This morning I got my usual Groupon email and unlike the other 6 days of the week today was one that I actually cared about so I clicked through.* It was the usual 50% off, $25 for $50 worth of merchandise, at the new Lowe’s that opened up last month. I had my cup of coffee and breakfast and then clicked through and was shocked to see that the deal had sold out.
I had heard of Groupon having limits from newspaper articles but never actually seen one that I cared about run out. I then looked at the totals and the time and realized that my home brew coffee suddenly looked expensive since this deal sold out at 8:12am. When did my SF Groupon turn into the Gilt Group mall rush where I have to log on immediately?
Credit to them that they have a back-up offer ready and are showing that on the SF home page for people who go to Groupon.com. The missed opportunity is that the secondary offer is for a massage which is not the best cross sell for somebody who was thinking about home improvement. Better cross sales targeting would have given me something more compelling.
If I was the Lowe’s manager I would have wanted to offer a digital 10% off coupon to people who missed the deal. I know that they sent out an expensive print mailing to the neighborhood so this system exists. This kind of customer curation is a further service that Groupon could offer their merchants where there was a sellout. Right now when I click through I see a bunch of links onto Lowe’s website site in case I wanted to browse but there is no call to action to the local physical store if the Groupon is gone. How many impressions did they “waste” on this email?
As a side note I am curious if Groupon is getting affiliate revenue from these links or if this has any SEO benefit for Lowe’s. My guess is that the click through and conversion is actually pretty low because users are conditioned to buy online and use offline printouts and that the SEO is also negligible.
I certainly would have bought the $25 deal this morning and then gone in and I almost certainly would have been interested in a secondary offer that I could take into the store but now I am just a little annoyed and probably going to go to Home Depot where I usually shop. As I said this was a missed opportunity for Lowe’s because of my cup of coffee.
*For those of you keeping track that is a 14% click through rate on my Groupon emails.