Coupon Sites Are a Great Deal, But Not Always to Merchants

Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 02/10/2011 22:45

Like businesses across the land, the Madison Avenue spa Wellpath tried to drum up customers by running heavily discounted coupons on deal-of-the-day Web sites. But the Internet coupon fad is shrinking faster than fat from a weight-loss laser.

Coupons for the spa drew women from around the metropolitan area eager to see their bulges melt and their wrinkles removed. Once.

"Then they would get another coupon and go do it with someone else," Wellpath's director, Jennifer Bengel, said. "There was no loyalty."

Just a few months ago, daily deal coupons were the new big thing. The biggest dealmaker, Groupon, was preparing to go public at a valuation as high as $30 billion, which would have been a record amount for a start-up less than three years old. Hundreds of copycat coupon sites sprung up in Groupon's wake, including DoubleTakeDeals, YourBestDeals, DealFind, DoodleDeals, DealOn, DealSwarm and GoDailyDeals. Deal sites were widely praised as a replacement for local advertising.

Now coupon fatigue is setting in.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/business/deal-sites-have-fading-allure-for-merchants.html

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