Featured Merchant: Brickell Cosmetic Center

Today’s post is guest authored by Stacey Caplan, Public Relations Intern:

When husband and wife team Ernesto Cowley and Julie Pernas decided to open their own business in Miami a year and a half ago, they were looking for a way to get their name out and attract new customers. They decided to partner with Groupon to accomplish this, and now, according to Julie, they don’t want to use anything else besides Groupon to generate more business. “I can’t even compare the scale of Groupon’s reach to other marketing tools,” she said. Brickell Cosmetic Center and Spa now considers Groupon their primary marketing outlet.

Since their first deal ran in June of 2011, the Miami business has run 7 deals and has sold over 2000 Groupons. “Our business has increased across the board since we started working with Groupon. The customers that buy our deals typically spend more than what the deal requires, “ Julie said.

Brickell also offers deals on Groupon Now, which attracts customers that want to use their services at slow periods during the day. They are even in the process of setting up Groupon Rewards to encourage their customers to continue using their services after they have a positive Groupon experience.

Julie believes that Groupon has helped her business generate many quality new customers, and that is why they continue to run more deals. “I have no complaints, Groupon is great!” she says.

Featured Merchant: Miami Salsa Driven

Today’s featured merchant post was guest authored by Stacey Caplan, Public Relations Intern:

Salsa dancing is a fun way to exercise and have fun with friends, which is why Oscar Ochoa, owner of Miami Salsa Driven, thought Groupon would be a great way to introduce his favorite cultural pastime to new customers and help grow his business. “Summer is our slow season, so we wanted to do something to spice things up and keep our studio full with customers,” Ochoa said. “Salsa classes are more fun when more people join us.”

When Groupon reached out to Miami Salsa Driven in the summer of 2011 to run, Oscar couldn’t have been more excited about running their first deal. “We were actually thinking about calling Groupon anyways, so we were happy that Groupon wanted to work with us,” he said. Their first deal ran in September 2011 and was a major success. In fact, Miami Salsa Driven has already run two more Groupon deals since.

According to Oscar, Groupon deals bring new faces to his salsa classes and new customer memberships. He estimates that 10-15 percent of customers that redeemed his second deal converted into full-time members. He also used Groupon Scheduler, which helps his employees forecast the number of customers attending classes, allowing them to plan and staff more efficiently.

Oscar is happy to use Groupon regularly as one of his primary marketing tools because he’s seen the great results it has helped to deliver for his business. His customers love his classes, and he enjoys sharing his passion with others. “If the customers are happy, then we are happy,” he said.

Featured Merchant: Miami Auto Spa

Today’s featured merchant post is guest-authored by Merchant PR Coordinator, Tom M.:

An ambitious entrepreneur, Chris Peterson opened Miami Auto Spa in the heart of the recession.

“In Miami, people built restaurants and bars with their own money, the downtown economy collapsed, and they lost everything,” Peterson said. “I was determined to succeed.”

Chris decided to take advantage of a new advertising and marketing platform to help see his downtown Miami car wash through the turmoil of the recession.

“Once Groupon Miami launched in September 2009 I made the call to give it a try,” Peterson said. Chris ran Miami Auto Spa’s first deal in December of that year, selling more than 300 luxury hand washes.

Chris estimates that 90 percent of his Groupon customers upgrade to additional services, with his detailing customer base increasing at a rate of approximately 15-20 percent each year since partnering with Groupon.

Since 2009 Miami Auto Spa has run six Groupon deals, saving local consumers nearly $57,000 combined. Chris currently uses Groupon with the other businesses he owns and feels the platform is a beneficial relationship for small businesses.

Featured Merchant: Maid to Please

Check out this awesome Groupon merchant success story from Sean Rashid, owner of Maid to Please cleaning (D.C., Northern Va., Montgomery County, Md., Baltimore and New York)

“As the owner of a full-service cleaning company, I made the decision to run our first daily deal back in 2010. Initially, we saw underwhelming results with this relatively newer advertising medium, but all of that changed when we started working with Groupon in Sept. 2011.

Working with Groupon has helped us grow revenue, exposed us to new customers, generated repeat business and even allowed us to open new offices with more on the way. In fact, we’ve hired more than a dozen extra staff members as a result of the business we’ve gained through Groupon.

Our initial Groupon deal was a $49 for one hour of housecleaning with a two-person crew (a $100 value). In addition, we offered higher packages of $79 for two hours of housecleaning (a $200 value) and $109 for three hours (a $300 value). While we were expecting to sell a few hundred, we ended up selling 1700!

I’ve found that I get a far greater return on my advertising investments by running deals through Groupon than I would say running a $150,000 30-second television spot during the local news or paying $10-$12 per click on Google search. At least with Groupon I’m only paying for those customers that actually redeem the deal, offering a far greater return on my investment.

I’ve wholeheartedly embraced Groupon as a way to continue to grow my business and keep customers coming back for more.”

– Sean Rashid, Maid to Please

Questions or comments for Sean?  Leave them below and we’ll be sure to send them his way.

Featured Merchant: Meathead Movers

Today’s featured merchant post is guest-authored by Merchant PR Coordinator, Tom M.:

For ‘Families in Business Week’ (June 11-15), Groupon would like to highlight a duo of athletic brothers that have turned their high school part-time jobs into a nationally-recognized furniture moving champion (with the trophy room to prove it).

As high school athletes in Los Angeles, brothers Aaron and Evan Steed found work as independent furniture movers for $20 a day. Fifteen years later, the brothers turned their trade into California’s largest moving company, Meathead Movers.

While the Steeds had developed a number of referrals and positive customer reviews from existing clients, they decided to use Groupon to help expand their business and reach new customers. “As a marketing entrance strategy, Groupon is really a dream come true,” said Aaron, CEO of Meathead Movers. “Our expansion would not have been nearly the success it has without the market penetration Groupon provided.”

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Featured Merchant of the Week: The Massage & Day Spa

The only thing better than receiving a relaxing massage may be getting it at half price. Today’s Featured Merchant is Neil Barakat owner of The Massage & Day Spa in Chicago.

As a massage therapist himself, Neil was excited to open his own business and get to work. What he didn’t expect was not bringing in enough customers to keep himself and his four massage therapists busy. Click through to learn how Groupon Now! helped Neil spend less time worrying about marketing and more time focusing on his customers.

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Featured Merchant: Cranberry Cafe

Today’s Featured Merchant is owner Susan Han of Cranberry Café in Blue Bell, PA, just outside of Philadelphia.

Since opening Cranberry Café in 2006, Susan had only tried one advertising method before Groupon, a local coupon book. Click through to find out how she’s seen her revenue skyrocket and how Groupon helped people discover her great restaurant.

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Featured Merchant: Indulge Burgers

Other than apple pie and baseball, there aren’t many things more American than a big, tasty burger. Perhaps no one knows that better than today’s Featured Merchant, Lee Klein from Indulge Burgers in Scottsdale, AZ.

Prior to trying his hand at creating mouth-water burgers burgers, Klein owned L&S Klein Marketing and Consulting. Click through to read how after years in the marketing industry, Lee thinks that Groupon has been the best thing he could have done to market Indulge Burgers.

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Featured Merchant: Vitality Wellness Center

Just like cars and pianos, people need a little tuning up from time-to-time. Today’s Featured Merchant, owner Crystal Areal from Vitality Wellness Center, helps people in the Salem, OR area do just that.

As a new business owner, Crystal was looking for a way to build her client list and compete with existing businesses. Click through to read how Crystal accomplished that and more.

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