Groupon moves towards becoming ecommerce marketplace

  • News
  • October 27, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Groupon moves towards becoming ecommerce marketplace

Daily deals sites crept onto the retail scene in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis while consumers were counting their pennies, but now that the recession has passed, they have fallen out of favour.

At the start of this year, specialist daily deal sites comprised about 5.5 percent of annual online retail sales, down from a peak of nearly 7 percent in 2014.

In 2014, daily deal sales were down 16 percent on 2013’s $180.2 million.

Clearly, there isn’t as much of an appetite for discounted goods sites, nor is there as much stock leftover from merchants to sustain them, but those creating innovative offerings in the space are experiencing success.

Onceit, an online store that offers designer products at low prices, has more than 250,000 users in its member database and 75 percent of its orders are from repeat customers.

“We like to think are a bit more curated than some of the other limited-time-offer sites in New Zealand,” founder Jay Goodey told NZRetail magazine earlier this year.

Though Groupon New Zealand CEO Alistair Venn doesn’t explicitly mention the decline of daily deal sites, he says the rebrand is because Groupon wants to inspire its customers, as well as improve their shopping experience.

“The updates to our website and app not only make it easier for users to navigate our vast array of deals, but merchants can now connect with customers in a more engaging and targeted way,” Venn says.

“This is the biggest and boldest change Groupon has made since landing in New Zealand in 2011 and reflects our dynamic growth both nationally and on a global scale.”

Groupon says it has a customer base of 3.65 million subscribers in Australia and New Zealand and has worked with more than 9500 merchants.

The site’s green branding on the word Groupon has remained, but the site is a bit slicker with black and white colouring.

Its homepage is also no longer focused on one daily deal, but instead a variety of deals.

Some of the new features on the site bringing it up to speed with ecommerce trends include a reservation tool, cashless payments and paperless redemption, and curated deal collections tailored to the shopper.

“With these faster and more intuitive ways to explore and buy deals, it is now easier than ever for our millions of customers to search thousands of live deals every day for the perfect local experience, holiday or product,” Venn says.

​ ​

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