Create Your Own Groupon in No Time at All
Coupon and special deal site are starting to sprout like mushrooms. A number of factors are promoting this kind of web:
- The crisis: if I can save 50% when I go out to a cool restaurant, why shouldn’t I?
- The summer is a good time to launch coupons, as we like going out when the weather’s good, but we need plans, as routine is boring and we need to do new things. If these new things come through our email inbox and we don’t need to look for them, so much the better.
- We feel exclusive when we get one of those wonderful 50 coupons which we are interested in.
- These websites are easy to create and manage.
Heard about Groupon?
Let me give you a few data:
- In June 2009 they had 152,000 subscribes. In March 2011 they had 83.1 million.
- It has presence in 44 countries.
- 7,100 employees as of March 2011
- In the first quarter of 2011, it made a profit of 66.7 million dollars.
- In the same period, it had 56,781 customer activating coupons on its website.
Who wouldn’t want to have a similar page? The chances of competing against Groupon are minuscule, unless we are talking about other markets (China). Even so, the idea of creating more specific coupon/deal websites, or websites which provide a competitive advantage with respect to Groupon, seems good.
With a budget of less than 1,000 euros you can create your own coupon/deal website, so let’s give it a try. You need to follow these steps:
- Visit other similar websites to get an idea of the market and what you are facing. Take a good look at the design and the way in which they are used. E.g. RetailMeNot, DealOfDay, CoolSavings, Groupalia, Atrapalo.com, DealOn.
- Think of a name that includes keywords related to this sector: coupons, offers, deals, discount, sale…
- And now for the technical bit. There are several options to create the website:
- Creation from scratch: You’ll have to have at least a designer and a developer (this option surpasses the initial budget)
- Buy a COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) package including the coupon web application ready to be installed in the server.
- Adapt your CMS: WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc. to integrate the “couponing” functionality.
- Do the same in Facebook.
- Makes deals with companies interested in publication through this medium, design your coupons well, and upload them to your website. Giving out restaurant and wellbeing offers is a good way to start. You won’t find it hard to make deals with local restaurants, as they will gain more visibility and possible regular customers with your help.
- Now comes the hard bit, Visibility. Promote yourself on Twitter and Facebook, create newsletters, use Google Adwords or Yahoo! credits, write a blog about the offers on your website, etc. Make people see you.
In my next posts I will examine these points in more depth.