Is Groupon Really the Go-To Advertising Marketplace for the Barbershop World?
Groupon—whether you love it or hate it, you’ve heard of it, and that alone is a pretty big deal.
We want to start this article off with a little bit of a disclaimer: we’re not here to throw our opinion into the mix on this.
We just want to share some facts and figures with the barbershop community that we love to help you decide if going with Groupon as part of your marketing strategy is the best choice for your barbershop.
Groupon’s a fickle thing. It’s got plenty of good and plenty of bad mixed into it—deciding on whether or not its right for you is going to depend on what matters most.
So, if you’re ready to learn the ins and outs of this tricky little beast and decide if partnering with Groupon is a good choice for your barbershop, you’re in the right place.
Keep reading for more Groupon insight!
What’s the Deal with Groupon?
Here’s the skinny on Groupon.
Groupon is basically an e-commerce marketplace that connects subscribers and consumers with local merchants and service providers (like you!) with special access to discounted services or products.
The platform works as a marketplace for consumers who are ready to buy and offers them daily deals within their local area and within a set of parameters they’re searching for.
Translation? Groupon is the middleman running a super hoppin’ platform full of consumers who are ready to buy, and by working with them, you’re granted access to that promised land of consumers (who could be potential clients).
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, it is.
But it also comes with a catch. It’s not free for you to use Groupon as an advertising or marketing tactic—and honestly, we get that. If you want access to a marketplace that another platform has curated, it makes sense that you’d have to pay the piper before you can enter the gates of paradise.
You might love Groupon—with its access to a huge audience (that you otherwise might not have reached) and its potential to give you a major influx of clients, it’s certainly not a bad marketing tactic.
But you also might hate Groupon—it costs money, there’s no guarantee, and in a lot of ways, your marketing ploys can backfire.
But before you decide in which camp you’re setting up your tent, let’s talk a little bit more about how Groupon works.
Let’s Talk Logistics: How Does Groupon Work & How it Can Benefit Your Barbershop
Groupon has a really simple process. It’s straightforward, direct, and pretty easy to use, too.
If you’re a barbershop trying to gain access to the Groupon market, what you’d do is create a discount, a deal, or a voucher setup through Groupon. There are a lot of different parameters you can set up to make sure your deal is being filed in the right categories.
Depending on the plan you want to embark on with Groupon, you can likely get them to include your deal in their email campaign to local markets.
Then, when your deal is live, people who subscribe to Groupon or surf the Groupon site regularly can spot your deal—if your deal falls into their search terms (this could be location, service, discount percentage, etc.)
Consumers can purchase your deal directly on the Groupon site. Groupon will handle the money collection part, keep about half of the revenue (because that’s where they take their middleman fee), and then send the rest of the money to you.
Groupon’s formula might seem a little bit pricey (because hey, 50 percent of your revenue gone after offering your services at a discounted rate is nothing to scoff at), but there are a few advantages.
For starters, Groupon doesn’t play the same SEO games that Google, Bing, and other search engines use. There’s no algorithm change, no real SEO strategy, and no big learning curve.
According to Groupon’s formula, they’ll show everything on the site within a specific set of search terms. That means if your barbershop’s deal fits into someone’s search terms, they’re likely going to see your deal.
Further, you have the potential to get great exposure with Groupon. Even if consumers aren’t purchasing your barbershop deal, they’re seeing your name—many for the first time. And oftentimes, just that name sticking in a consumer’s head is enough to make a difference later when that consumer is looking for a barber.
Finally, Groupon’s helpful because it grants you incredible access to a base of consumers who are already in the “I’m-ready-to-buy” phase. An overwhelming amount of the people on Groupon have already made the decision to spend money, they’re just trying to decide where and with who.
As a business owner, you know that coming across a huge audience of people in this category has the potential to be a huge win.
Groupon Good and Groupon Bad: Pros and Cons
We’ve already given you a few of the benefits of Groupon, but we’re going to take a step further by giving you even more of the good and, of course, a little of the bad, too.
Pros of Groupon
- Easy and direct access to a wealth of ready-to-purchase consumers.
- The potential to draw in a mass influx of new clients to boost your business.
- The potential for those new clients to convert to regulars.
- Simple and effective advertising.
- An easy way to build new relationships.
Cons of Groupon
- When not done properly, Groupon can cost a ton of money.
- It can attract the wrong type of clients.
- It can bring in an influx of new clients that never return as regulars.
- It can say the wrong thing about your brand.
Some Helpful Groupon Tips for Your Barbershop Vouchers
As we already mentioned, Groupon has the potential to both overwhelm your barbershop with an influx of new customers, cost you money, and send your marketing plans spiraling.
If you’ve decided to give Groupon a go, we’ve laid out a few tips to potentially help you ward off some of those evils.
Make sure your Groupon vouchers are limited to 1 per customer.
Decide on a set number of vouchers to sell before your campaign so that you can prepare ahead of time.
If it makes sense for your barbershop, require your voucher customers to make a reservation for their discounted service.
Don’t leave the date open—make sure the voucher expires in a reasonable amount of time from the purchase date. That way, you won’t be caught off guard in March with a Groupon influx when you sold out of vouchers in September.
If it makes sense for your shop, only allow new customers to purchase the Groupon.
Now that you’ve read our take on Groupon, where do you stand?
Think you’ll implement a Groupon coupon in your barbershop advertising and marketing plans? Or, are you more in the thanks-but-no-thanks-Groupon camp?
Either way, we want to hear from you! Leave us some comments in the comment section letting us know where you stand. Feel free to leave more Groupon advice for the community, too!
If you’re lovin’ all this cyber barbershop talk, we’ve got good news for you—there’s more where that came from.
Check back with our regularly updated NAOB blog to stay up-to-date on all the barbershop biz tips you need, the fads that never fade, and the tricks of the trade you’d be lost without.