How a Group buy Website filled 500 Tables at a Manly Restaurant
Posted on January 01, 2014
We've all been tempted by those those "Group Buy" websites which are everywhere at the moment. A trend brought to prominence in the US with the explosion of Groupon, which was most recently valued at over $7 billion according to latest reports. Consumers flock to these sites on a daily basis for amazing deals and unheard of discounts, but how do the retailers fare in all this? Surely with such big discounts the business offering the "deal" would be getting the sharp end of stick? Not so, according to Sam Shilton of Miss Marley's on Manly Beach, "the Results have been fantastic, we sold in excess of 500 vouchers and have had to introduce sittings for these days in order to ensure everyone can get in!" Opening in April 2010, Miss Marley's is a boutique tequila bar & South American restaurant situated in Manly, and somewhat hidden a few streets back from the beach.
They have tried successful, and some not so successful, marketing techniques including advertising in Time Out (Sydney's Annual Bar Guide), having profiles on every major hospitality site including bestrestaurants.com.au, foodwinesleep.com.au, yourrestaurants.com.au, my247.com.au, as well as publicity and reviews in Gourmet Traveller & Venue Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald and local rag Manly Daily; as well as some audio reviews through V Australia. What brought them to trial a "group buy" promotion, Spreets in this case, was the fact they were in control of the deal. "It has given our mid-week trade a terrific boost without harming the weekend trade and the positive word-of-mouth marketing generated from this promotion is unquantifiable" But is it all win for the business AND consumer? According to Shilton, it's all about planning and thinking ahead. "Ensure that you are happy with the deal and it is deliverable, perhaps outlining a maximum number of vouchers you would want to sell. Think ahead to any special events such as Valentine's Day etc when you might not want the vouchers to be redeemable." Group buy websites can be a win-win scenario for business and consumer, as long as they are carefully planned and executed. They present a great opportunity for business to get some fantastic exposure, and some significant revenue in an otherwise quiet period.
Have you used a group buying website? What were your results? It it just a win-win for everyone?