BUT FIRST LET ME SHARE A PERSONAL THOUGHT.
I had company over the weekend and I was asked when I was going to slow down and enjoy life. Are you kidding? What could be better than what I am doing now? I get the opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest ideas, concepts, strategies, techniques, and tools. Then I get to share them with the world and make a difference in the lives of people that do what I did. I think that’s called fulfilling, rewarding, and exciting. Why do I say exciting? Because I love the new and shiny. As a retailer, it was the love for the different, exciting, the bright and shiny new whatever that made me a success. As a writer I still share that same love. That’s why this is my moment because we are experiencing an explosion of ideas and here is another one that has the potential to change your life and business.
No, I am not trying to be dramatic but the results are. Get ready to be a Groupie, because you will.
The concept is called is called group buying or better referred to as Group Couponing. There are websites popping up all over that are offering coupons from retailers to their groups or subscribers. Basically it’s a site that lists coupons that are paid by the retailer that is really pay for performance advertising. Yes, I would be a groupie for that type of advertising.
Pay for performance advertising says that you would be willing (actually any business person would be willing) to just pay only when the coupon is redeemed. If I would ask any small business owner if they would pay $10,000 in a month for advertising, the answer would probably be NO or way out of my budget. Then if I asked if $1,000 would be better? The response might be that it’s more in keeping with the budget. BUT if the $1,000 were to deliver only $2,000 in sales than the $1,000 would be way TOO MUCH. On the other hand if the $10,000 delivered $100,00 worth of business then the $10,000 would be cheap.
However if you through in the guarantee that you would only pay the $10,000 if you did the $100,000 worth of business, then it’s a home run.
This is what Larry Joseloff, director of content at Shop.org, the National Retail Federation's digital division said about this concept in a recent interview with USA Today in an article published on May 14th, 2010. “This is a way social media can be measured and a way for it to be monetized. I'm not prepared to say it's an overwhelming long-term consumer trend, but it's definitely something that's having an impact."
Gregg Pupecki, sales and marketing director for Wendella Boats & Chicago Water Taxi, is more effusive. His company sold more than 5,000 discount tickets on its first Groupon promotion and 20,000 on the next, which offered a 75-minute architecture tour of the Chicago River.
Here he talks about the coupon service, Groupon.com, one of the leading services (I will list the others as well). "I think Groupon is one of the best sales and marketing tools to come out since the Internet," he says. "Groupon is something any business owner or marketing manager can do themselves, no matter what size the company is."
Here is a partial list of companies that offer these services:
The following is copied from BuyWithMe.com which is a site that explains why retailers should get involved. It explains the concept better than most of the other sites I reviewed.
Our partners (BuyWithMe.com) rave about our simple, seamless and speedy process.
- Propose a Deal. Together, we work out a “win-win” offer by determining the service you want to feature and the minimum number of buyers required for your deal to go through, so that you’re guaranteed the volume you want. Simply provide your pictures, deal details, and business information, and our editorial staff handles the write-up for you, representing and protecting your brand as if it were our own.
- Present the Deal. Your discount will be featured as “Today’s Deal” on our website and remain active under the “Other Deals” tab until the promotion ends.
- Promote the Deal. Our tech-savvy customers visit our website and use social networking tools to get others to sign up in time for everyone to get the deal. BuyWithMe promotional support, email blasts, strategic alignments, and online contests help spread the word all over town.
- Profit Without Risk. There is no “deal” if you don’t get the sales volume you require. We collect the pre-payment for you and deliver it in one check, so you can focus on all of your new customers!
Here is a way many of these services will earn extra money and is a win/win for all. Again this is from Buyfrom me.com
“Our “Bonus Deals" are valuable alternatives to reach our consumers even when you’re not running as “Today’s Deal.” We can also retweet your offer to our twitter followers, offer you banner ad space and generate other creative word of mouth campaigns.”
Why get involved in this type of advertising?
- Almost every major retailer is jumping on this bandwagon.
- It’s a completely measurable from Start to Finish.
- There is NO Upfront Capital Expense: what could be better?
- It will build your brand and exposure.
- It’s easy to track your results. How many other forms of advertising can say that?
- Built in loyalty. Loyalty is not easy to gain these days but coupons create a magnetic pull that just works.
- Don’t feel as if you have to register for all of the services out there. Most of these coupon companies have affiliate programs where your coupon will appear on multiple sites because one coupon company will pay a fee to another company for the exposure.
My last bit of advice. Coupons WORK especially in higher ticket priced merchandise. They literally built my retail business. This is just putting the concept on steroids. And remember one more thing, rich or the better customers love coupons. (That’s probably why they are rich!) This system is a keeper.