Coupon, Groupon Trends: All the Rage?
Meager discounts have lost appeal; what else?
Some enterprising – and psychologically adept – individuals out there have created the latest trend to suck money from unsuspecting customers. Whether it was the sub-prime mortgages, “cash for clunkers,” or many other “blockbuster” deals that created a new market of trigger-happy suckers called: “So good I can’t believe it’s true!”
With Groupon, LivingSocial, even Yelp! now jumping on the marketing bandwagon – I feel this is a dangerous course we’re taking. To me, it seems obvious that the higher-end businesses are indeed suffering. Which is why you see many 5-star restaurants now offering colossal discounts for your basic protein and carbohydrates. And once a particular business sector sees their competitor doing it – they have to jump in as well. But what is happening actually – is that you’re making an internet startup filthy rich – while your business is still going to suffer. You’re NOT going to win permanent customers by joining these sites. If you don’t agree – ask me again a year from now.
What most of these businesses should do – is look within – and determine what their business model needs for these so-called “uncertain economic times.”
It takes creative thinking, market research, re-invention, “thinking outside the box,” and more. Stop looking for a quick fix. If your customer base for $100 bottles of wine is shrinking – then start carrying more affordable bottles. And regardless of what you may think in your head – the entire economy (for the most part) is down. Get used to making less money this year. It’s not hard to re-adjust – unless you’re hell-bent on living on the same standards you were used to when “times were good.”
Not for nothing, I agree that some aspect of this new market might be necessary for some of the smaller businesses to receive the much needed *short-term* cash flow – but it does nothing to help the economy or ensure long-term success for them! Would they charge 50% less all the time and survive? Many of these businesses on Groupon or other massive coupon sites will soon realize that customers will eventually believe that they should never pay full price – and eventually only shop at these highly discounted places. How can this model survive forever, until the participating businesses find that THIS BUBBLE will burst eventually as well?
Another point in defense of these group coupon sites is – that if you’re already a regular customer, or find it particularly useful in your life – feel free to take advantage of these offers. I for one, jumped on a “$25 for $75 of wine” deal before Christmas last year. I can get a solid 5 or 6 bottles of red for only $25. Or even three moderately priced wines (I still think most people don’t know jack squat about wine – so it doesn’t matter in the long run… but I digress…)
It is all about value, it always has been
Many of these group coupon deals I see nowadays – might be for “indulgent” activities that you normally wouldn’t engage in. “Wow, honey – I can get that all day spa-excursion for 50% off! Let’s do it!”
You see – many members of the public have cut back their extravagant activities – and rightly so.
Whether it’s eating out, massages, decadent desserts, and more. Just because it’s 50%, or even 75% off – doesn’t mean it’s logical to waste money on anything other than the bare essentials (for now).
However, I’d suggest to anyone considering any of these daily deals – to use one simple rule of thumb:
“If I would buy it at full price – I’ll gladly take the discount.”
Which is why I’m fairly confident you’ll never see a ShopRite 50% off your entire grocery order of up to $250 on these sites. Because they’re targeted at places that already have exorbitant profit margins.
- What do you think of these group-coupon sites? Just another version of psychological marketing? A great thing that has made your life better? Have you looked in your wallet lately?
- Lastly – think about the businesses. Sure – the Groupons might help you for one or two times – but what helps local businesses going forward?