Groupon is just Woot for small businesses. Whereas Woot disposes of junk at very low prices, Groupon claims to be a better way for small businesses to attract customers. Unfortunately, for many businesses their deep discounts are their undoing. Most customers are buying coupons with no intention of becoming repeat customers. Groupon is now a deal a day site that fails to convert customers into regulars. Their model has to change before small businesses catch on to this gimmick.
Groupon needs to qualify customers. That means limit the coupons to customers most likely to pay full price for that service. For example, if they saw that you regularly pay $100 for a salon haircut, then comparable competitors can offer you coupons to try and lure away your business. But it would be useless to give me a coupon because I have never paid more than $15 for a haircut. Mint is in a great position to do this, as is Blippy. Even Yelp or Opentablecould do this for restaurants. Groupon should partner with these types of companies to offer more relevant coupons to qualified customers.