Skip to main content

Social Shopping = Groupon? Nope, this is only the beginning.

    Some time ago my wife Nicole posted a small series of blogs about the topic of Loyalty on ciber.com. In these readable blogs she identified and summarised three main strategies of acquiring loyal customers, which are
  • Every day low price
  • Classic loyalty programs that base upon cash-back options or that are points based
  • Hybrid models
To gain and retain loyal customers it is necessary for Retailers (or brands, or …) to get into a mutual engagement with the customers. In order to achieve this it needs something like a WOW!-factor. An important way to get this factor for Retailers is the usage of social media (or social CRM when being more advanced).

Every day low price of course means plain ole price competition. No WOW!-factor whatsoever involved here. On top of that there can be only one competitor that actually has the lowest price. All the others go in from second place onwards. Given that, competition only on price is the surefire way to a Retailer’s death if the Retailer is not the one with the lowest price. Price competition kills margin, service levels, shopping experience, ability to gather and analyze more data on customers, as it needs an investment, which needs to be paid out of lowering margins. Every day low price works well for highly commoditized products and services, else it is dangerous. Customers will not see the real price of a good or service anymore but ask/search for a discount. It is extremely difficult to change this behavior once it shows up – and we consumers are already educated about the fact that the same product can come cheaper, so why pay the full price?

How do Groupon or other, less known similar providers (like steals4all.com, an aggregator on Groupon, or 1-day.co.nz, to name but a few) fit into this – at various levels?

Well, Groupon basically adds some WOW!-factor to price competition by adding a community feeling and some lottery atmosphere. But essentially Groupon is about low prices, which widely opens the road towards price competition, with all its risks.

Having said that, Groupon has hit a nerve, as rising user numbers and soaring valuation show. There is a demand. Still it needs to be used wisely and as a part of a wider social strategy, or preferably by Retailers who follow low price strategies – with the caveat that Groupon, being a business, takes an additional part of the remaining margin for itself, of course.

Leading Retailers who want to take real advantage of social environments (not social media, not social CRM) will get further. These Retailers will provide added value to their customers, be it via a consistent user experience in the different channels, ease of use, solutions to challenges that I, as a customer always have, co-creating it with their customers and so on. 

These Retailers will also successfully integrate their social media endeavours with their traditional CRM strategy and implementation, in order to learn and be able to act on the learning, to their customers benefits, which is the ultimate way to the Retailers’ nirvana.

Mark Tamis, I and others have blogged about this before, so there is no real need to repeat possible value adding scenarios, but probably much scope to look into taking more advantage of value adding and possibly co-creation (I need to thank @grahamhill for a good discussion and links to this topic, which I still need to digest). Groupon and its likes are by far not the end of the road – merely only the beginning.

Comments

Last Year's Top 5 Popular Posts

SAP CRM for S/4HANA - News from the Customer Frontier

It has been a little more than half a year now that I didn’t update on what is going on with SAP CRM and S/4HANA (which I will refer to as S/4 from now on; SAP it is time for you to change the unwieldy name to something more manageable). What Happened – So FarAs you are well aware SAP is working on integrating a simplified version of SAP CRM into S4. The original roadmap offered a first customer release of an integrated product in early 2018, based on the September 2017 release of S4. The integration was planned as an add-on to S4. The initial scope of this CRM add on for S/4 was supposed to cover what is referred to as ‘core service’ functionality. This initial release shall be followed by ‘core sales’ functionality later in 2018. 2019 then is supposed to be dedicated to another round-off release covering further sales and service functionality, including loyalty management and migration tools. Roadmap and statements also so far have been fairly fuzzy about the strategic distinction b…

SAP CRM into S/4HANA - Did SAP Hit Bulls Eye?

After having talked with Volker Hildebrand about the future of SAP CRM and whether or not there will be a CRM component in S/4HANA at CRM evolution 2017 I now had the chance to follow up with some folks back at SAP in Walldorf. A little RecapVolker told me that, unsurprisingly, SAP is working actively on adding CRM functionality into S/4HANA. In fact, they are merging SAP CRM into it. This is in my eyes meanwhile also the preferred of the two possible options; the other one would be marrying SAP Hybris C4C into S/4HANA. This is the approach which I originally preferred as it would lead to a cleaner code base. I changed my mind, putting customer friendliness reasons over technological cleanliness. The main advantages of merging SAP CRM into S4/HANA over SAP Hybris C4C are that this approach a)Opens a future roadmap for current SAP CRM customers that stretches beyond 2025. These customers else are at risk of defecting. b)Provides the continued chance for customers to run their SAP instance…

Clari - Nipping at Salesforce's Heels?

Nimble Mobile CRM 3.0 - A Quantum Leap?

CPQ delivered in Customer Experience fashion