Research suggests that many businesses lose money on their Groupon promotions, with 25% of Groupon customers spending money beyond the value of their initial deal and 15% of customers coming back for a repeat visit. That means companies need to treat Groupon promotions as loss leaders and be realistic about the scope for using social commerce to boost their business, experts say. "If things continue the way they are, I would be very surprised if it's sustainable," says social-commerce researcher Utpal Dholakia.

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