While the rumor mill now has Google trying to buy Groupon for somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.3 billion (nice neighborhood considering Twitter is garnering $4 billion valuation talk for its next round of investment) the deal site continues to add more features.
In Groupon’s blog called Groublogpon (you read it right so it goes to show they are not anywhere near perfect) they explain how the new Deals and Stores idea evolved. With expansion like these offerings now it might start making more sense why Google is coming after the site with a huge wad of cash.
We originally designed Groupon to account for the constraints of being a small company. Since we didn’t have any merchant relationships, we limited ourselves to one deal per day. Today things are different – our biggest problem is that demand is so high, merchants often wait months to be featured. And while we once only had a few thousand customers per city, now we have hundreds of thousands (Chicago just added its millionth subscriber!) – making it increasingly difficult to find one deal that satisfies everyone.
Now the deal door is swung wide open for businesses as they can, in effect, have deal storefronts which will allow for as many deals a day as anyone would like to offer or find. So if you wonder how Groupon can ‘out value’ Twitter in a short period of time it’s simple: they are making money and stand to make a lot more.
The new Store feature looks like this
It is explained in the blog as follows
With Groupon Stores, businesses can now create and launch their own deals whenever they want. Think of it as the online equivalent of a merchant’s physical storefront. Merchants can now:
-Setup a permanent (and free!) e-commerce presence on Groupon for promoting their business.
-Create their own offers to run deals whenever they want.
-Submit deals to be promoted to Groupon subscribers through email and the Deal Feed (explained below).
-Get customers to follow their Groupon Store, and stay in touch by sending messages through the daily email and deal feed.
The Deal feed looks like this
Here is some info from Groupon to explain it
To keep track of these extra deals, we created the Deal Feed. This is a new section of Groupon where a stream of deals – personalized for you – is updated throughout the day. Your deal feed includes your featured daily deal, deals posted by merchants you follow, and deals posted by merchants that we recommend based on what we know about you.
These features will be rolled out in a few cities to start (Chicago, Dallas and Seattle) and more is coming later as social media options will be rolling out with Facebook.
So if you were wondering why Google would like to own this puppy, this kind of opportunity for expansion (hopefully with just Google’s money and keeping the Groupon team independent so they can do what they do without it getting that lovely Google engineer’s touch which can take the wind out of any creative sail) is good evidence.
So we’ll have to wait for this option to come to all cities near you and see just whether Groupon will be Googlepon or whatever. In the meantime, have fun getting your Groupon.