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Christine Fife

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More Proof: Daily Deal Sites Aren’t Great for Small Businesses

Yep, I’m blogging about daily deal sites again. When this headline caught my eye in my RSS feed I rolled my eyes so high I hurt myself! 82% of Businesses Are Unsatisfied With Daily Deal Sites (Click image to view full-size at Hubspot. Infographic from BuySellAds.)

As I’ve said before, I love daily deal sites as a consumer. Who doesn’t want a massage for $45 instead of $100? But my experience, particularly when it is a service industry business that I purchase a deal from (such as a massage or haircut) is an ear-full of complaints from the business like, “Sorry that we’re running late, but we’re overwhelmed with all the deal buyers.” And often, I get the feeling they’re trying to rush through my service because they’re behind and annoyed that they aren’t getting full price for the service and most deal buyers skimp on the tip, too.

It’s too bad that daily deal sites haven’t gotten around to being more helpful to small businesses who want to run a deal. Instead, they hard sell them on the idea that deals will bring in new customers and won’t cost you anything, but the reality is that many businesses loose money on deals and don’t get any repeat business.

Not getting the repeat business is largely the fault of the small business because they do treat deal customers in a less favorable way than regular customers and they aren’t capturing them on email lists and up selling them. But small business owners are not professional marketing people. They don’t know all the things they should be doing to attract these new customers as repeat customers. Or how to offer a deal that brings the customer in but is more likely to get the customer to buy more than just what the deal gives once they’re in the store.

But, there are so many deal offers now, that most consumers just aren’t going to be loyal repeat customers to these places who offered a deal to get them in the door. The new age of deal consumers just encourages them to wait for another deal at another store. And daily deal sites would rather those consumers stay loyal to the deal site by purchasing another deal when the next spa offers something rather than going back to the first deal-offering spa where the deal site revenue stream ended.

But, the downside for the deal site is that 82% of businesses don’t want to run any more deals. Eventually, the deal sites will run low on customers themselves so they won’t have many deals to offer. I wonder how long until that’s really a problem? Hmmmmm…

(Click image to view full-size at Hubspot. Infographic from BuySellAds.)

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As I drove off to college I never would have guessed I would end up here! But it’s been a fantastic journey. My career has been richly diverse giving me an advantage over marketers who are siloed into niche positions. I strive to be a true Renaissance person—I love to learn about everything and trying new things comes naturally. My career has been no different; I’ve successfully launched enterprise software and medical device development startups, improved communications processes for the regulatory department of a major financial exchange, increased client business and product development for several international exchange program companies and founded an international educational non-profit organization. My master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Golden Gate University gave me a broad understanding of traditional marketing best-practices, but my BA in theater gave me the skills to understand how people communicate with one another and the importance of promoting a brand in a voice that is right for the audience.