A new survey released by iContact says that almost 70 percent of small businesses hate Groupon. The iContact survey asked businesses – both small and those with more than 250 employees to rate social media sites such as Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. The sites were ranked on a 12 point scale from love to hate. While hate cannot be equated with loathe or detest, the rankings are not good news for Groupon.
When businesses say they hate Groupon, they are essentially saying that conversations with it are a chore, not a pleasure.
Additionally, financial services and investors were the group most likely to hate it, with almost 80 percent claiming to hate Groupon. Merchants too hate Groupon because it retains 50 percent of the revenues. This revenue sharing agreement has made Groupon unpopular with merchants.
Groupon faced negative press on its way to its IPO, with its S-1 filing misadventures making it a target for critics. Though Groupon executives claim it is similar to Amazon, many investors are unconvinced.
“In terms of its progress toward a profitable enterprise, I think that’s a huge stretch,’’ said Peter Sorrentino, of Huntington Asset Advisors, Cincinnati, when speaking to Bloomberg about Amazon and Groupon.
Among companies with over 250 employees, Groupon fared a lot better. Almost 36 percent of such companies love Groupon. Only 33 percent of small restaurants love Groupon, while among small retailers the figure is 34 percent. Groupon’s greatest success appears to be among e-commerce sites with 50 percent of them loving it, while it found favor with only 14 percent of those businesses providing events.
The iContact survey revealed that Facebook was the most popular social media site for businesses that employed less than 50 people. A high 74 percent of such businesses loved Facebook compared to Groupon’s score of 30 percent. Among this category of businesses LinkedIn stood at second place with a 64 percent love score, Twitter is loved by 54 percent, and Google + by 49 percent.
iContact has decided to delve further into the issue by asking small business owners in the United States to send in a video explaining why they love or hate these social media sites. The best video will win the owner a prize of $25,000.