Walmart Takes Page from Groupon
By Tom Ryan
Mimicking the popular daily deal services such as Groupon, Walmart’s
CrowdSaver unlocks a discount once enough consumers opt in. The differences:
CrowdSaver is accessible through its Facebook page, is based more around weekly
deals than daily deals, and does not require purchase after opt-in.
deal, reportedly launched on Oct. 25 on Walmart’s Facebook page, offered 18
percent off a nearly $500 Element 42″ plasma TV with wall mount. According
to Advertising Age, in less than 24 hours, Walmart reached the deal threshold
of 5,000 “likes,” which triggered the discount for all consumers —
even those not opting in with “likes.” Consumers were then advised
to come back later in the week to make the purchase. The offering was available
only online and only while online supplies lasted.
The deal also includes a “Share
this with your friends” option to encourage
others to learn about the deal and CrowdSaver as well as links to other sales
on the website.
CrowdSaver then ran a deal over the weekend — a $6.00 personalized
Halloween photo mug representing a 40 percent discount — that likewise quickly
reached its threshold of 1,500 likes. A deal for the current week — a $69.99
Sony Portable DVD player with headphones at a 36 percent discount — by Tuesday
night had nearly reached its threshold of 5,000.
By comparison, Groupon is not
Facebook-based. Groupon e-mails its deals — typically 50 percent off local
restaurants, retailers, spas, etc. — to its members every day. Consumers get
a short time to agree to purchase the coupon online. If enough members sign
up for the deal, the consumer is charged and receives an email with a link
to view and print a coupon, called a ‘groupon.’ Groupon keeps half the revenue
that consumers pay online, leaving the business establishment with about 25
percent of the value of the Groupon.
“We have high regard for what Groupon’s doing,” Wanda Young, Walmart’s
senior director of digital strategy, told the Chicago Tribune. “Our
idea is to bring savings to everyone. Once it goes live, it will be there and
at that price. It’s not any kind of promotional gimmick; it’s there for anyone
to take advantage.”
She said the idea for CrowdSaver, still in pilot mode,
came from feedback on Walmart’s Facebook page, which celebrates its one-year
anniversary at the end of the month.
“We’ve been hyper-listening to this page, and doing surveys, as well,” Ms.
Young said. “It’s kind of core to Walmart. It goes back to the days when
Sam Walton was going up to customers in the stores saying, ‘What do you like?'”
Discussion Questions: What do you think of Walmart’s CrowdSaver service? How
do you think it compares to Groupon and other similar deal services?
- CrowdSaver Facebook Page – Facebook
- Walmart Takes a Page From Groupon in Facebook Promotion – Advertising
- Walmart’s CrowdSaver utilizes Facebook – Chicago Tribune