Why Groupon Is So Cheap

Avid online shoppers or deal hunters might be wondering: why are Groupon’s deals so affordable?

It boils down to the concept of bulk buying. Groupon negotiates deals with businesses on the pretext that a large number of people will buy in, which tailspins into massive discounts. This is beneficial for the businesses as it draws in potential new consumers, even if at a lower initial profit.

Still curious? Dive deeper with us to unravel the business model of Groupon and how it can afford to provide such eye-catching deals.

Striping Back The Veil: What Is Groupon?

Before we delve into why Groupon is so affordable, it’s essential to understand what Groupon is and how it functions. Stripping back the initial intrigue — how does Groupon manage to provide such amazing offers?

Groupon is essentially a marketplace that connects subscribers with local merchants. This connection is maintained through providing deals on goods, services, and travel in more than 15 countries. Originating in Chicago in 2008, Groupon has rapidly grown to become a global stalwart in local commerce.

Understanding The Concept Of Groupon

The concept of Groupon is fairly simple yet brilliant. The platform operates on the principle of collective buying power and a group purchase model. Which means, the more people who buy a deal, the lower the cost. Essentially, this marketplace promotes customer savings through providing discounts and fantastic deals.

These deals could include everything from restaurants and beauty salons to hotel stays and flights. They are typically in the form of coupons that grant a reduction in the normal price of an item or service. The discount provided through Groupon can range anywhere from 50% to 90% off the regular price.

From the retailer’s perspective, Groupon presents an excellent opportunity to attract new customers. Through providing heavy discounts, they lure in potential buyers who are encouraged to try out their products or services at a lower cost. The ultimate hope is that these buyers will be satisfied and continue their patronage even after the deal is no longer active, thus generating long-term customer relationships.

Here’s a basic table detailing how Groupon works:

1The retailer signs up with Groupon and agrees on the discount deal to be offered and the minimum quantity needed for the deal to be active.
2The deal goes live on Groupon, and interested customers can purchase the deal.
3If the minimum quantity (the “tipping point”) is reached, the deal becomes active and customers can redeem their coupons. If not, the deal is cancelled and the customers are not charged.
4Customers redeem their coupons at the retailer, who gets paid by Groupon minus a commission.

The sheer simplicity and mutual benefit provided through Groupon’s platform are what make it so successful and popular among both customers and retailers. However, it also answers the initial question — it is through this model of collective buying power that Groupon can afford to provide such cheap deals.

The Magic Behind The Low Prices: Groupon’s Business Model

We often marvel at the incredibly low prices offered by Groupon and find ourselves questioning – ‘How do they do it?’ Well, the answer lies largely in their innovative and multifaceted business model.

Partnering With Local Businesses: Everyone’s a Winner

Groupon operates by partnering with local businesses and services that are looking to draw in more customers. This could range from restaurants and cafes to spas, fitness centers, and retail outlets. These businesses offer their products or services at a significant discount, often around 50%, through Groupon.

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This might seem like a big concession at first, but the method brings value to both Groupon and the partner businesses. The businesses get the opportunity to attract a new customer base who may not be aware of their services or may be enticed to try them out because of the discount. This is a great form of advertising that can help them increase their customer reach without investing much in traditional marketing efforts. Moreover, as consumers enjoy their experience, they are likely to become repeat customers, purchasing at regular prices.

Getting A Cut From Each Coupon Sold: The Profit Equation

So, where does Groupon make its money? When customers purchase a discounted voucher via the Groupon platform, a good chunk of that fee, typically between 50% to 60%, goes to Groupon, and the rest is passed on to the business providing the goods or services. While this might seem like a small percentage for the businesses, remember, without Groupon, they might not have reached these customers in the first place.

Let’s take an example. An afternoon tea service normally priced at $30 is offered at $15 on Groupon. When a customer buys this voucher, Groupon receives around $7.50 to $9, and the rest is given to the business.

This works wonders for Groupon’s revenue. Considering the enormous scale at which the company operates – thousands of deals listed every day – even a small percentage from each deal amounts to substantial income. In 2020, the company reported an annual gross profit of over $615 million.

So there you have it! The magic behind Groupon’s surprisingly low prices is a win-win business model where everyone’s a winner – the local businesses, the customers availing great discounts, and of course, Groupon. Plus, these partnerships allow for an array of choices for customers, contributing to the overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Diving Deeper: Why Businesses Agree To Slash Their Prices

If you’ve ever wondered how Groupon manages to offer such steep discounts, you’re not alone. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not Groupon that determines the prices of the deals they offer, but the companies themselves that decide to cut down their price tags. But why would they do such a thing? Let’s dive deeper to understand.

Harnessing The Power Of Bulk Buying: The More The Merrier

One of the biggest reasons that businesses are willing to offer heavily discounted deals on Groupon is the principle of bulk buying. Basically, the more people buy a specific deal, the cheaper it gets. This is advantageous for both businesses and customers.

From a business point of view, offering a deal to an entire group of potential customers at once, as opposed to individual customers, significantly lowers costs associated with selling and advertising. Additionally, businesses hope to convert some of these customers into regulars, thereby increasing their long-term revenue.

From the customer’s perspective, they get to experience a product or service at a fraction of the normal cost, making it a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Gaining New Customers: The Magnet Effect

Another reason that businesses are willing to slash their prices on Groupon is to attract new customers. This effect is often referred to as the ‘magnet effect’. Essentially, the business hopes that a new customer, brought in by a discounted deal, will enjoy their experience so much that they become a regular customer, providing the business with more revenue in the long run.

Research shows, about 22% of Groupon users return to the businesses after using their coupons, guaranteeing businesses additional future sales. Additionally, 56% of customers spend over the deal’s value, contributing to additional immediate revenue for the business.

