Following the rapid growth of Groupon.com and of the other social couponing web sites, an increasing number of studies have examined the benefits that the customers can derive from this promotional tool. Nonetheless we register a scarcity of studies about the effectiveness of social couponing from the merchants’ perspective, i.e. from the perspective of those companies publishing their offerings on these sites. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap, by investigating the objectives that the merchants intend to achieve through social couponing and their satisfaction with the performance of this tool. Comparisons among merchants belonging to different industries are made, as well. Through a survey on a sample of 157 Italian merchants that have run their coupon campaigns through Groupon, this study shows that social couponing is not perceived as equally effective by all companies.
Keywords: E-commerce, couponing, e-couponing, Groupon, daily deals, merchant.