Groupon introduces loyalty program for repeat buyers
A new rewards program from Groupon aims to increase the likelihood that one-time only ‘daily deal’ customers finally become long-term customers.
Groupon and other deals programs have been criticized by many merchants who felt one-off deals weren't necessarily a good strategy because buyers didn't necessarily become regular customers. And there have been problems with vendors who fail to make good on their coupons.
But, for those that do come back, the new service is basically an online version of traditional punch cards that give you a free sandwich after 10 visits.
According to Fast Company, Groupon Rewards doesn’t involve the swiping of a special card like loyalty programs at supermarkets and drugstores. Instead, customers sign up for the new program simply by paying with the same credit or debit card they have on file with Groupon.
Participating merchants set a specific spending goal that must be met, and once the threshold is reached, the customer is rewarded with a Groupon voucher valid for individual items, like giving a spa treatment after buyers spend a certain amount of money.
In that way, it's similar to the rewards propgrams offered by theatres like AMC and Cineplex.
The program is free for merchants and consumers, although Groupon still takes a commission from the reward vouchers.
Would a rewards program send you back for more after cashing in a Groupon certificate? Or are you only interested in the initial discount?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money