Last week I got an email from Groupon, that they would be conducting a discussion group in Chicago to better understand what I think about them. Well, ok. I’d like to think I’m one of their biggest fans – apart from the VIP party invites and comped weekend @ Camp Groupon, I buy a bunch of vouchers to boot . So, I filled out the survey and waited to hear back. And waited. Nothing. But I realized that their non-response shouldn’t surprise me. The Groupon of today isn’t the company I adored 5yrs ago. And so I thought I’d share what I would have shared at this little meetup, in the hopes that someone there will happen to read this (hint: I know they will).
More social engagement
What I enjoyed most about Groupon was the community it built, highlighted by the phenom experience had by all at Camp Groupon this past summer. The conversation wasn’t just about the savings scored on the deals we bought. No siree, it was about the experiences we had. That’s what Groupons are really about: the chance to experience goods, places, activities that perhaps you wouldn’t have otherwise. Ia used to look forward to that daily email because it did 3 things: raise awareness of goods/services/experiences I may not have known of, pique my interest with witty descriptions (love them!), and then push me off the fence with a decent discount. Without those 3 elements, well, Groupon becomes just a daily deal site. Which, sadly, it kinda is now.
So what happened? Groupon went Corporate, that’s what. Arguably, there’s more negative content traversing the net about Groupon than positive, viral buzz. And that’s a problem. As I mentioned above, Camp Groupon was a fantastic experience, and I would love to see more opportunities to meet folks online and in the real world that share common interests & experiences as identified through the Groupons we use. Discussion Groups, for example. Maybe even integration with OpenTable. Something, anything to differentiate the experience and give me a reason to talk about it.
One of the things I like hearing about is when people share that they were able to use 3+ Groupons in a single day: transportation, meal, concert. Maybe a hotel (I guess a hotel stay could be an event, right?)
Remember the contest years ago, with some guy living 30 days on just Groupons? I want to see more of that. Maybe a couple taking a weekend vacation w/ nothing but Groupons. Or a family. I miss the creativity.
Btw, who exactly is the intended reader of your blog? Just wondering. I want to know more about how you engage with the businesses represented. Maybe even chat up some of the folks that make Groupon the place we love. Just something more….interesting to read?
By better I don’t necessarily mean the quality of the businesses (though there have been some bottom-of-the-barrel choices IMO. I’m just tired of seeing the same deals over and over. Seriously, I don’t buy near as many vouchers as I used to. Why? Because I keep seeing the same deals week after week. Same restaurants: how many 50% off meals can I enjoy at Domo 77? Four. That’s how many. Now I need a break. Same goes for 7-Eleven (?!), Subway, and about 5 or 6 other restaurants, sport events, *stuff*, etc. It makes me think one of 3 things have occurred (1) the daily deal market has reached saturation, (2) businesses are shying away from daily deals, or (3) Groupon sales people are getting lazy. Honestly, I don’t know. But they need to figure this problem out quickly because I’m bored.
I don’t know how much money Camp Groupon Chicago cost, but thank you! Many of us were hoping this would become a more frequent event, maybe a few Day Camps for people who couldn’t commit an entire weekend, for example. I’ve heard nothing. Shame. I smile every time I think about how cool the experiences were and the interesting people I got to share it with.
So that’s it Groupon. I would have loved the chance to visit your offices and share this feedback directly. But I’m confident you got an earful from the folks that did get invited, so that’s cool. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the Groupon I know and love will be back. Soon.