Facebook Offers - the nail in the coffin for Groupon?
It's hard to remember when I first heard the term "Groupon." I'm guessing it was about a year ago, as I heard about a way to get a really great deal for a local Chicago restaruant. More and more people heard about the discounted site, where you could get 60-80% off of different businesses.
Then IPO's and competition came about.
Facebook is actually on its 2nd iteration of a massive deal-sharing platform. The current "offers" platform is in beta, starting to make appearances in different news feeds around the world. Only some businesses are able to send out offers, but Facebook hopes to further push out this service to more users.
For the small business owner, right now, Facebook Offers stands to be a MUCH better deal than Groupon. You might not have the capability to send a Facebook Offer yet, but here are the quick details.
- It's FREE! I'm sure that eventually, Facebook will charge for this option, but it's free. Groupon deals must be for at least 50% of the purchase price, plus 50% of the remainder goes to Groupon. They're a business trying to really establish a sustainable plan and planting seeds throughout the area. So, free vs. giving up 75%? Now, it's arguable that the exposure from fact that Groupon sends out an email about your deal could be worth that 75%, and that roughly only 16% of your followers will see the Facebook offer could be worth the investment. From what I've heard, I have to say that more people end up soured after Groupon.
- Facebook, by default, will automatically tell the friends and followers of anyone taking your deal of the transaction.
- For the small business owner that just doesn't know what to put on their Facebook page, why not post an Offer? Even your truly will have a case of writer's block every now and then, and sometimes a little push can help out great.
- You can purchase additional advertising to help increase the visibility of your ad. This, of course, is a way that Facebook makes some money. However, this will be your way to reaching new customers as well. Using ad targeting on Facebook can really hit a niche market.
As Facebook sorts through their IPO issues, they will eventually need to find ways to push the envelope and find ways to bring in revenue. Now, don't expect the free ride to continue forever, but this will still have a much lower cost-of-entry than Groupon's current model.
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