How to Use Groupon to Boost Your Small Business

Groupon has made significant waves in the online marketing, advertising, and promotion industry. While online SEO, PPC, and social media strategies are all helpful in trying to entice potential customers to simply view your business, Groupon gets them to reach right into their pocketbook and hand over the money.

To give you a brief overview, Groupon is a company where people in major cities across the US join up to receive notices of great deals, usually at substantial discounts. When they receive a notice of a deal each day, they have a limited time to buy. You get to name the minimum number of Groupons you wish to sell in order to make it profitable. Through social media and sharing with friends and family, your Groupon can reach hundreds even thousands of local buyers that otherwise may not get your marketing message.

While 97% of Groupon merchants want to get their marketing message through their system again, what does it really take to make Groupon successful for your small business?

Prepare Your Inventory

There is nothing worse than offering a great deal and being totally unprepared to handle the extra sales. Some small businesses experience an increase in sales tenfold due to the power of the Groupon social aspect. If you want to submit a deal to Groupon, do your best to forecast and prepare your business to handle the sudden and sharp increase in business.

Prepare Your Employees

Your employees will never forgive you if you don’t let them in on the Groupon deal. When suddenly a business gets hundreds of new customers or thousands of calls out of the blue, the staff should be well prepared to know the deal, greet customers, and even work extra hours to handle the calls.

Determine the Proper Price Point

This is important for your profitability. If you give a $25 Groupon for $50 worth of merchandise at your store, but the average sales are only $30 – $40, your customers aren’t getting the full deal, and you are not making any extra money.

One of the strategies to a Groupon monetary deal is to get customers to come in and spend more than they already paid for. For instance, say in the above Groupon scenario, your prices actually create average sales of about $75. That means on average, a Groupon patron paid $25 to buy $50 worth of goods, but pays you an extra $25 directly. They still only pay $50 on a total value of $75, so both the customer and you win on the deal.

Engage and Follow Up With New Customers

One important detail that many small business owners fail to do is follow up with those customers who redeemed a Groupon to your business. Without this strategy, most Groupon customers are a one-time-only phenomenon.

You must make the effort to retain your Groupon redeemers so they become repeat customers. Groupon gives you a way to track those who take part in each deal. Use that information so you can welcome a customer to your store. Thank them, make them feel at home, and welcome them to come back.

Do your best to obtain contact information so you can send follow up messages to get their feedback, as well as even allow you to offer another incentive to return.

Learn to Limit Your Deal

A Groupon may be a great way to drum up some extra business. But what if your main goal is to increase the customer base at a new store location? Or perhaps try to sell certain products deemed “slow movers” at a particular location?

You can work with Groupon sales to create the deal with specific parameters. You might offer a 50% off Groupon for your restaurant, but only at certain locations. Or you may offer a half-off Groupon to your mattress store good for only the surplus of last year’s Serta mattresses.

Groupon has many small business success stories. Log on to their site for merchants at www.grouponworks.com and read a few case studies. Watch their helpful videos. If you think Groupon could benefit your small business, give them a try. Even if you break even on a Groupon deal, you can still come out ahead with an increased customer base and exposure.

1 COMMENT

  1. Yes, with the right planning and doing proper calculations, running a coupon or daily deal could be a good way for small businesses to increase sales and promote their business.

    I would add that it’s worth shopping around and comparing the daily deal sites for one that is best suited for your business’s needs and target market rather than just going to Groupon.

    Examples of places where you can find directories of coupon companies:
    http://yipit.com/about/services/
    http://www.dailydealmedia.com/daily-deal-directory/

    Andrea

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