Featured Merchant: The Cellar Door

Suburban Chicago Business Owner Finds Audience with Groupon

As a small business owner in a metropolitan area of almost 9.5 million people, Sean Chaudhry had to find a cost-effective, creative, effective, and efficient way to market his two suburban Chicago businesses to his potential customer bases. He found it through Groupon.

Both of Chaudhry’s businesses, The Cellar Door located in Downer’s Grove, Ill. and Hinsdale Wine Shop located in Hinsdale, Ill., experienced great successes with reaching new customers and growing sales through the running of Groupon deals.

The Cellar Door, a by-the-glass wine bar with a limited food menu, recently saw a considerable uptick in sales and new customers after running a $15 for $30 worth of food and drinks Groupon deal. “I would estimate that about 85 percent of Groupon customers spent more than the face value of the offer,” Chaudhry said. “In fact, one table using the deal spent $270.”

Hinsdale Wine Shop experienced the same Groupon successes as The Cellar Door. More of a traditional wine shop, Hinsdale twice ran a deal for $49 for six bottles of assorted wines ($100 value) – selling more than a combined 800 Groupons during the back-to-back stints.

Chaudhry also said that a number of customers brought their friends into the establishment when they redeemed their Groupons—adding even more revenue to his bottom line.

In addition to all of the positive financial benefits from running Groupon deals, Chaudhry likes how simple it is for him to manage the process of redeeming and tracking the vouchers through the company’s Merchant Center as well as the option of allowing customers to electronically claim their deal through a smartphone. Electronic redemption saves him time and money and makes for a better customer experience.

While Groupon has been and will remain a valuable component to the comprehensive marketing plans of his businesses, Chaudhry cautions that it’s up to business owners and their employees to convert these customers into regulars by offering great service and capturing their information. He has a system in place to allow customers to voluntarily provide their email addresses, so he can engage them in future marketing outreach.

Thanks for sharing your story, Sean!