So last Sunday I was at lunch with a few friends and we got to talking about the recent impact coupon websites have had on our lives, the main ones being LivingSocial and Groupon.  Both Groupon and LivingSocial invested in two controversial Superbowl Ads: LivingSocial Ad, Groupons Ad in an effort to revolutionize the coupon world.

groupon-vs-livingsocial couponOne Ad showed how their website enables you to explore your deepest desires because with their company it’s cheep enough – a rough biker becomes a cross dresser, and the other “exploits†the situation in Tibet to grab the viewers attention and then plug their brand.  But despite the negative buzz about their advertisements these companies made a significant impact on the purchasing patterns of millions of Americans.

I went on to relay my experience:

Personally I have purchased 5 different Groupon’s for various things ranging from great food to fun dates (so guys if your wife or girlfriend tells you that you never do anything fun I would suggest going over and giving these websites a try).  I used on of my Groupon’s last week when I took my wife to a 5 star restaurant.  I left paying $30 for a $50 meal!  Full wallet + satisfied stomach + charmed taste-buds + happy wife = priceless.

So the take away for grocers here is: consider using online coupon website to promote your store.  Use a Groupon to get rid of that stock of expensive wine you bought or to give people a taste of how delicious your prepared foods are.  The underlying goal should be to to get your name out there and to develop a loyal customer following.

As we sat that talking about our experiences with these online coupon sites and how they changed our lives the television show “Extreme Couponing†was the next topic of conversation.  I was intrigued immediately as my friend described “a woman who spent 5 hours each day going through coupon books. This woman would then go to the grocery store and would work off her binder of thousands of coupons… the result was $5 for $600 worth of groceries.† She spoke of this breed of people that lived, breathed and shopped coupons.  These people had become experts even to the point that others would come to them to learn how to perfect this art.  Saving money is fun to me, but to this extent it seemed extreme and tedious.  Here is a brief snippet of a coupon saving extravagadist:




The grocer take-away here is: monitor your your marketing efforts carefully – especially your coupons. Know how many coupons you are putting out, and have expiration dates on your coupons.  Even though the majority of these coupons are manufacture coupons it is still extremely healthy to have analytics in place.  With the increasing popularity of this TLC series and the reports on coupon clippers it is clear that this trend is not going away.  In line with monitoring your marketing efforts analyze your ad data using a POS system to track, monitor, and analyze all coupons that are being used.


Author: Luke Henry

Luke Henry has over 10 years of experience in the grocery POS space and is committed to delivering solutions that enable independent grocers across the world to compete against the grocery conglomerates.