One of the fastest growing internet companies in recent years, and undisputed online favorite for group discounts, Groupon.com has been changing the way many companies do business since its inception in 2008. After turning down numerous multi-billion dollar offers from various internet giants including Google, while simultaneously fending off just about all the remaining “imitating” competition, Groupon is adjusting its business model to match the market.
What started as simple daily group deals, typically for local businesses to gain exposure and build a clientele, has evolved into a massive marketing and advertising platform. Today, many major businesses, such as JCPenney and Kohl’s, offer specials on clothing and other house wares to help families save on things they likely already need. At the same time, Groupon isn’t limited to housewares and clothing, either. They also offer bargains for companies like Vitacost, supplying health foods and supplements to customers all around. Really, the scope of companies that use Groupon ranges from expensive electronics retailers, to deals in local restaurants, to luxury vacations around the world; and that scope will continue to expand daily with market demands.
For those who can remember the early years of Groupon, convincing friends to buy a deal for a spa day at your local spa simply because you wanted to take advantage of the great discount, times have changed. Now, while at the same time promoting local businesses, Groupon is transitioning to a bit more of a mass-discount site designed to attract customers to online stores or other major, big-box retailers. That’s the way business goes, however. As the market changes, so must your approach. The only question is, where will Groupon be in another 5-10 years?