One of the biggest stories in the group-buying craze came this past September when Whole Foods offered a $20 voucher for $10 via the daily deal site LivingSocial. The offer made headlines, but it also raised questions from marketers, who wondered if these daily deal offers were actually beneficial for the brands involved. Some wondered if $10 off a $20 purchase was enough to bring new consumers to stores, and if those shoppers would return after they redeemed their voucher.
At ad:tech New York on Thursday, Mitch Spolan, Senior VP of National Sales LivingSocial, put all the doubts to rest by sharing the numbers.
- 1 million vouchers sold out in 14 hours
- “Whole Foods” and “LivingSocial” were both Twitter trending topics throughout the day
- “LivingSocial” was Google’s top search of the day (“Not because of us, but because of Whole Foods,” said Spolan.)
- Nearly every online media outlet covered the story
Users were also turning to Facebook, where the shared the deal with friends and, more importantly, talked about exactly what they’d buy, whether it was guacamole or salad. In doing so, they gave Whole Foods earned product endorsements that the brand simply couldn’t buy.
In the end, Whole Foods revealed that shoppers who used the voucher had larger shopping carts, on average, than those who didn’t. But the big win for While Foods wasn’t just the 1 million shoppers coming through the door. The brand dominated Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the press that day, which meant far more exposure than the sales figures implied. “I don’t know if can think of another way to get that type of coverage, anywhere,” Spolan said.