Daily Deal Sites Provide Online Coupons For Steep Discounts, But Do You Need Them?

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Online Coupon Sites Are The Next-Best Thing To A Sale Button.

Here’s a stat that may make you think twice before buying one of the many daily discounted coupon deals on the Internet, such as half off a massage or city bus tour: 80% of new customers to a business using such “daily deals” wouldn’t have spent that money if they didn’t have a coupon.

Deals Entice New Customers

Granted, that’s not an industry statistic, but it comes from Bill Yucatonis, the CEO of CoupMe.com, a website in New England that offers one deal per day. And it’s not just his opinion—the website came to this conclusion after conducting a survey of customers and compiling anecdotal information from merchants. In other words, 80% of its customers are buying something they normally wouldn’t have bought on their own without the coupon as an incentive.

Online Coupons Are Hardly For Necessities

And since most of the daily deal purchases on the 150 or so daily deal websites in the United States are for elective items such as city tours, hair removal, spa treatments and yoga, most people are spending money on a service that they wouldn’t have bought anyway. “This is a new reason for them to try something,” Yucatonis said. He added that CoupMe targets upscale women who can afford such spending habits, with its average customer buying a deal every three to four weeks.

Luxuries Can Come At A Discount

Many of the sites, such as Buy With Me and Groupon, don’t sell necessities needed for daily survival. They instead provide more opportunities for entertainment, such as dining at a new restaurant. Jim Moran, co-founder of Yipit.com, an aggregator of coupon deal websites, said that making such experiences affordable at least once gives people a chance to try something new—and possibly stick with it. Moran estimated that 20% of his buyers are repeat customers. “Some are using this as a way to live a much nicer life,” Moran said.

Most Action For Coupon Sites Comes From Entertainment

A Yipit poll of businesses that use daily deals found the top revenue producing daily deal categories to be, in order: city tours, hair removal, spa, yoga, golf, facial, and massage.  “These are definitely once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are available through deals,” Moran said, adding that excess inventory makes such steep discounts available.

A Few Favorite Sites From Jim Moran, Co-Founder Of Yipit.com

Food/Restaurant:

  • Blackboard Eats (blackboardeats.com). The Better Business Bureau provides users with redemption codes good for a month. Save 30% off of a restaurant  bill or get free appetizers and drinks.
  • Scoob (scoob.com). This iPhone-focused daily deal site emphasizes restaurants and personal services, as well as providing insights on local culture and activities.
  • Village Vines (villagevines.com). The focus here is on high-end restaurants, allowing the discount to appear discreetly on your bill without having to present a paper coupon.

Luxury:

  • Gilt City (giltcity.com). A variety of high-end deals, including local nightclubs, high-end restaurants, and private schools. Pricing can run into the thousands.
  • Bloomspot (bloomspot.com). This site focuses on luxury restaurants, spas, and hotels.

Home And Essential Services:

  • Angie’s List (angieslist.com). Home services deals provided by the successful review site for home contractor. Available in nearly 20 cities, with offers ranging from A/C inspection, to framing to maid services.
  • Service Magic  (servicemagic.com). The site Includes a range of home inspection and repair services, serviced by the leading home contractor marketplace.
  • http://bit.ly/CreativeCoupons Mona

    I've found through personal use of coupons that be it printing online coupons or clipping them out of the newspaper…you shouldn't be tempted to buy items you wouldn't have been purchasing in the first place. I like http://bit.ly/CreativeCoupons simply because they let you print coupons WITHOUT having to sign up or join the site. You have to be careful because a lot of sites make you sign up before you can get your coupons and then you just get a bunch of spam. As for necessities, it's true many coupons are not for must-have items, but there are a lot out there that are for items you need and those are the ones definitely worth using!

  • http://www.coupme.com Bill Yucatonis

    Aaron,

    Interesting article. I just wanted to clarify a few of my statements, as you quoted me in the post. You quote me as making the following statement: 80% of new customers to a business using such “daily deals” wouldn’t have spent that money if they didn’t have a coupon. My point to you was slightly but importantly different, which is this discount motivates them to try a new local business and without this offer and viability they might not have come. The crucial point is that this deal got them to the merchant's door. Additionally important point is that, yes, many of these deals are not life's necessities, but it doesn't mean that people still aren't going out to dinner, getting their hair done, etc. These deals allow them to enjoy this entertainment at a discount; therefore with this state of the economy allowing them to enjoy some of life's pleasures.

    Also, while I mentioned that our typical client tends to be more upscale, and therefore more likely to seek out some of these pleasures, I did not imply that our clients had excess money that they were looking to throw away. Rather, our clients tend to be people who might seek these types of services out in the first place, and therefore will try something new when they have the opportunity to get a deal.

    - Bill Yucatonis, CEO of CoupMe

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  • http://www.playlist.pk Pakistani music

    I really like the idea of making money through daily deals and save it too.