Groupon has been undergoing a major transformation since its founding days. Beginning as a deal-of-the-day site that emailed its members a medley of discount offers, the company is taking steps to become more customizable and provide a broader offering. Rather than disregard the personal interest of its members by simply recommending a list of all available coupons, Groupon is providing a feature in the form of Pages that allows consumers to search for specific local businesses and even request deals.
The recently launched Pages allows businesses to make their own profile, complete with company information, offers, and a reviews section. Customers in turn can connect with, recommend, and follow a business. What does establishing an account on Pages do for your business? There are two pros and cons for you to decide if it is worth the time investment.
Pro #1: Free is Key. With the original version of Groupon, your local business would only be recognized if you had a coupon circulating that day. That window for exposure was small and infrequent – if your boutique, for example, was offering 50% off all scarves until 5pm, Groupon members will only see your company name pop up in their email that day. Are you going to be offering a deal everyday just to maintain a spot on an email list? Of course not. Taking this dilemma into account, Pages establishes more permanence – and it’s free! Having a Pages profile can expose any consumer that goes on Groupon to search for local businesses to your company.
Pro #2: SEO Bump. By creating a Pages account on Groupon, you are creating another area of the Web that has your company name, address, and website link. This is one of the factors that gets you a higher search ranking on Google, as establishing any type of page presence is good for overall SEO.
Con #1: High Discounts, Low Results. To users, Groupon is still considered to be a deal site, not a search engine. Regardless of Pages, consumers that use Groupon are mainly looking for potential deals – if you have nothing to offer them, they will probably just gloss over your Page and go on to the next competitor in your industry that is offering a coupon. You could be potentially hurting your brand by associating your business with high discounts; you may only reach value-conscious consumers this way. If they only buy from you when you have a discount, this makes it harder for you to establish a lasting relationship with them.
Con #2: This Looks Familiar. The biggest problem with establishing another page presence is that you have to add it on your list of things to manage. This would not be so problematic if the features on Pages were innovative and provided a different marketing angle for your business, but the set up is incredibly similar to Yelp – reviews section and all. If you already have a solid Yelp page, adding this presence may be a waste of both effort and time.
The verdict? Those hard pressed for time with an already outstanding online presence could probably afford to not put their company on Groupon Pages. Its only discernible difference from Yelp is the more advanced deal promotion, but, as discussed above, relying on discounts to attract customers may do more harm than good.