My wife and I recently welcomed a baby girl into our family.  Let the penny pinching begin, right? So, being the price conscious husband/father that I am, I’m always roaming Groupon, Living Social, Crowd Cut, etc for daily deals.  The obvious purchase for our family was a Groupon for DiapersDirect.com $25 for $50 worth of product.  I was even luckier when my good friend Trevor made the purchase as a gift for our new welcomed addition. (Thanks Trevor!)

After reviewing DiapersDirect’s website to see their selection I placed my order. Five weeks later, a few emails and a phone call and I was still waiting for my order.  Luckily, reaching out to DiapersDirect was fairly simple.  But why should I have had to do that? Where is the customer services that we have come to expect? Through visiting thier website and emailing them I found out that the Groupon demand was too much for them to handle.

The problem I had was that I had to reach them to find that out; again where’s the customer service?  Had they directly contact me (and everyone else for that matter) explaining the situation I think that most would have understood.  Now because of the mass amount of orders they couldn’t fill the negative online reviews are pouring in.  I get it, I know from a businesses inventory perspective I can understand how sometimes you run out.  However, from a customer services perspective, their is no excuse.  The repercussions for this, poor reviews that will hurt their business for a longtime.

Here in lies the problem with a small business trying to grow to fast by connecting with these daily deal giants.  I found out that Groupon had projected about 1000 consumers would order from this deal, but per the representative I spoke with they ended up receiving about 3700 orders!

In today’s ever connected digital world businesses need to be upfront and personal with their customers and what is going on.  Instead of just posting the problem on their website why couldn’t they have at bare minimum sent a simple mass email to their customers?  How many negative reviews would have this saved?

My Tip for Small Business considering partnering with these daily deal services. Make sure to put together a SWOT analysis to see the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats of partnering with these daily deal companies. You can see my very basic SWOT Analysis below.  Overall, these type of partnership can be beneficial for both parties. Just be sure your business is well prepared. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

SWOT – Groupon vs Small Business

  • Strengths – Customer Reach, Purchase Power, Brand Building, Market Penetration
  • Weakness – Costs due to cutting profit margins, Reaching your true customer base
  • Opportunities – Brand Growth, Increase Sales, Build Customer Relationships
  • Threats – Potential for Overwhelming Demand, Third Party using you Brand Image, Customer Reviews