How to make your daily deals business successful?
Daily deals is a hot buzz in the market and is a new way of selling and advertising. This is not only cost effective, but also a user friendly business. If you are reading this article, you might have already planned to start your own daily deals business or are planning to. If not, this article may not be useful for you.
Now that you have decided to leverage this emerging trend, we welcome you aboard and wish you success in your new business.
Who are you?
As per our understanding and knowledge, there two types of players (we call daily deal businesses, the players in the market) — Small/individuals and Large businesses — who are here either for long term or short term business [see the matrix below to identify yourself]
Type/Duration | Small Business/Individual | Large Business |
Short Term | Opportunist (O) | Tactical (T) |
Long Term | Booster (B) | Strategic (S) |
Why am I here?
We expect that you already know the answer to this question. If not, it is better to understand daily deals before it is too late. You are here to offer deals to the end user (customers of your business partners). If you plan to sell your products without any deals or offers, you must be looking at some shopping cart or CMS system rather than daily deals business. We know that some players in the market use daily deals system to straight sell the products services because they find the design and system very attractive for their customer. Traditional shopping carts may look monotonous to some, and hassle to a few. You all are welcome but there is other side of the coin. When your users visit such daily deals system, they create an expectation by looking at this system, an expectation to get a deal. If they do not get it, they elope away and never return. Thus, it is recommended that you use a correct system for right offering.
Five key components of daily deals business [We will call it DMAPS of a business]:
These all components straight away map to the 4Ps of marketing [Marketing Mix*]:
Deals to Price, Advertisement to Promotion, Partners to Product, and System to Place. Market is your and your business partner’s target customers, can be generic, can be niche. Before you start your daily deals business, you must define and document the DMAPS for your business. Without a business plan or documentation, you may be a wandrer without any direction for your business. Thus, follow the best practice to generate the higher returns.
We will discuss the DMAPS in detail, in reverse chronology.
System is the infrastructure and the software that you need to run this business. The daily deals business will be successful only when you have a robust system in the place. At basic, you need 3 things to setup a system – Domain name, Web hosting (it may be shared or dedicated), and the daily deals software. If you are not good in programming or designing, hire a developer to setup a system for you. The software can be ready to use or a custom built. There are many software out there in the market, some of them over promise and some are good one. Because I consult Gripsell Technologies, my recommendation is that you select Gripsell Adv w/ Secured Architecture or Gradlee’s daily deals software. Need inputs on which of these software, check this article. The understanding says that B and O type players might want to go for Gripsell Adv w/ Secured Architecture, and T and S type players might want to check Gradlee’s daily deals software. Not to forget, Gripsell adv has proven to be successful for many T and S type players while Gradlee’s can be quite comfortably used by B and O type players. It depends on your business needs.
They are a key to your business. If you do not have partners or do not have your own offerings, get one immediately because without them you will have nothing to feature on your system. At some point in time, you might have a million dollar question in the mind “How to get daily deals business partner”. You do not have to learn a rocket science to get business partner. They can be large businesses or a small vendor next to your house. Our recommendation for B, T, and O type players is to start with the small shops, outlets, vendors, and businesses. The prime focus is to get a partner who needs customers at any cost. Think about daily consumable item sellers like eating outlets, spas, health care, etc. rather than cost competitive and lasting products like consumer electronics (though consumer electronic may be attractive for some).
What can you offer to the partners? The customers, thus, the business. It is like a promise to them. You promise that you will get them 100 customer in a week or you will not charge anything to them. Even when you provide them 100 customers, you are asking for a small % of sales not the ownership of their business. Every business has some margin power. When number of customers are high, they are ready to reduce the margin because they know the economy of scale. When the number of customer are low, they tend to keep high margins. Let’s not get into microeconomies. You need to discuss with your partner or prospective partner about the number of customer they need to offer a good discount on MRP [maximum retail price]. Do not discuss the discount on their current price, it might already be discounted and further discount may not be possible, result, you get ‘No’ before you could get a partner.
Take an example, when you dine out with your family of 4 people, 3 dishes for each cost you $144. But when you party, same 3 dishes cost $1800 for 100 people (Not considering the cost of party hall because you do not need it in daily deals business). Thus, when you are 4 people it costs you $12 per dish per person and when you are 100 people, it costs you $6 per dish per person, a discount of 50%. Good, isn’t it. Everyone loves discounts, so does your business partner’s end customer. Eventually, you are offering 50% discount to the end customers and the 100 customers to your business partner.
This mathematics is good, but where am I earning? Another good question. Ofcourse, you are not doing a charity (unless you are really doing it). The mathematics says that you can offer 50% discount to your customers when 100 people agree to dine out at your business partner’s restaurant. Let us assume that you want to earn $3 per dish per person. Thus, cost to the end customer will be $9 instead of $6. Here it goes, feature this deal for 25% discount when 100 people agree to dine out at your business partner’s restaurant. You will earn a total of $900 from this deal. If your business partner is not ready to give you such margin, you can share this profit with them. Say, you agree to share the profit on 70:30 basis. At the end of the deal, you will earn $630. That’s a good amount, recovers almost all your system cost in one shot. That is the beauty of this business. If you feature in a week 5 deals like this, it gives you a good kick-off.
Now the task for you and your business development team is to reach out to prospective partners. Try it out!
