On June 1, 2011, both Floyd’s Coffee Shops in Portland, Oregon were busier than usual. The regulars were elbowed out of the way by new customers visiting the store for the first time to redeem their coupon and get $10 worth of coffee for $3.
This tempting offer was made because Floyd’s had been picked as the first-ever Google Offers “deal.” Google Offers is the company’s first baby step into the world of “social buying” style promotions where a special, limited time offer is made by a business hoping that the deal will spread virally and thereby introduce a new legion of customers to their business.
Google, of course, did not invent the deal-of-the-day category; they were goaded into it after their generous $6 billion dollar offer to buy Groupon was turned down.
Now Groupon is starting to feel the pinch after thumbing their nose at one of the world’s most valuable companies. According to compete.com, Groupon’s traffic went from 33.7 million unique visitors in June 2011 to just 18.3 million unique visitors in January 2012. That’s a drop of almost half inside less than a year. Not surprisingly, Groupon’s stock is also down around 25% since its IPO last year.
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