Is Groupon For You?

Is Groupon For You?

We all know about the rage that is going on with the Groupon-type services, and with many businesses, I see where it can be a really good fit. Examples would be in the fast food industry, and with companies that sell commodities like soap or shoes. Yet when it comes to the auto repair business, with just two exceptions, I feel that this type of marketing is a bad fit. Here's why ...

By Bob Cooper

We all know about the rage that is going on with the Groupon-type services, and with many businesses, I see where it can be a really good fit. Examples would be in the fast food industry, and with companies that sell commodities like soap or shoes. Yet when it comes to the auto repair business, with just two exceptions, I feel that this type of marketing is a bad fit. Here’s why …

The most successful shop owners know that they have to specifically target their customers, because they are aware of the price that’s paid when they have the wrong customers on the other side of their service counters. I’m talking about the customers who don’t take good care of their automobiles, they don’t have the money or creditworthiness to pay for your recommended services, or they are the do-it-yourselfers. This is why the successful operators will identify who their targeted customers are (in both demographics and psychographics), and direct their ad campaigns towards those customers. This allows them to generate higher ARO’s, happier customers, more repeat business and higher profits.

On the other hand, with a service like Groupon, you can bring in a lot of traffic, but odds are that the overwhelming majority of those leads will be the wrong kind of customers. Some shop owners attempt to filter their Groupon customers by setting a higher price on their oil service specials, which is a good move, but with no other filters or qualifiers in place, it’s still likely that the majority of these customers will only have one thing in common: They’re looking for the best price.

With that said, I do see two exceptions. I can see Groupon being effective for the shop owner who just opened up a new shop and is trying to generate traffic and community buzz, or the owner who has taken over a failing shop, and is trying to accomplish the same goals. Lastly, I know that there are exceptions to every rule, and for some of you, programs like Groupon may work. But the kind of customer you are looking for, with rare exception, won’t find their new dentist, family doctor, or lawyer through Groupon-type promotions, because they’re looking for the right people… not the lowest price. I think it’s safe to say that your targeted customers won’t find a customer-centered business like yours through discounts alone either.  It’s time to identify your targeted customers, and then direct all your campaigns towards the right people.

For additional help filling up your service bays with the right kind of customers, learn more about Elite’s auto repair marketing solutions.

You May Also Like

BendPak Founder Don Henthorn Passes Away

Grew company from small machine shop to global leader in car lifts and garage equipment.

Don Henthorn, owner and founder of BendPak Inc., peacefully passed away at home Thursday, March 28, at the age of 85. Under his leadership, BendPak has grown from a small machine shop to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car lifts and automotive service equipment.

Management and operations of the privately owned company are unchanged. 

ASE Practice Tests Available Online

You can get a good idea of what to expect by adding the official ASE practice tests to their study plans.

AACF Celebrates 65 Years Serving the Aftermarket

AACF will be announcing more details about this commemorative fundraiser April 1st.

Auto Care Association Launches REPAIR Act Video

The goal is to emphasize the need for federal REPAIR Act legislation, according to the Auto Care Association.

Valvoline Celebrates Female Service Center Employees

Valvoline is launching a social media campaign led by its female experts who are sharing automotive preventive maintenance tips to promote accessible vehicle care for all.

Other Posts

ASE Education Foundation, Goodguys Continue Partnership

Goodguys is one of many industry relationships the foundation has developed to help solve the technician shortage.

BorgWarner Announces Plan to Reduce Supply Chain Emissions

A partnership with Manufacture 2030 will support BorgWarner in reaching its Scope 3 emissions reduction goal.

Mevotech Releases 237 New Chassis, Control Arm, Wheel End Parts

The release boosts coverage for domestic and import passenger vehicles, pickup trucks, SUVs and EVs up to model year 2023.

MEMA Celebrates 120th Anniversary

MEMA said the milestone “underscores the association’s enduring legacy and its pivotal role in advancing the future of mobility and the interests of vehicle suppliers.”