Now you have a system in place and partner on your side. How to tell a customer that you have got a wonderful deal for them. First thing first, you need to understand your end customers, their demographics, and their habbits. If you have a good relation with your business partner, ask these as simple questions and try to understand their customer profile. You might not want to advertise an ice-cream parlor deal in a jungle safari bus or a pizza deal outside a gym. The best place could be colleges and outside eating outlets. List important parameters, profile your end customers, and map it before you get into action. We list a few here (not a comprehensive list, factors may be different for your business):
- Age group
- Male or female
- Places they visit most
- Websites they visit most, if possible
- Frequent consumer type
- Reasons why customers turn up
- Their likes and dislikes
For example, if an ice-cream parlor says that kids are the decision maker while purchasing an ice-cream, you might want to advertise near gaming stations, kids malls, etc. The geother best place to start advertising is your partner’s location, put your posters and banners in and out, cut-outs at every place where you think your partner’s customer visits. Try to target the rushy areas and public places. You do not need expensive advertisements to send out the message. Some of the best know advertising methods are camping, handouts, offers like free ipad in lucky dips, social media like Facebook, Twitter, among others, advertisements on the websites that are successful in your local areas. One of the common and most prevelant method is to offer in advertisements some gifts (may be to lucky few) when people from the local area like your business on facebook or follow your business on twitter. We have not done any research on it but expect it to be a very long term solution because for every deal, you just post in on social media and it spreads.
As we discussed in the advertisement section, your target customers are important. They may be general public or a niche. For example, deals on kids products must be largely marketed to the mothers and the kids, and men’s parlour to the men. Every deal is important and requires basic research of the market. We do not say that you hire a marketing agency to conduct a nation wide research for you. But do check the information available on Internet, take a pen and paper, stand outside your partner’s place and observer. Ofcourse, keep your partner informed. If you regularly visit some places and are confident that you know about the business of the location, try to enroll this business as your partner. For example, I like a coffee shop and every day I drive through to get a cup of coffee. I notice that all cars in front of me and some behind my car end up parking in a building at 800 feet from the coffee shop. I think I have located my market place, atleast a few customers. I am not trying to sell this deal only to the existing customers, but I am trying to influence a group of users who can spread a word across because they themself like to avail this discount. If a coffee shop gets 60 drive through cars in the morning slot, let them get 200 cars driving through for a coffee deal on a discount of 20-25%. Not a bad deal. This is just an example to show how a market is identified. Do not expect wonders in your first deal. But at the same time, do not forget to enroll your deal buyers for future marketing. Send them emailers for every deal and you might get a sharp rise in the deal sales, well does not hurt to try. The software does provide this functionality.
Emails and auto-responders, as we see, are still not leveraged to their best extent. Businesses still tend to ignore these systems. If you are starting a daily deals business, do check these service providers. These are highly beneficial in both short and long run.
Now that you are all set to feature a deal, do create an awareness for it. One of the best feature that Gripsell script has is an upcoming deal section, which to the best of our knowledge no other script offers until now (the time when article was written). This helps create an awareness for the forthcoming deals and work as a handy tool for marketing. Now these deals also appear below featured deals of the day, thus, your forthcoming deals do get the exposure before these are featured.
A deal must offer some value to the customer. When a deal offers same discount that are readily offered on the products, the real benefit value of a deal goes down. Remember, your deal is worth when a customer gets something extra over what is already available in the market.
How to make a good deal really good?
i) Technical writing is very important for a deal. The content should be precise and highly informative. The information that you collected during your research (Remember 2 key points of advertisement research — Reasons why customers turn up, and their likes and dislikes) must be leveraged in the textual information of the deal.
ii) Graphics of the deal are key selling tools. A graphic is worth thousands of words in your deal. We suggest that you hire a good graphic deals (may be on adhoc basis) to design the primary images of the deal. If deal images do not speak up, your customers may bounce within first minute of their visit. When designing graphics for the deal, keep in mind how graphics are shown on road side hoardings. If you notice carefully, horading have large images and only a few words. Images are designed beautifully that they catch your attention. Similar approach will help you retain a customer on your website, and then into sales. Do not copy free or copyrighted graphics or icons from the web. Try to get real pictures of your partner’s place and try to mix and match them with the good graphics. You may subscribe to good websites that provide a big tank of graphics and images. For example 123rf.com, istockphoto.com, fotolia.com. Some images are available for as low as $1 (you might want to check their plans for correct and updated information).
iii) Run a deal for meaningful time. Do not rush your customers to purchase a deal, also do not host a deal for ages.
iv) A very simple deal must be presented in a very simple manner. Do not try to make things complex to understand. The deal title must be simple, precise, and exciting. Follow the KISS (Keep it short and simple) fomula while writing title of the deal. Do not copy the way titles are written in the software demo, these are just to show the title capacity of the software. Ideally, a title should not exceed 150 characters but that is not a thumb rule either.
v) Test a deal purchase before customers start purchasing it.
vi) When you review a deal, ask yourself, your partner, and some of your friends to look at it and tell if you would really like to purchase it the way it is offered. Does it make sense or does it require any changes.
Once you and your partner are convinced, you are all set to feature it. Keep your fingers crossed and hit the ‘Approve’ deal.
At the end of the day, you are the one who can make a best judgement. Keep in mind – be true to the customers, do not over promise, and believe in yourself.
We wish you a good luck.
Author is business advisor to Gripsell Technologies/Clone Portal and has a rich experience in marketing and strategy. You can send in your views and feedback to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org/v3bk. Please do not forward any queries to this id.
The views presented in this article are only for information purpose. Any type of business loss, investment failure, or liability arising out of methods listed in this article are solely the responsibility of the reader. Clone portal or Gripsell Technologies will not be held liable for any type of expenses incurred to follow the business or advertising methods listed in this article. Your or your business investment may need a deep research to understand the demographics of the market. Use this article for knowledge purpose only. Clone portal/Gripsell Technologies disclaim any type of legal issue over or due to this article. All figures are indicative and are for illustration purpose only. The real values may vary extremely depending on known or unknown market factors. The views expressed in the article are not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments and are solely the views of the author.
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