Groupon as a Marketing Tool/Platform for Restaurants. Is it worth it? Are there better alternatives? Pros and Cons of Groupon. How does it compare to SEO or Social Media Marketing?
Groupon is great, if you want to attract customers quick. You will get a lot of customers and their email addresses. Getting their email addresses will help you to do eMail Marketing to promote deals for FREE. But is it worth though? Does it make sense financially? Are you making any profit at all? What deals you promote?
Groupon claims they attract well-educated, affluent crowd. Let’s have a look at the Benefits of Groupon Marketing:
- No upfront cost for Restaurants to start offering their deals
- Groupon writes ad copies and advertises deals to their massive audience
- Restaurants offer massive discounts like 50% Discount on Main Course
- Restaurants then split the Revenue with Groupon, plus Restaurants have to cover the Credit Card Processing Fees
- Groupon also attracts existing customers. If existing customers get a discounted offer, would they ever pay the full price?
- Groupon generally attracts type of customers which wouldn’t normally visit your Restaurant. Good thing is Restaurants get new Customers,. Bad thing is they might be just one-off visitors. They may never come back.
- 44% of Groupon visitors are already regular Restaurant customers. So, you might end up serving your regular customers a heavily discounted meals.
- If not set the rules clearly Groupon visitors might end up filling your Restaurant at wrong times or displace your existing customers
As Utpal M. Dholakia of Rice University states, Groupon deals are “tilted too far in Customer’s favour ”.
Another interesting fact is that the hundreds of Restaurants are offering similar deals. Huge competition for Customers.
Whole Groupon thing doesn’t make any sense financially. Groupon visitors are looking for Massive Discounts, not 10%-20% discounts. Restaurants hope to be able to upsell, or turn them into Regular Customers. Most Restaurants make a mistake of offering their most expensive meal at a huge discount that upselling doesn’t cover the cost. Worst of all, Groupon visitors are not up for Upsells. Most of them are just Bargain Hunters, one off visitors.
Nevertheless, Restaurants might want to try this method and make their own decisions based on if this makes financial sense in long run. How well you can upsell? Do Email Marketing and turning those visitors into regular customers attempt will be successful?
Basically, Restaurants should plan it well. What to promote, when to promote, how much is enough. After all, main idea here is to bring new customers and turn them into regular customers. Restaurants should evaluate their campaigns.
If we have to break down the numbers. You offer your £100 meal for half price, which is £50. Then you split that £50 with Groupon. You get £25 – Credit Card Transaction Fees.
On the other hand, SEO and Social Media Marketing is FREE or cheaper and efficient alternative to Daily Deals.
Restaurants should have Short Term Marketing Strategy and Long Term Marketing Strategy. SEO is perfect alternative as a Long Term Strategy. Social Media Marketing, especially using paid ads is a great way of getting new customers and Rewarding Existing Customers and increasing their visit frequency.
Most people search local Restaurants based on their location or type of food they like and to find its location, menu, what type of food they serve, their Online Reputation and etc. It is important to work on your Online Presence on Google. Restaurants should update their “Google My Business” profile. They should ask their customers to review on Google and TripAdvisor. Restaurants with most positive Reviews and better Reputations will Rank higher on Search Results, especially to put your Restaurant on Local 3-Pack.
This way Restaurants will get RIGHT customers for FREE.
Everybody is on Social Media these days. If you know your regular customers well, you can get similar customers, a lot of them, as many as you want. You just need to create your Customer Avatar. You need to understand your customers, their age group, interests, habits, what they like, what apps they use, which social media platforms they use daily, what they read, what they watch, what they listen, how they spend their free time and etc