A few weeks ago, Groupon launched Deal Builder which is a new self-serve tool that allows business owners to create deals and offers that become a part of Groupon’s daily offering. Groupon is hoping the tool will help broaden the types of businesses using the platform, such as those not located in major urban areas outside of Groupon’s normal sales reach.
Offers that are created through Deal Builder tend to have a lower audience, as they aren’t sent out in one of Groupon’s main e-mail blasts or notifications. While at first blush that might seem like a drawback for Deal Builder, local merchants in the past have been unprepared for the high volume of traffic that Groupon e-mails can create.
Deal Builder may also help SMBs improve their ability to connect with consumers on mobile devices. Mobile Commerce Daily recently highlighted an SMB’s offer on Deal Builder that resulted in half of the redemptions coming from mobile devices.
Despite Social Media Examiner’s study released last year that found 80% of marketers don’t plan on using a daily deal site, Deal Builder opens the door for more SMBs to experiment with daily deals at their own pace. The self-serve model takes away the hand-holding that was needed to create deals, takes away any sales pressure, and offers customized solutions selected by the SMB itself.
For Groupon, the tool improves its ability to house more deals and generate more locally focused content. Similar to all the recent news related to Yahoo’s local search capabilities, Deal Builder further solidifies Groupon’s standing as a legitimate local marketing solution for SMBs.
“With the launch of Deal Builder, we now have a customizable solution for the thousands of merchants that contact us directly every month wanting to run a deal,” said Dan Roarty, vice president of product development at Groupon.
Since SMBs can’t compete with the marketing budgets of national brands, it helps to have solutions like Deal Builder that get them in the mobile ad and search space without devoting a lot of resources. In addition, by having more control over the direction of deals, SMBs can use their local knowledge to develop customized and relevant offers. It will be interesting to see if Deal Builder does help Groupon break into and catch on with businesses in smaller markets.