Inquiring minds want to know. Wow, I dated myself just a bit there! By now I'm sure many of you are subscribers or at least have heard of group buying sites such as Groupon, Living Social and Play Hawaii. Basically, these are sites that utilize social media in order to help you advertise and gain new customers to your business, at a cost of course. Most of the deals offered are 50% off and as a business, you only see about half of that. There's no shortage of sites offering deals including national companies Groupon, Living Social and Tippr. Then there are local sites such as Play Hawaii and Vote on Deals.com. Even traditional advertising players in TV, radio and print are adding "deals" as an advertising option. KHON has Daily Deals, Hawaii News Now has Akamai Buys and The Star-Advertiser has Hot Deals. Yelp has even joined the fray and allows businesses to post Yelp Deals.
As a consumer, I'm registered with at least 10 of these sites and absolutely love it. It's a great way to try that restaurant that I've always wanted to try or do that activity that is on my bucket list. It's also awesome to get a deal at a place that I usually frequent anyway.
As a small business owner though, I am not sure that it is a rewarding alternative for advertising. I'm always open to different forms of advertising as I truly believe that it's a necessary part of doing business, however; unlike spa services or restaurants which have larger profit margins, we can't afford to offer our services at heavily discounted rates in hopes that we'll retain loyal customers going forward. I'm not saying that I don't think it's not a viable option for all businesses just not for ours. I'm interested in hearing if you've used group buying sites either as a consumer or business owner and how it has or has not benefited you.