The number of coupons redeemed in the UK has reached 365 million redemptions in the first half of 2014, according to Valassis Limited.
Daily deal websites such as Groupon, VoucherCodes.co.uk and Wowcher are known to offer deals using coupons that will usually come across as bargains. There are a range of offers which include getaways, meals, activities, spa breaks, shopping goods and even services such as language courses or flying lessons. The deals show the number of people who have have bought them so far and also how much time is left to purchase them, displaying the offers’ popularity.
Groupon was launched in 2010 and immediately became a sensation, with a huge number of people buying deals from it even until today. It has 53.2 millions users, most of whom are in the UK. The company has recently seen a loss in sales, however, and Groupon faced criticism, leading to the departure of CEO Andrew Mason.
The range of offers is extensive, but there are still a number of issues for these companies. According to Knoji Consumer knowledge, customer feedback and reviews for Groupon are rated 5/5 on Fat Wallet, whereas Wowcher received less favourable feedback.
Another player, VoucherCodes.co.uk, is the UK’s largest voucher website, working with over 3,000 of the UK’s biggest retailers and restaurants. Managing director Claire Davenport said “We strive to secure the best deals by working directly with retailers and leisure providers wherever possible. Our staunch commitment to providing an excellent customer experience while ensuring we work with retailers in a tailored way that supports their business goals has proven to be a recipe for”.
Online analyst Ian Maude at Enders Analysis said “Groupon remains the market leader in the daily deals space, but it has huge challenges… First, too many of the ‘push’ emails it sends out are irrelevant – the brand still has an image problem because of this”. Although the deals look appealing, in 2012 a consumer watchdog cracked down on Groupon after the ASA received complaints over its misleading promotional deals.
UK manager of Trusted Shops, Phillip Smith, said: “24/7 shoppers want to make decisions in their own time. Groupon will have to become more sophisticated in targeting emails and ensuring that customers want to visit the site and browse, rather than simply make a purchase. After all, if it becomes an online marketplace, it’s simply competing against the likes of Amazon and eBay - which is no mean feat”.
It will soon become clear if Groupon’s changes will lead to improvements in the website’s sales.