Groupon and Groupon style promotions are growing at an astonishing rate. The size of the Global opportunity is enormous. Originally developed out of the concept of the power of group buying, Groupon is now so large that it is now more about the exploitation of deep discounting to bring in new customers. Using this kind of marketing is by no means a sure thing. A recent study by Rice University Texas has highlighted some of the downsides of using Groupon. So what can you as a business owner do to maximise your chances of success?
First, do the numbers. The typical Groupon discount is 50% from which Groupon will take 50% of that leaving you 25% of the sales price. Calculate how much loss you will make on each sale. It's not quite as simple as this because some of the coupons purchased in advance will not be redeemed so you will get some revenue for nothing. A reasonable estimate would be about 10% of coupons will not be unclaimed although it will vary depending on product or service you are offering.
Second, using the numbers that you have calculated in the previous step calculate how much you are prepared to invest in this promotion, and therefore the number of discount vouchers you want to offer in this promotion. It is important that you set a limit as some businesses suffered serious losses because they underestimated the amount of take up of their offer and by not setting a limit had left themselves with an uncapped liability. By doing this you will also be able to identify how many extra full price purchases you'll need from your promotion to break even on your investment. Whilst it may not be important to you as an objective, it is always worth understanding the performance of your promotional activities.
Now you have set up the parameters your third step is to prepare your staff. Let them know when the promotion starts and the potential number of addition customers that might visit your premises. You want your staff to be ready to meet any sudden influx without a reduction in service levels. You also need them to understand that a significant number of clients will be paying by coupon, so you need to have a process in place to handle this efficiently.
Fourth, plan your up-sell programme, Groupon sales are only worth the investment if you can get these "Groupon" customers to purchase products at the full rate. Decide what and how you are going to up-sell and encourage your staff to make this offer to everyone. A good way to do this would be to have a competition to see which member of staff up-sells the most.
Fifth, have a proper follow-up plan. If social media and CRM have taught us anything then it is that we should create a dialogue with out customers which will encourage new sales.