Of course, the marketer in me kicks in whenever I take advantage of this type of deal and I pay special attention to the process. The thing that surprised me most: as of 7am this morning, 75 people had already taken advantage of the offer. So my little local pizza joint sold a lot of pizza this morning, while their doors were still closed, probably before the lunch crew came in to start making the dough.
Groupon clearly provided value for this small community effort, but it applies to larger businesses as well. Recently I received a Groupon offer from a large national retailer (the type that has a store in every major mall). So here was an offer that would encourage local mall traffic (and purchases) with national reach (through a series of localized efforts).
So what's this all mean? This type of offering, and clearly Groupon is not alone in the space, has some real value for both local business as well as the big players. If it's not part of your strategy now, you should be paying attention and looking at how this could potentially help your business. By the way, it's now late afternoon and the number of buyers is over 250...not a bad day for a pizza shop!