Groupon just announced a number of website, mobile and tablet improvements under its Groupon Merchant brand. The brand is designed to simplify the way a Groupon marketing campaign can be created and managed by merchants on any device no matter where they are located.
Groupon Gets A Makeover
This is especially true for small businesses, who can’t compete with large enterprises when it comes to advertising and reach. As Nick Halliwell, Groupon’s media relations, told Small Business Trends in an email interview:
“Where else can local businesses get that kind of reach without any upfront advertising costs? Plus, the vast majority of our deals (82 percent as of the last report) are breakeven or better on the deal itself (i.e., no overspend or cross-sell required). That is simply unheard of in high volume small business advertising and customer acquisition.”
Under the Merchant brand, the redesigned Web and mobile tools, along with the new tablet app will let businesses customize the way they structure their promotion and how it appears to the customer. Additionally, they can track and manage their campaign with more data points to get the most accurate information.
Local small businesses can now find the information they need easily so they can make marketing decisions that are based on real data. Information about Groupon solutions can be sorted by merchant categories and business goals with an improved browsing functionality and an interface that is more responsive on mobile devices.
Halliwell also points out the free Merchant Impact Report gives businesses a clear view of how Groupon is driving their business by making it possible to evaluate the performance of their promotion.
The Merchant Tablet App is available for iOS and Android devices, and it allows businesses to redeem Groupons, monitor campaign performance, share positive feedback via social media and respond to customer service inquiries. The app works with existing Web and mobile solutions by giving merchants a platform for managing and tracking their campaigns.
When asked how businesses can build deals faster, Halliwell said they can use the updated self-service platform of Groupon’s Deal Builder to create promotions with customized discounts, as well as choosing their own images and descriptions to make their company stand out.
According to Halliwell, the small business segment makes up more than 90 percent of Groupon’s merchants in the U.S. The company has worked with hundreds of thousands of businesses, having sold more than one billion Groupons.
He goes on to say this experience gives the company insight into what work best in its market place. Halliwell adds:
“We use this knowledge to help businesses get the most from their Groupon experience. From the timing of the promotion to the structure of a deal to the level of a discount, we work with businesses every step of the way to create a campaign that best meets their needs.”
Groupon Grows, Beats Expectations
Groupon is growing, and beating expectations of analysts. The company reached $6.3 billion in gross billings as of the end of Q4 2015, with free cash flow of $208.1 million. As of February 2016, it has presence in 28 countries and 500+ markets around the world with 48.9 million active customers.
Two very important data points small businesses should consider when thinking about Groupon is, 90 percent of customers say they are likely to buy again from Groupon in the next 60 days, and 78 percent of customers have referred someone to the business. The value of repeat customers that influence others cannot be understated for a small business, or any business for that matter.
Groupon wants to make creating deals an easy experience anyone can seamlessly integrate as part of their overall marketing campaign. The new improvements for Merchant are a step in the right direction, but as Halliwell said:
“We’re constantly exploring new and different ways to work with merchants. Not every brand or business is comfortable with deep discounts. We want to give more merchants more opportunities to run on our platform at lower discounts and with market rate offerings.”