Groupon – A Bargain Hunter’s Dream

Gourmet Sausage

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Groupon is an online coupon service created in 2008 by Andrew Mason. The service was first launched in USA and soon spread like wildfire. It was so hot that by November 2011 it was listed on Nasdaq, valued at a whopping $13 Billion dollars. So how did Groupon take the old school coupon business into the age of Web 2.0 ?

Groupon took the old idea of coupons to the next level by integrating it with social media. They did this by making the coupon deal’s validity tied to the number of people taking up the offer. This made people more likely to share the coupon with their friends, making the whole thing go viral.

To make the deals sweeter to their users, the discounts given were impressively high. With savings of 50% or more, plenty of people were flocking over for the bargains galore.

As one final addition to their already potent mix, the people at Groupon introduced scarcity into the fray. By limiting certain deal’s availability, they forced a greater sense of urgency to their users to buy.

This of course is good news for the merchants that have sign up. While they are doling out a large chunk of their revenue to both the users and management of Groupon, they must be able to leverage on the temporary increase in customers and to convert them to a more permanent clientele.

Sometimes merchants find that the response to their deals far too overwhelming. In one of Kuching’s Groupon deals, there were 4000 people signing up for the deal. In another case, a cupcake company used to making 100 cupcakes a month, found themselves having to churn out 102,000. Cases of swamping like the examples above is not uncommon, so merchants needs to do their maths in advanced and put a cap on the number of subscriptions available to the customers.

One thing is for sure, Groupon is very addictive. Groupon must be every bargain hunters’ wet dream. Of course, this leads to a couple of problems. One, you spend because you see a good deal and not because you need or want it. To me, this is what Groupon wants when they coupled the high savings of their deal with the limited time for you to buy it. Impulse buying. This is every marketers’ wet dream. The second thing of course is for is that merchants will find that they get a lot of people looking for a good deal patronizing their businesses and those people seldom becomes a regular customer.

This is how addictive it can be

Anyway, my first experience with Groupon is actually quite recent, even though I’ve known about it since 2009. The first thing I had was food! Hey, I’m the Tummy. What did you expect? The place, Gourmet Sausage at Jalan Song.

This is not the first time I had Gourmet Sausage. I’ve first had it at the Kuching Fest a couple of years ago but and even talked about and photographed it for last year’s post on Kuching Fest. But now they have graduated from a stall to a nice and comfortable restaurant.

We bought the Groupon for their Gourmet Sausage meal or their Ultimate Burger. Both of us chose the Gourmet Sausage meal since they are known for their sausages. It’s their name after all. Can you say signature dish?

The dish that came out had a few flaws to be honest. First of all, the coleslaw was a tad too sweet. I think they added in some condensed milk which is fine as they are many recipes out there that adds that in but it is just a tad too much for me.

Then there is the meat sauce. Again, the meat sauce was on the sweet side. I know that they wanted to conjure impressions of the Coney Island hot dog but I believe it is suppose to be a bit more savoury than that.

On the plus side, they made a nice mash. It wasn’t the powdery goo that we get from KFC. It was chunky and rustic but still creamy enough. The sauce with it was good too. It made the whole meal more interesting.

Now back to the negatives. Their bacon was a huge disappointment. It is not often that I would criticize a dish with bacon in it. It is bacon after all. But wet and soggy bacon just can’t cut it. Give us some crispy bacon! Maybe they wanted to give the impression of a bigger serving since it was only 1 single piece of bacon. I know bacon isn’t cheap but 2 crispy pieces of bacon would have been awesome in this dish.

The star of the show was of course the sausage. It was good sausage. Definitely better than whatever you can get in the freezer of Choice Daily. But I was hoping to be given choices. I mean I know it isn’t economical to give a large choice but I would have loved to be able to choose between a bratwurst or an American or something a bit spicier.

All in all, even with all the negatives, it was still a decent meal. With Groupon it was an absolute steal, paying 12.80 for both dishes. But even at the normal retail price of RM12.80, they are giving good value for money. I don’t know if I would be a regular customer here but I definitely might go back to try again. Hopefully so does all their other Groupon customers.


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