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The Groupon Effect

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With this post I’m trying to shed some light on the question “How does a Groupon deal influence visits to my eCommerce website?”.
Please note that below graphs are not representing orders and the short and long-term brand awareness effect. It really is just a representation of visits on the page.

We had on two of our eCommerce properties Groupon deals – even though the deals were different in terms of length and the actual value were the effects on increased traffic pretty much the same.
One of the pages had the deal very close after launch and traffic increased therefore significantly – we’ve measured a increase of more than 800%. The other project was live for a couple of weeks and overall traffic on the page therefore higher but uniques still increased of more than 250%. The effect is still measurable for 2 or even 3 days after the deal – both properties had more than double as much traffic on day 2 compared to a normal day.

Let’s look at the hourly chart – the Groupon email goes out early (around 6AM) and the highest traffic spike is therefore at 8AM when most people arrive at the office and open their mails. We’ve recorded at one project more traffic in the three hours between 6AM and 9AM than during a whole normal week. Again – this project only just launched so this is not representative for longer established eCommerce projects with higher traffic but still impressive data. We even had to do some on the fly server tweaking as the load became too high for our 4 servers.
On deal day users spent average more than 7 minutes on the page and visited almost 10 pages. More than 80% were new visits, bounce rate was comparable low and basket size increased as well.

A Groupon deal is something that can and should be considered by eCommerce business – most business take a loss with their deals but especially for young projects is Groupon a good way to build brand-awareness for a comparable cheap price. Especially if eCommerce marketing tools like roadblocks for email signups and abandoned cart follow ups are in place such deal can actually become a powerful marketing campaign.
What is your experience with Groupon deals?

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