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In part 2 of our daily deal site series, we look at new daily deal site Happli!

This newbie, launched in March 2012, looks promising,  so lets have a look at how it fairs…

who are Happli?

First off, and hugely importantly Happli are owned by Trinity Mirror (the newspaper publisher whose portfolio includes UK nationals Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and The People as well as Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail, as well as over 130 regional newspapers and a vast number of digital sites) … so all-in-all pretty good base to be starting from. The site has the backing of the whole group’s portfolio and this can be seen most obviously on their Facebook – just take a look at who some of their comments are from, a stream of tags from local news owned by Trinity Mirror promoting their deals ;)

Happli, operational in 60 cities, are being backed by a huge £10m investment but in return they are forecast to be pulling in net revenues of around £20 million by 2014.  With such a huge financial backing and vast media coverage, you feel they have to be worth watching.

So lets get into it and look at the deals and the site.

the deals and the site…

Like Groupon and many other deal sites you have to register or sign in to see the deals -

But there is actually a way round this – click on ‘Already a member’ and it takes you straight through – you can now have a look at the deals and decide if you like what you see before having to receive your emails from them.

After its pilot in Manchester and Newcastle it was rolled out across the UK and the site does  boast an impressive number of locations to see offers from:

The offers range from meals out to therapy sessions through to wrinkle killer snake serum (maybe not the best worded deal)! And for each offer there is an amazing amount of information about the product you are buying, and for some offers even a video.

Interestingly and unlike many of the other deal sites the deals on Happli last more than a day, almost all of them last a week so the panic isn’t there to buy them. This could be because they don’t have the traffic or the number of deals to have them daily yet, or perhaps they are going for a different approach…? Another difference to many is that they do not  tell you the number of vouchers bought already (but it does let you know if there is limited availability on the number of vouchers available).

One nice touch we noticed was that the site personalises the businesses it offers vouchers for, it introduces you to a member of staff to explain the deal and the venue:

 

are businesses Happli!?

We found some businesses who had used Happli and had a chat about what they thought about the site and how it had worked for them.  Are they Happli?

According to Happli’s testimonials, yes, but let’s see what some businesses who worked with them thought!…

We spoke to Tessa from The West End Hotel in Edinburgh. They have run deals with Living Social and Edinburgh’s Great Deal  as well as Happli so they know their stuff when it comes to running daily deals.

As many other businesses do, Tessa uses daily deal sites to gain exposure and increase their customer base.

Happli offered a lot of control over their own deal and its structure.

Unfortunately though they didn’t get such a ‘Happli’ ending … their offer was one of the first launched onto the site and the hotel described the problems this brought:

there were a few technical/teething problems once the deal had gone live and I am not convinced there was ever as much exposure as they had suggested there was.    If they were to become more established, I would consider running a deal again but I would give another deal site that we haven’t tried a chance first”.

Sadly for The West End Hotel they described to us how they were:

very disappointed with the results from Happli as I was assured it would be a worthwhile campaign and we had been selected as one of their launch/preferred merchant partners.”

So, after running successful voucher deals with other daily deal sites and having less successful run with Happli, The West End Hotel is in a perfect position to give us their 3 top tips in how to have a deal that works best for your business if you are looking to do one in the future:

  • Remember that the customers who buy the deal are more than likely to be new customers.  When they come to redeem their voucher offer them something off their next visit, i.e. a discount voucher off food etc, something that will encourage them to come back.  
  • Treat your deal customers the same as any other customer.  Just because they purchased a cheap or discounted voucher, doesn’t mean that they should experience any worse customer service. 
  • Don’t be bullied by the deal sites!  Work out your financials and if you think you will run at a loss by doing the deal, don’t do it! Most businesses don’t make any money from the actual voucher deal but the idea is to get the customer in the door and then wow them!  If it’s your first deal, negotiate on the commission rate as they will budge!  They obviously want to work WITH you so make it work FOR you!

Next we had a chat to SkyBow, a moving target archery centre in Manchester, they had a very different experience and loved their Happli experience.

Again, as with The West End Hotel they have used a number of other deal sites to generate business in quieter times but unlike the The West End Hotel found that the Happli deal was just as successful.

They explained that they chose Happli  for this deal over the larger deal sites as they offered great customer service, were very happy to work with them and that due to this, they would definitely work with them in the future as the deal site becomes more established.

SkyBow’s top tips were to:

“use the daily deals to your companys advantage, to fill up the quieter times in the midweek and to offer your best deals so customer will return time and time again and bring their friends with them next time.”

Shape Up & Tone Down in Edinburgh also chatted to us about their experience with Happli and told us about the way that the site pays businesses for every voucher sold (unlike some other deal sites who only pay out for ones redeemed).

What attracted owner Mary to using Happli was the fact that it was linked with Trinity Mirror and she felt she was supporting a new venture.

Though she did not sell many vouchers with them Mary is incredibly positive about Happli:

“Their communication was very good and being linked to Trinity mirror group adds credance to their proffesionalism. There are so many deal sites now that clients just chase the deals and  don’t really become loyal to one salon but do become loyal to one newspaper and I liked that association, so yes I would use them again.”

Mary’s top tips were:

  • Don’t be badgered into reducing your deal price even more than you can afford. Do a deal on something that’s not as popular as the rest of your treatments bearing in mind the costs of the treatment on offer.
  • Make sure you ask for a cap on how many  vouchers are sold this will help you schedule appointments better.
  • Make sure that voucher clients are treated the same as other clients  as this may just get you repeat business.

Interestingly it looks like the client south of the border found their time with Happli to be the most successful perhaps suggesting that they are more established there for the time being anyway.

We tried to contact Happli to get an to have a chat about how they hope to grow and how they work with businesses however unfortunately they were not available to comment at this time.

the lesson learned

It’s looking like treating your deal customers as well as regular customers is the major tip from Happili’s daily deal savvy clients – they may have paid less to use your services but that doesn’t mean they are worth less.

In part 3 of our daily deals series we will take a look at Edinburgh’s Great Deal, a client of Attacat’s.  EGD have given us free reign to talk to any of their customers as we continue our quest to find out how Scottish businesses are making the most of daily deal sites.

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