You can't sell at a loss and make it up in volume. Also as a small business you cannot become a "Walmart-like" everyday deep discounter. Wal-mart and other large retailers can always compete on price and in selected areas discount below cost because they are so large they can manage overall profitability across a massive range of products. Small merchants cannot do that.
What small merchants need is a modern premium customer engagement service that allows businesses to identify and provide premium service and VIP treatment to their loyal customers who pay full price and NEVER discount anything for "strangers" (a.k.a., New customers) I'm not talking about punchcard solutions that are just another form of discounting. I'm talking about a service that engages the 15% of customers of any successful business who are loyal already and are fine paying full price in return for personalized, premium service from favorite businesses.
Think about Apple. They are like this. They NEVER discount to get new customers. The discount only clear previous model inventory when a new model is released. They never discount to acquire new customers. They let their loyal customers bring new customers through word of mouth evangelizing of Apple products.
Imagine a world where a small business can be just like Apple because they have an affordable, easy way to focus exclusively on premium, full-price-paying loyal customers and grow their business with word of mouth dynamics.”
The key thing you are not focusing on in the article that will determine who wins is a focus on the vendor/merchant. Your whole article is about making the "deals" better, more location aware, more aligned with consumer preferences for consumers. And all that is indeed important. But the flaw here is it's still all based in giving consumers deep discounts that the merchant cannot afford.
In the past consumers would take an initial 50% discount and try a merchant they hadn't tried before, and if they liked the service/product & would return, pay full price and often become regular customers.
That consumer behavior is now no longer the norm. With access to always-on broadband an apps telling the consumer constantly where they can go get a "Deep Discount NOW!" no matter where they are, the consumers now are "skipping stones" bouncing across the ocean of discounts and never becoming regulars at any one place.
This makes the discount services like Groupon the worst thing that a merchant can do. Because they simultaneously give discounts to people who won't be back without another discount and they also lower pricing expectations with their current loyal customers who see the discounts happening at favorite restaurants and wonder why they should pay more because they are loyal customers. As a result merchants who discount like this shoot themselves in the foot and damage their financial viability.
What amazes me is how people didn't see this obvious result coming.”
Jan 30, 2011 at 20:37:05
“Male/female relationships require balance and a shared responsibility of recognizing and respecting the differences in your partner that are based in gender characteristics.
This article is unbalanced because it does not address the concept of balanced responsibility. It exclusively focuses on the situations where men fail to be effective in dealing with female gender characteristics.
A more effective article would outline and illustrate a cooperative framework in which the typical male/female relationship could strive to reach balance through shared responsibility and respect.”