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Overcoming Initial Resistance: The Loss Leader Strategy

Lastly, businesses on Groupon often use a common strategy known as the ‘loss leader’. This is where a company willingly makes no profit or even a slight loss on the discounted product or service with the expectation that it will lead to future profit in some way.

When a business offers a product or a service at such a discounted price that it barely covers the cost or doesn’t even meet the cost at all, it’s called a loss leader. The idea behind it is that customers will try out other products or services from the business that have better profit margins, leading to an overall net profit for the business.

This strategy is especially effective at overcoming the initial resistance that customers might have to trying a new business. It allows customers to try a new product or service with minimal financial risk, making them more likely to give the business a chance. In the end, this can lead to higher overall sales for the business and is therefore deemed a worthwhile strategy.

Groupon’s Impact On Consumers: Frugality Meets Convenience

Groupon, a popular global eCommerce marketplace, has revolutionized the way consumers shop and businesses attract customers. Known for offering huge discounts on everything from dining experiences and beauty treatments to gadget purchases and staycations, it has made luxury affordable to many. In doing so, Groupon has turned frugality into a lifestyle, enabling consumers to spend less and experience more.

Accessing Luxury At A Discount: Frugality Never Felt So Good

One of the key reasons why Groupon is so cheap is because of its bulk-buying business model. Groupon partners with businesses that are looking to attract more customers and are willing to slash prices to do so. A restaurant, for example, may offer a 50% discount to Groupon customers who are then enticed to try out their services due to the cost savings. Let’s look at some typical Groupon discounts across various categories:

CategoryAverage Discount (%)
Beauty Treatments60
Travel Packages60

These deals offer the thrill of a bargain and the joy of experiencing something new—without breaking the bank. The usual barriers to entry, such as the high cost of fine dining or a luxurious spa treatment, are effectively lowered, meaning luxury is within reach for those who usually couldn’t afford it.

The Convenience Factor: Deals At Your Fingertips

Groupon is not just about the discounts, though. It adds a significant degree of convenience to the shopping process. The website and mobile application offer a streamlined interface that makes it easy to search, browse, and buy deals. Customers can simply type what they’re looking for into the search bar or navigate the organized category sections. This convenience has turned Groupon into a go-to platform for affordable shopping and experiencing new things.

The convenience of shopping on Groupon extends beyond the purchase process. Once purchased, Groupon deals are stored in the user’s account and can typically be redeemed by showing the mobile app at the business. This means no tracking down receipts or printouts, just seamless savings that are convenient to access.

In a nutshell, Groupon has hit the sweet spot in blending frugality and convenience, making it an irresistible platform for deal-seekers everywhere. This undoubtedly elucidates why Groupon deals come at such a cheap price without compromising the quality of offerings.

The Downside of Groupon’s Cheapness

The concept of getting discounts on amenities such as spas, focus groups, and restaurants sounds ideal for customers, but is it always beneficial? Is the quality of what is being delivered in line with the low prices offered by Groupon?

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Quality of Services: Is Cheap Always Cheerful?

While the low prices associated with Groupon deals are certainly appealing, they can often deceive consumers into believing they are receiving a quality service when in fact, they are often getting otherwise. The lower price can indicate a lack of quality which is often hidden behind a seemingly large discount.

To put things into perspective, a spa offering their services for 50% off must make profits, pay its staff, and maintain their establishment. This implies the service offered might be far less valued than what the standard cost would suggest, therefore questioning the quality of service.

The Risks for Businesses: When Discounts Don’t Deliver

Furthermore, from a merchant’s perspective, while partnering with Groupon could portray an initial surge in customers because of the heavy discounts, it may not always ensure returning or loyal customers. For Groupon model to be beneficial for businesses, the users need to convert into repeat customers after availing their Groupon discount, a feat not often accomplished.

The primary reason is that such high discounts often attract deal hunters, who are just looking for a one-time deal and not particularly loyal towards any single brand. A study indicates approximately only 20% customers return to the businesses to be full-paying customers.

User TypeReturn Rate
Deal Hunters (who used groupon)20% return rate
Regular Customers60% return rate

This disparity can result in the business losing more money in the long run, thereby questioning the financial viability of such steep discounts.

Alternatives To Groupon: There’s Plenty More Fish In The Sea

If you’re interested in finding even more discounts and special offers outside of Groupon, there are quite a few alternatives available online. Different digital platforms offer various deals and discounts to their customers. Let’s dive right into it and explore some popular alternatives to Groupon.

LivingSocial, Travelzoo and More: Discount Sites Galore

LivingSocial is one of the Groupon’s direct competitors. It features great deals on the best things to do in your neighbourhood as well as in different cities globally. LivingSocial customers can enjoy discounts and savings on fun activities, events, travel and products, and services. This site is especially great for finding deals on local restaurants and events.

Travelzoo is another fantastic site to consider if you love to travel. It is not just a deal site; it also offers a search engine to find discounted flights and hotels. Though it’s not as diversified as Groupon, for exclusive travel deals, it’s a go-to site.


format can be used for a quick view comparison between Groupon, LivingSocial, and Travelzoo. Here’s how they stack up:

WebsiteKey FeaturesBest For
GrouponOffers a vast range of discounts on products, services, and experiencesGeneral deals on a wide variety of categories
LivingSocialFocuses on deals related to fun activities, events, travel and productsLocal restaurant and event deals
TravelzooSpecializes in travel and flight dealsExclusive travel deals

Other sites that might catch your interest include DealCatcher, Woot, Yipit, SlickDeals and many more. They’re all ripe for the picking.

Remember, these are just a few from a sea full of alternatives. The key is to keep browsing and checking these sites to grab the best deals available at the moment. By doing so, you’ll find that there are plenty of other fishes in the sea, indeed!

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