The social coupon craze (think Groupon) has become a big thing. For small businesses, the question is whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Social coupons can send an awful lot of customers your way, but not every business is prepared for the onslaught. And there’s another issue: daily-deal sites are training consumers to expect that they can get a coupon for almost anything.
Groupon didn’t invent this problem. There have been coupons all over the Internet for years, but it’s getting worse as hundreds of companies chase Groupon, many hoping to create a regional niche or a product niche. Most small businesses that sell a product or service are being swamped with offers to partner with one or more of these coupon sites. Those offers are producing a lot of confusion and anxiety for businesses. (The New York Times)