The #1 Key To A Successful Daily Deal Is Treating Your Merchants Right

With over 300 daily deal programs throughout the US alone, competition is heating up in major markets.  How are you going to differentiate yourself from other daily deal programs in your market. Here’s a few quick tips on ways you can do just that.

It’s commonly said that daily deals provide a win/win/win partnership between customers, merchants, and the daily deal company.  What’s not commonly said is how important small and medium business owners actually are in this equation.  As a daily deal company you should constantly be looking at ways that you can provide more value back to your merchants.   Just like any business you should be aware of what your customers think of your brand and product.  As a daily deal provider, your customers are truly the merchants.

Share the Wealth: As a white label provider of daily deal programs, we’re constantly looking at ways we can improve our technology to help better support our partners and merchants.  After extensive research in the market we identified that the traditional 50/50 pricing model does not work in all instances.  At Deal Current we created the industry’s only tiered revenue structure which benefits the merchants.  The more sales that occur on any given day the more revenue that is distributed back to the merchants.  We encourage daily deal companies to be more flexible on the % commission back to merchants.  Try to develop a commission structure in which the higher percentage a merchant offers up, the higher commission rate you’ll give them.  Mashable recently posted an article that discusses how as Groupon grows, they’re leaving small businesses left behind to fend for themselves – check it out here.  The Mashable article is a great lesson that each daily deal program should take note from.  Groupon reportedly sent a contract to a local business owner who agreed to the terms and sent back the contract.  Shortly before the date of the promotion Groupon reached out to the business owner with disturbing news that they weren’t going to run the deal because it didn’t make sense for them financially.  Try to avoid this situation at all cost because it’ll give you a bad rap.

Preparing Merchants: Preparing businesses for what to expect out of the daily deal promotion will ensure a pleasant experience. If they’re not satisfied with how the deal copy presents their business, then re-write it until they are satisfied.  Does the business know how they should prepare their staff for this promotion?  Upon completion of the deal, ensure that they know how many vouchers were sold and what they can expect over the next few months.  This educational lesson will go a long way in terms of satisfying your merchants.

Converting Customers:  Turning merchants into repeat customers should also be a goal of your program.  Merchants should make several efforts to convert a daily deal customer into a long-term customer.  Employees should ask for the daily deal customers’ email address for future promotions.  Users of daily deal programs are typically very social in nature, so collecting email addresses gives additional ways to generate multiple sales.  Suggest to merchants to also setup a follow-up deal for those specific customers that come into their business.  This gives the customers incentive to come back.

Again, with as many competitors in the marketplace today – it’s crucial that your daily deal program finds ways to treat merchants right.  Share your knowledge with merchants you work with so they can maximize the effectiveness of the daily deal promotion.  And remember, at the end of the day – keeping the merchants happy and excited to work with you again should be a core focus of your program.

Best of luck.

Best rules for running daily deals during December. A How To Guide for creating your holiday daily deal strategy.

In just about two weeks “Black Friday” hits shoppers nationwide with sales, discounts and more teasers that reward people for facing the terror of the busiest day of shopping in the U.S. The day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) marks the ceremonial start of the gift buying season. However, with the shadow of the recession still lurking, merchants are offering block-buster promotions the first week of November to bring the bargain hunters around early.

So what does this mean for you as a Deal Current partner? The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that 40 percent of shoppers will be looking for holiday sales and discounts. Better yet? What’s making merchants giddier than Uncle Frank’s secret eggnog is what consumers say they will be shopping for this year–fun, fabulous and festive. While gift cards and clothing remain holiday stables, splurge-worthy gifts are making a comeback with over 33% of consumers reporting to NRF they would be putting jewelry along with personal care and beauty items on their holiday wish list.

The How to Guide for maximizing Daily Deal sales in over the holidays:

  1. Sit down with your executive team and map out your holiday deal strategy. Can you create a thematic deal calendar around the 12 days of Christmas song for example (my true love gave to me…12 unique local experiences in my favorite city)?
  2. Starting now, satisfy consumer’s holiday cravings for all that glitters–fun, fabulous and festive by offering deals that even Scrooge himself would get giddy over.
  3. Create a holiday icon on your deals that are perfect for Christmas (create a “perfect for Christmas” tree icon to put on relevant/all deals).
  4. Capitalize on the “gift-buying” spirit by reminding consumer’s to buy one for a friends or relatives upcoming birthday (they typically have a year).
  5. Remind customers (on the deal) that the expiration date allows for plenty of time to use the deal well through the New Year.
  6. Remind consumers now is the time to get ready for those early 2011 holidays (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s, Mother/Father’s Day, and Graduation) that sneak up.

For Her – activities where she can invite a friend(s), learn a new hobby, or express her creatively; not to mention those that will come in handy for the impending New Year’s resolutions:

  • Art / Hobby Classes: ceramics, scrapbooking, wood working, mosaics, painting, jewelry making, etc.
  • Fitness / Sports Classes: exotic or performance dance, yoga, tai-chi, pilates, surfing, snowboarding, scuba, trapeze, etc.
  • Psychic Readings: who doesn’t secretly yearn for a forecast for the new year?

For Him – activities to bring out the competitive or nerdy kid lurking underneath

  • Sport: Climbing, Golfing, Deep Sea/Sail Boat Rentals
  • Pure fun: Paint Ball, Go-Karting, Home Brew Making Kits, Frisbee golf, Miniature golf

For Her – all that glitters or glows whether rock, mineral, satin or skin Jewelry (not the DIY kind)

  • Beauty & Pampering (spas, salons, makeup studios)
  • Glamour and Boudoir Portraits Lingerie

For Him – activities to blow his mind or inflate his ego

  • Goods: Cool or Expensive Watches (or gift cards to use for this), upscale men’s boutiques
  • Services and experiences: Auto Detailing, Hang Gliding, Racing, Bungee Jumping, Flying Lessons Sports Car / Speed Boat Rental Sky Diving

For them – activities to indulge or to relish family, friends or themselves for impending holidays (New Years, Valentine’s, Mother’s /Father’s Day) Memberships or One Time Admissions (museums, zoo, amusement and water parks)

Bouquets/Baskets of Flowers, Fruit, Cookies or Cupcakes Champagne or Wine Gift Baskets Concerts, Events, Festivals and Performances (year round) Couple’s Cooking, Wine Tasting or Dance Lessons DIY or Gardening Discounts Gourmet Chocolates/Desserts/Cookies/Pop Corn, Harbor or Sightseeing Cruises, Movie Ticket, Packages, Nonprofit Galas, Romantic Dinner/Brunch Destinations, Personalized Gifts (linens, tshirts, glassware, calendars, etc.) Studio Photography/Custom Matting/Framing Services New Year’s Eve Limo and Tux rentals for a romantic night out.

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