To answer the rising popularity and the growing need for a local Cape Cod group deals or social coupon site like Groupon and Living Social, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce launched a group coupon site with Try It Local Cape Cod. Are local group deals a good idea and will it pan out for local Cape Cod businesses? Read on to find out.
With the growing popularity of social coupons or group deal sites like Groupon and Living Social, the Cape Cod chamber is hoping to get on the group coupon train with their Try It Local Cape Cod offering. The chamber chose TryItLocal for their local deals program. Try It Local is a company based out of Louisville, KY that runs group coupon websites for local and regional chambers of commerce.
Try It Local Cape Cod
Below are a few notable comments and some details from the Cape Cod chamber on the announcement:
As group coupon websites like Living Social and Groupon have soared in popularity over the past year, Kristen Mitchell noticed a worrying trend.
“It always bothered me personally to see people going off-Cape to redeem the vouchers,” said Mitchell, the vice president of tourism marketing for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. — Cape Cod Times
I have to agree with the strategy here. While you can get group coupon deals for big brand stuff like Red Box movie rentals or national chain restaurants around here, most of the local deals offered by the large group deal sites like Groupon and Living Social are only redeemable up around the Boston area. So there is a void on the hyperlocal, Cape Cod, MA area level.
“Try It Local is an innovative way to explore new businesses and experiences on Cape Cod, while at the same time supporting the local economy and Cape Cod companies,” said Wendy Northcross, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. “The Try It Local program not only supports local retailers themselves, but the work of the chamber as well.”
The first deal will arrive on Wednesday, March 23, and a new deal will be released every Wednesday thereafter, featuring businesses like 586 Bistro & Bar, emBargo Restaurant and Alberto’s Ristorante, all located in Hyannis; The Riverway Lobster House in South Yarmouth; and Wimpy’s Seafood Café in Osterville. There is no cost to businesses to participate as a featured deal. The company keeps 70 percent of the day’s total sales and is responsible only for determining the deal and meeting the increased demand for its product or service. — Cape & Plymouth Business
The timing of the Try It Local Cape Cod offering by the Cape Cod chamber is spot on since as I noted above there is a group coupon void to fill in our local area.
The key here is going to be marketing. Right now as I search for “Try It Local Cape Cod” I don’t see the tryitlocal.com/CapeCod/ website or the chamber website anywhere, not even in a paid advertisement. Somebody needs to up their seo and online marketing game if this is going to work.
Try it Local
I spent some time clicking around on the tryitlocal.com website and I’m a bit disappointed. Once you get off the tryitlocal.com/CapeCod page it it loses the local chamber branding. The tryitlocal.com website should probably be set up on subdomains like capecod.tryitlocal.com so the local branding could be consistent throughout each local “site”.
The website’s search engine optimization is lacking to say the least, so it’s really going to be up to the chamber to get traffic to the tryitlocal.com/CapeCod site and make sure it gets found in the search engines. I would encourage them to click here for help.
Local Group Coupon and Social Deals Competition
It would be very easy for Groupon or Living Social to ramp up they’re hyperlocal deals game. With the Groupon IPO estimated at over $25 billion, which is more than Google’s IPO, going hyperlocal is very likely to happen for Groupon, and soon.
Facebook just made a move into the group coupon, or in this case the social deals space with Facebook Deals which just launched recently. With over 1.7 million people (age of 30+) in the Cape Cod and Southeastern MA area, Facebook has a big advantage on the hyperlocal social coupon game out of the gate. Facebook also has a huge small business base already, with most local businesses already using Facebook pages to market their offerings on Facebook pages.
Are Group Coupon Deals Good For Local Businesses?
Of course the group coupon sites themselves are full of local business success stories, but are sites like Groupon good for local small businesses? There are mixed signals and not all are good. There are stories of small local businesses getting hammered and studies of local business that used group coupon sites show less than stellar results. In a hyperlocal market such as Cape Cod, group buying deals may work better for local businesses because of the smaller scale. Some of the small business Groupon horror stories I have seen resulted from the small business being overrun with the volume of group coupon customers.
What Kind of Customers Do Group Coupon Deals Bring In?
Another thing for local businesses to be aware of is what kind of customers will you get from social deals? While you might get some new loyal customers out of the deal, the following passage is a sentiment that I have seen in a few different places.
The truth is that people who use Groupon-type deals are the last kind of customer your business wants. They are coupon chasers, running around their respective cities with no loyalties and no long-term business value. They rarely return to YOUR business. They just go after the next best deal. And why shouldn’t they? Groupon offers them a staggering discount on almost anything. — source
With all the different players vying for position and the jury still out on whether group coupons will be good for local small businesses on Cape Cod, it will be interesting to see how the hyperlocal group buying and social couponing space unfolds here locally.
I think the Cape Cod chamber is making a bold move here with Try It Local Cape Cod and by executing the right marketing plan it should work for them and for the local businesses that get on board with local group buying coupon deals.