Is Groupon a threat to Amazon

Risk to the image

But the calculation does not always work out. The mere hope of companies to gain a good reputation with the help of the voucher campaign is deceptive. This is because customers who buy goods or services with a voucher apparently give lower grades than other customers. Researchers from the US universities of Boston and Harvard evaluated 16,000 voucher campaigns and at the same time the 56,000 reviews of a consumer portal. It turned out that after a voucher campaign, the number of reviews for a company increases dramatically, but they are 10 to 20 percent more negative than before. Equally deceptive is the belief that voucher customers will come back later and then pay in full. If pure bargain hunters overrun a company, the company is left with the costs of the discount campaign.

Finger pointing

  1. DUAL Germany GmbH, Cologne
  2. PROJECT Immobilien, Nuremberg, Germany-wide (home office)

Those affected accuse each other of having such dramas. The entrepreneurs mainly complain about Groupon. Coupons portal salespeople would not alert small businesses to the fact that they could limit the number of coupons offered. They would push small business owners into horrific discounts to attract customers. Many retailers say that if there are problems, Groupon would not react.

At the request of Wirtschaftswoche, Groupon countered that the sales force would receive a one-week training course before the first customer contact. They are told how important it is to inform the partners that they can limit the number of vouchers that can be sold. Groupon denies that employees are pushing companies to discounts of 70 percent. Rather, the discount advantage can be chosen arbitrarily and is usually around 50 percent.

Groupon experts see the sales structure of the voucher portal and the internal guidelines for employees as the reason for the dispute with the companies. "Groupon employees used to make sure that companies could cope with the onslaught of customers and recommended that they limit the number of vouchers offered"says a former employee. "When the company went public, it was only about sales. The main thing was that the sales staff picked up a lot of deals. Every contractual partner was taken away, all quality standards were thrown overboard."

Uncompromising company policy

Groupon denies that anything has changed in the sales culture since going public. But what comes out of the company sounds different. "If you haven't closed a deal after three weeks, you're actually gone."says another ex-employee. Other colleagues who have also left report that their superiors at Groupon would have liked to give them a resignation on Friday and promised: "If you bring in five deals in the coming week, we will take them back." Groupon Managing Director Jens Hutzschenreuter explained to the Wirtschaftswoche: Only when an employee has met his targets over several months "not achieved and further training does nothing, the paths separate in the interests of both sides".

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