“People forget we’re a new company. It’s one of those things where, OK, we’re still growing up as a company. Now that we figured that out, there’s no reason to think it’s going to happen again.”
So said a Groupon exec in response to a Financial Times reporter asking about accounting irregularities that have plagued the recently IPO’ed tech startup. Continue reading
Get a table of friends together and it’s likely that most of them have tried Groupon at least once. And if you’re in my circle of friends, it’s a near guarantee that at least one of those friends is addicted to a group-buying website- Groupon or otherwise. That was definitely the case recently, when a friendly conversation turned into story after story about the lure of huge discounts, and how those discounts seem to so effectively blur the line between a want and a need. There are a few companies that we hear about a lot – Groupon, Living Social, Capital Dish – as well as so many others who offer strikingly similar good deals and fun bargains, but not so similar levels of service. It seems everyone has a bad story to recount about the experiences in redeeming something purchased from a group-buying site.
And it’s not just the buyers complaining. The stories on the seller side of the group-buying transaction are often the same. I talked with the owner of a spa recently who confessed that she doesn’t get repeat business from these sites and from an owner in the food industry who remarked that he doesn’t think these “discount seekers” will become his main customers. Continue reading
Some of you know that one of my favorite pastimes is dining out. It’s obvious when you see the anti-Situation abs that I sport nowadays. [I’ve been doing a lot of GTL lately though minus the T so I’m expecting to get my washboard abs back.] Sorry, I digress.
In any case, one company that seems to be thriving in this awful economy is Groupon. I don’t have hard facts. My opinion is simply based on word of mouth, social media buzz and earned media coverage that I’ve seen for the company in the past couple of years. Most recent was Groupon’s first national launch with Gap where it likely garnered more in free publicity than the amount of Gap Groupons it sold. The company has transformed the way the average consumer saves by featuring mainly half price deals that change daily. The concept is attractive because it builds anticipation from its users on a daily basis, which I believe is a key factor, in developing any successful social media program. It has also changed the average consumer’s purchasing behavior, but it’s also fueled other companies to follow its business model such as Living Social, Half Off Deals, and many others. Continue reading