There is a surge of deal sites on the internet and I donâ€™t think itâ€™s a good thing for businesses. Groupon, LivingSocial, Facebook Deals, Google Offers, Woot, Gilt Group and on and on, all get too much credit for the services they provide: Itâ€™s not that hard to give stuff away for cheap on the internet where spreading information is as simple as a click. Retailers have gotten caught up in all the promotion hype of these businesses and have trained customers to be very price sensitive and to not buy anything until itâ€™s on sale. Iâ€™m very skeptical of whether these flash sales and deal networks really add value to the business: sure they are getting a ton of volume quickly but are they getting more customers? Itâ€™s my opinion that the people who use these deal sites could care less about being return customers and are more interested in jumping to the next business that gives them a deal. Take a look at the growth of the query Coupon Code from Insights for Search:
From a study posted on the Google Retail Blog: 25%, the majority, of people who â€œLikeâ€ brands on Facebook do so for discounts.
The amount of people researching online before they buy is going up: one study shows â€œ58% of Americans now reporting that they perform online research concerning the products and services that they are considering purchasing,â€ and another says, â€œ34% of customers research online and then went to the store to purchase the products.â€ The more prolific these deal sites become the easier people doing their research will find them and the harder it will be for a company to sell something at full price.