Aside from doing manual research about Groupon over the past week and a half, it seems like the company is doing its best to come to me. Every day when I open up my email, I get a new message from Groupon telling me what the latest deal of the day is in New York City. The letter is very helpful in determining if I want to vote on this deal or not. It tells me all about the company, its locations, and even gives me a few more deals with an urgency that lets me know I only have 1 day left to buy it (!!!). It got me thinking, are Groupon’s jam-packed-with-info messages just a reminder of which deals are available, or overcompensation for something else?It seems to me like Groupon is trying to combine the social benefits of Facebook with discounts at places that are already popular or are trying to expand their fanbases. The whole idea of a “group” discount sets it apart from other discounted sites such as LivingSocial which is more focused on rebates for individuals rather than groups. I want to focus on other sites that offer discounts to certain places and how they compare to Groupon.
Also, in class we briefly discussed “mob shopping” which is being referred to by some sources as Groupon’s predecessor. It originated in China and involves getting a group of people together to “team shop” or shop together to get retailers to drive down prices. It could be interesting to compare this to Groupon, where the deals are already set in stone, and it is up to the shoppers to decide if they want the deal or not.
To conduct my research, I want to continue monitoring the deals that Groupon offers, which become successful and which do not, and how other sites might compare to it. I want to conduct informal surveys to people who use Groupon or other similar sites to see what the appeal is and what they could change about it. Do the shoppers want more power, less, or are they satisfied by the deals that are offered? Could it be similar to Facebook by bringing people together online through common interests?
Or is it almost too good to be true? The Wall Street Journal is estimating it to make $1 billion in sales faster than any business ever, and there have been reports that most deals suggested by merchants are rejected by Groupon. Does Groupon hold too much power in providing these deals to the consumers? Could the company be tricking the consumer into thinking he or she has more power than they actually do, or is it actually a useful tool to promote new businesses, help people save money at places that interest them, and connect them with others who might be interested in the same things? I want to gain more of an insight into the company and people’s responses to it and welcome any kind of feedback in a certain direction to go that might produce more interesting results.