Posted on Sep 18, 2013

Are Daily Deal Sites Right for Your Business?

Thanks to daily deal sites, the days of being a coupon-clipper no longer means you're some cheapskate who gets excited over a 25-cent-off coupon for toilet paper. After all, coupons were never thought of as cool until Groupon and Living Social came around (if you can remember that far back).


We all know someone who still clips good old-fashioned coupons. But you'd be hard-pressed to find someone today who doesn't once in awhile clip some virtual coupons. If you're considering signing your business up to offer a deal to your current and potential customers, there are a few things you should know and consider beforehand to get the best deal yourself.


How Daily Deal Sites Work


Sites like Groupon and Living Social charge a commission for promoting a deal that in turn promotes your business. This commission can be high, sometimes nearing about 50% of the sale price, but more times than not it's worth it. Smaller or newer businesses get some pretty great awareness for their brand. And already-well-established or larger businesses can reward their loyal customers and reach some new ones by offering special deals and discounts.


Each daily deal site has different rules but some are pretty standard. Typically, deals are offered for a limited period of time or until a deal sells out. Often there's a limit on the quantity of any one deal that an individual can buy. While the quantity may be limited, people are encouraged to promote the deal to their friends with promises of perks such as your deal being free if a certain number of friends also buy the deal, or credits for future deal purchases.


Why Daily Deal Sites are So Popular


Daily deal sites are like that awesome friend who knows about all the best places in your town – and is willing to pay you to take you to them. This friend would be pretty popular, no? Everyone likes to save money and try new things.


Daily deal sites appeal to people for two main reasons: First, you'll save money – on things you would be buying anyway (think discounted eyebrow wax) and on things you may just really want to buy but can't justify the splurge (think 2-hour massage). Secondly, you'll be exposed to new restaurants, spas and brands.


When Daily Deal Sites Work (and Don't)


You may have heard horror stories of a small business running a Groupon ad and being so overwhelmed with the increase in business that they just couldn't keep up. They may have even been forced to close their doors forever and avoid a slew of angry shoppers. While this does happen, it isn't the norm. Larger businesses often benefit from running a deal. Why? They have the manpower, experience, and plenty of resources and stock.


Small businesses, however, have to make sure they'll be able to handle the influx of customers.


Whether your business is large or small, here are things you can do before running the deal:


1. Consider your business resources and capabilities before committing to signing up with a daily deal site. You'll be getting a lot of exposure and new customers from your deal, but if you don’t prepare it can mean that you'll get exposed as being disorganized. You'll lose potential customers and your good reputation.


2. Prepare for your phones to be running off the hooks with people asking questions and looking to use their deal right away. Get your most knowledgeable employee to camp out near the phone or front door to talk to callers or people passing by.


3.  Stay organized. Stock up on whatever item(s) you're selling. If you have a plan of action and stick to it, your business will reap the rewards.


If you run a deal with a site like Groupon or Living Social, the business exposure and opportunity for new customers (that may turn into permanent customers) can’t be beat. If you plan for this increase in popularity you'll be able to handle it flawlessly. Soon, you and your new friend Groupon can roll around in the new business and bask in popularity together.