Groupon is an internet phenom that’s been loads of fun to watch lately.

For those who have not checked out Groupon yet, take a moment and head over to Groupon’s rapidly expanding deal website to see how it facilitates flash mobs for local businesses by offering daily deals to swarms of consumers in its database (6 million strong in the US apparently).

Awareness and trial, but loyalty?

Via Groupon, local businesses are able to leverage Groupon database to drive massive, 1 off deals on products/services.  Just getting onto Groupon can lead to a huge leap in awareness & trial for a local business.  Then, it is up to the business to deliver an experience that keeps people coming back for more.  If a business messes up, or can’t handle the explosion in traffic well, then, sadly the opportunity is probably somewhat lost.

Another reason to like Groupon

Groupon started in November 2008 as part of The Point, a platform for collective “good”.  The Point is still around and as far as I can see, Groupon is sort of trying to work hand & hand with The Point to take collective consumer power beyond the daily deal to achieve something either good or crazy or fun. One example of how these two sites could work together is below (from The Point website)

f we raise $2,000, today’s featured Groupon restaurant will offer free cooking classes focusing on nutrition to underprivileged young adults in the neighborhood

What Groupon has tapped into…the social need to be a part of something

People want to belong to groups as they seek to satisfy social needs.  With participation in classic institutions & local community engagement on the decline (see Bowling alone) sites like Groupon can help  fill some of the “belonging” void.  Even though Groupon is just offering “deals” I think some of the allure of Groupon is that it helps people feel as if they are a part of something bigger & more connected to the local community.

If you are interested in the group coupon trend, you might also want to check out Living Social, YouSwoop, Scoop St., and BuyWithMe.

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