I don’t know whether you’ve noticed… but there are a LOT of coupon/deals sites opening up on the web, where local businesses are given the chance to create a deal on one or more of their products at a super low price just to get people in the door.
This is a great idea that works really well for most types of businesses if handled well, and the benefits can include:
- increased brand awareness, particularly in your local area
- new customers/clients
- upselling of products or services
- targeted traffic
- fast promotion
- big site promotion just like putting your ad on TV where it will be seen by millions of people
Effectively this is the old group buying strategy – rehashed, which means a number of people get together to purchase as a group which then effectively lowers the price of the item for each person, basically buying in bulk.
As you can see this site GrabOne is very similar to all the rest, there is an offer and a super price set, this only become activated when a certain amount of people have chosen to purchase it can be anywhere between 3 and 50 people depending on the value of the item involved.
AND only if enough people purchase it in the time limit given to the deal. Customers and potential customers are then notified that the” deal is live,” and purchasing goes ahead with everyone who began the bidding before the deal was live receiving their email with vouchers or coupons attached.
There are now a number of these sites actively working in Australia and of course the largest one we have all heard of online and even in movies is ‘Groupon.’
Here’s a list of active group buying, daily deal or coupon sites in Australia:
- EveryDay Deals
- TravelZoo (travel deals only)
- All The Deals (a very complete list of daily deal sites in Australia)
With the current worldwide financial crisis people are becoming much more savvy with their money and much more comfortable with purchasing online, taking advantage of this movement can be a great move for a local, small business – as long as they have thought it through and planned their strategy well.
What strategy? I hear you say, create a deal, put it on and watch all those new customers roll in!
Well, you may get a lot of newbies come in, however whether they remain customers is a whole other ball game and this is where the strategy comes in.
This is all about giving them a customer experience which will guarantee they come back to you time and time again and become not only loyal customers, but your brand advocates, just like Coca Cola, Virgin Airlines and other brands who have fans who tell the world how much they love them.
Many small businesses already give great customer experiences, simply because they are small enough to care, however it also needs to be a part of your planning as a business and in each promotion you do for your business and this is where most smaller businesses fall down.
So you have decided to go ahead and use one or more of these Coupon/deal sites to promote your business – now what? Now that you have decided to get more customers in the door in this way, you will want to squeeze all the marketing juice you can out of it!
Sit down, preferably with one or more others in or interested in your business and work out how you can give your new customers the ultimate experience using your services or products, YES you are going to deliver even more value for their money than you thought!
EXAMPLE: If you are a hair salon and you have created a great package, let’s say your package includes a wash, deep conditioning treatment, style cut, straightening or blow wave and half head of foils for $??
Now what can you do to make the customer experience at your salon something to write home about? Or even better something to post about on Facebook, Twitter and Google+? and how can you get more bang for your buck marketing wise out of this promotion?
First let’s deal with the customer experience – what if as your new customers came in the door and you sat them in their chair you had a glass of bubbly with a strawberry in it handed to them with a chocolate? or if they don’t drink that kind of thing something else that was decadent – we want them to feel decadent! AND what if as they sat waiting for their foils to set you not only gave them a magazine and a coffee you also had someone give them a foot spa or massage? DECADENT!!
Yes you may have to enlist your neighbours 16yo who desperately wants to be a hairdresser and teach her a few tricks to implement this, but I promise it will be worth it – add it into the cost of your marketing, because that’s what it is. Can’t you just see the Facebook posts about this experience? Now how can you create this kind of experience for your business?
Secondly how can you get even more bang for your buck out of going to all this trouble? Ask your new customers if they would mind allowing you to create a short video of them at the end of their session, or take a picture of them and post and tag it on Facebook, and then when they say yes, ask them to sign a waiver. You could even let them know that they will receive a larger discount voucher for their next visit if they do.
Now you have a heap of testimonials from happy customers and pictures you can tag and get them liking your page to see them…
Now just imagine if you implemented some of this regularly, perhaps Decadent Mondays and when a customer really loves what you just did for them you immediately asked them to allow you to video them talking about how happy they are?
Small business doesn’t have to play small in their marketing – so let’s play!