Groupon allows businesses to submit a coupon deal to their website then, if approved, the coupon goes up on the local branch of Groupon’s website. If the deal is bought by enough people on that day, then the deal becomes available to all; if not, no one gets the deal that day.
The body shop does not pay any upfront costs to have a Groupon, rather the company takes a percentage of each coupon the body shop sells on their website.
“Our services have really expanded because of our popularity and attractiveness,” Chad Nason, Groupon’s Spokesperson told Autobody News.
Body shops have found it profitable to use Groupon to market sort of general maintenance type services to customers. This way they get new customers in the door, show them the value of their services and hopefully create some repeat customers, said Nason.
Some of these body shops are seeing the oil and filter change coupons as a step in the door for new customers and hopefully, their eventual collision business. Getting customers in for general maintenance will help them to remember your name when they do need collision work done, said Nason.
“You’re looking at something (a collision) that people aren’t planning on, so it’s a little tougher [to market],” said Nason, but he maintains that shops have found that using Groupon to advertise general maintenance can leave a lasting impression for future, unplanned work ahead.
Nason also said that Groupon is becoming a popular marketing tool because local businesses can tap into Groupon’s large subscriber base, which is broken down into region-specific websites each with their own deals.
Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop in Flushing Queens, New York, ran a deal with Groupon in December of 2010. Owner Audra Fordin was admittedly skeptical about running the deal; she wanted to run a deal that wouldn’t overwhelm her business and had a higher price point.
“It was awesome. They were awesome; they walked me through it step by step and helped me create a custom deal that would attract customers and be realistic for my business,” Fordin told Autobody News.
The deal was for an oil change, tire rotation and charging systems analysis. Audra said she was extremely happy with the results and is eager to run another deal with Groupon, probably this spring. She said that the customers who have redeemed were all first time customers and she already has their repeat business.
“I will do it again without a doubt, it brought in new customers and they weren’t your typical coupon-cutters just trying to get a deal, they were people truly interested in taking care of their cars,” said Fordin.
Glenville Terrace Auto Body in Allston, Massachussetts, ran a deal with Groupon in June of 2010. Owner Barry Hynes was also extremely pleased with the results of his Groupon deal.
“It went really well, we were told it was going to be busy and we didn’t really take it that seriously and boy were we sorry,” said Hynes, “We definitely should have prepared for the rush more.”
Hynes said that not only did it bring in new customers, but they became repeat customers and were exactly the clientele Hynes was looking for.
“The idea was to get new customers in, and it did just that. These were the kind of customers we were looking for ... ones that really take care of their vehicles.”
Hynes said he would do another Groupon again in the future if he was not so busy already. He did have one word of caution for shops considering using Groupon in the future.
“I would advise any shop that’s going to do it to really prepare for it. On the day the actual Groupon goes live online have people ready to answer calls because people call in to ask questions about the deal. Also be prepared for the rush the next day when people come in to use the coupon—definitely schedule appointments if you can.”
To learn more about running a Groupon for your business visit: www.GrouponWorks.com
Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop
164-16 Sanford Avenue
Flushing, NY 11358
Glenville Terrace Auto Body
10 Glenville Terrace
Allston, MA 02134