesses. After Groupon provides the customers, it’s up to the local businesses to provide a great experience.
PC&D: What advice can you give a business that decides to use Groupon?
CN: The most successful Groupon merchants are those who know their business inside and out and are honest with themselves and Groupon. Businesses should know how many new customers they can handle on a daily basis and be honest about that number. Groupon will definitely bring a new rush of new customers to a local business, but if the business is not properly prepared, then they lose that incredible opportunity which may never come again. Another piece of advice is to place a cap on the Groupon deal. Groupon has and always will allow merchants to place a cap on their deal, limiting the number of Groupons that can be sold.
Businesses also should take full advantage of the arsenal of support which Groupon provides. From the Groupon sales team who works with merchants from beginning to end as well as the plethora of tools on Grouponworks.com, Groupon will do everything possible to try and ensure a great experience for both merchants and subscribers.
PC&D: What are some of the mistakes a business owner should avoid making when using Groupon?
CN: Groupon’s sales reps have worked with many different types of businesses, and therefore have a good grasp on what will work when running a Groupon deal and what won’t. Groupon checks and double checks every aspect of a business to ensure that they can handle a large rush of new customers, how many customers they can service in a day, if they’ve had good reviews, have proper licensing where needed, and more. Groupon will do everything possible to ensure that mistakes are not made before a deal is agreed upon.
One mistake that can easily be avoided is not taking full advantage of when Groupon customers redeem their Groupon. If it’s possible, get the customer’s contact information for future marketing efforts or offer an additional discount for a future visit. Another mistake merchants make is simply trying to get through the “rush” of Groupon users. Making sure your staff realizes the benefits of running a Groupon deal, not only for them in the short-term, but also for the long-term health of the business.
PC&D: Do you think a person has to be Internet-savvy in order to use Groupon?
CN: For subscribers and merchants, Groupon tries to make everything as simple and as user-friendly as possible. When redeeming Groupons, merchants have multiple options in terms of tracking. Merchants can upload Groupon numbers online, scan Groupons with a smartphone and track overspending or they can simply use a printed out list and check them off one by one. Groupon’s sales reps will work with each merchant to help him or her use Groupon’s online tools if they would like to learn how. The bottom line is that there’s nothing that Groupon offers for which we wouldn’t help merchants learn to use when offering a deal.