Only a few years into its existence, the entire online coupon business is struggling. Over 800 daily deal companies closed their doors in the last two years. I turned my focus this week to coming up with strategies and enhancements to daily deal sites, and offers that might renew the excitement consumers felt when these deals first started showing up. Some of the main ideas include:
More personalization of offers
Wish list fulfillment
More information on merchants
Flexibility of offer details
Longer window before offers expire
Allow merchants to “own” the relationship with the customers
Pressure to use by expiration date
Repeat offers from the same merchants
Buyer’s remorse at the deals purchased and the money spent
Difficulties with redeeming
My article looks more closely at each of the new ideas and barriers to purchase. But, as I was writing this, another offer came through that repeated, once again, a deal for half price to one of my favorite restaurants, Ghazal Indian Cuisine, (see illustration below). In the past, I have purchased and used deal vouchers at least six times to Ghazal (up to three vouchers could be purchased at a time, and I bought three from LivingSocial and three from Groupon), and I’ve enjoyed them immensely. And I have gone to the restaurant without vouchers over the past few years a number of times. I and my guests have always been treated with respect even when using a discount voucher.
Ghazal is a small eatery in a crowded restaurant section of Jamaica Plain (outside Boston). Three doors down is another, slightly larger (and very good) competitor, Bukhara Indian Bistro, which also is often represented in daily deal offers. Both restaurants obviously feel the need to bring in business and therefore offer repeat discount offers through the daily deal web sites.
So I decided not to purchase the latest offer from Groupon out of guilt. I have had so many inexpensive and delicious meals there, I just feel guilty purchasing more. Even though the staff probably won’t recognize me as a chronic voucher user, I want the restaurant to succeed, so I plan to pay full price for a while.
And my guilt isn’t unique to me. Others I’ve talked to have decided not to keep buying the same deals over and over, especially when they are happy with the merchant. That makes us either idiots for turning down “free” food or, as I prefer to think of us, loyal customers who understand that keeping your favorite brands thriving will mean that you can purchase them for a long time. I would hate to find out that Ghazal (or Bukhara, for that matter) went under because they have over daily-dealt themselves to death.
Daily Deal Fatigue
Putting the Bloom Back on the Rose
By Ronni T. Marshak, Executive VP and Senior Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, December 6, 2012
After an explosion onto the marketplace a few years ago, daily deal sites are floundering. We got together a number of recovering daily deal addicts to understand why the excitement is gone and to offer strategies that could win us back and reap the resulting rewards!.