Groupon's Hidden Influence on Reputation
A Groupon deal might boost sales but, it can also lower a merchant's reputation as measured by Yelp ratings, say computer scientists who have analyzed the link between daily deals and online reviews.
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As my friend Tyler tweets, 'Correlation is not causation, but it sure is a hint.' Some fine men at BU and Harvard studied up on merchants who had offered a Groupon and those merchants' subsequent Yelp ratings. Let's see... a burst of reviews coincident with the offer, much higher mention of Groupon in the reviews and a pretty drastic ratings drop. Again, this doesn't show a causal relationship but it certainly merits consideration.
Certainly not trying to pick on the Groupon crew who have built an amazing machine. But merchants have to think long-term about the best way to generate sustainable demand.