At a Glance
Flexible work environment
Rapid growth has created instability and dissatisfaction
Increasing competition from rival firms
Groupon's rapid growth has made it one of the best-known companies on the web, but has also brought growing pains and questions about the long-term viability of its business model.
About Groupon, Inc.
Groupon taps into the power of collective buying. The company earns service revenue from transactions in which we earn commissions by selling goods or services on behalf of third-party merchants. Groupon also sells merchandise, such as electronics, toys, apparel, and household items, directly to customers. Customers access the company's platform through mobile apps and websites. Groupon has some 42 million active customers. North America is Groupon's largest market, accounting for over 60% of total sales.
The company historically offered goods and services across three primary categories: Groupon Goods (Goods), Local Deals (Local), and Groupon Getaways (Travel). In February 2020, the company announced its plan to leverage its global leadership position in local commerce to focus on Local and Travel categories and to exit the Goods category by the end of 2020.
Goods offers deals on merchandise across multiple product lines, including electronics, sporting goods, jewelry, toys, household items, and apparel.
Local includes offerings from local and national merchants. It comprises multiple subcategories, including events and activities, beauty and spa, health and fitness, food and drink, home and garden, and automotive. It also offers deals on concerts, sports, theater, and other live entertainment events. Through its Travel segment, Groupon features travel offers at both discounted and market rates, including hotels, airfare, and package deals, covering both domestic and international travel.
Headquartered in Chicago, Groupon focuses its business on 15 core countries. North America is Groupon's largest market, accounting for over 60% of net sales. International markets, account for the remaining 40%.
Its North American merchant sales representatives and support staff are mostly based at offices in Chicago. It also has two US data centers in California and one in Ireland.
Sales and Marketing
Groupon's customers access the company's platform through mobile apps and websites. The company uses a variety of marketing channels to make customers aware of its deal offerings, including search engines, email, affiliate channels, display advertising, and offline marketing.
The company's sales force consists of more than 2,300 sales representative and sales support staff.
Groupon's marketing spend totaled over $214 million in 2019.
Groupon's revenue has been trending downward since 2016 with sales of $2.2 billion in 2019. It has an overall decline of 25% in the last five years.
In 2019, the company's revenue declined by 16% or $417.8 million to $2.2 billion from $2.6 billion in 2018.
Net income plummeted to a $22 million loss in 2019.
Cash at the end of fiscal 2019 was $752.7 million, a decrease of $92 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $71.3 million to the coffers, while investing activities used $67.6 million. Financing activities used another $92.6 million for loan payments.
In February 2020, Groupon shifted its strategy toward turning itself into the local experiences marketplace. As part of this strategy, the company plans to exit its Goods category in 2020 and focus its resources on the following four key priorities:
Inventory. Groupon plans to build high-quality inventory density in core cities and bring merchants' full catalogs of experiences onto its marketplace.
Modernization. The company intends to deliver a modern mobile experience for customers and new tools to help merchants grow their businesses.
Brand. Groupon plans to relaunch its brand and marketing strategy to move from deal-centric to a local experiences marketplace.
Cost. The company intends to evaluate and reduce its cost structure to align with the needs of the ongoing business.
Additionally, the company's marketing strategy is focused on acquiring and retaining customers who will have higher long-term value, activation and conversion rates, and purchase frequency. Groupon is also focused on increasing awareness of its brand and online marketplaces and introducing consumers and merchants to new inventory.
In 2019, Groupon plans to tap into social media and invest in YouTube and cinema advertising to boost awareness of its new marketplace model and offerings.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In mid-2019, Groupon acquired Presence AI, an AI-powered text and voice communications tool that enables and facilitates messaging between customers and merchants. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Groupon was launched in 2008 by Andrew Mason as a site dedicated to promoting local businesses by offering deals for a limited time. The world's first Groupon was a deal for Motel Bar, located just downstairs from the Groupon office in Chicago. The company began running deals for increasingly larger businesses in Chicago, later expanding to other cities.
With the help of features on the TODAY Show and press from Ellen Degeneres and The New York Times, the company continued to grow and went public in 2011. In 2016, it acquired rival daily deal site, LivingSocial.
In 2019, the company began moving away from its daily deal voucher model to a more diversified e-commerce marketplace with products and services, along with discounts or special offers, linked to consumers' credit cards.
600 W Chicago Ave Ste 400
Chicago, IL 60654-2067
Phone: 1 (312) 334-1579
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: GRPN
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
COO: Steve Krenzer
Chairman: Eric P. Lefkofsky
CEO: Rich Williams
Employees (This Location): 1,425
Employees (All Locations): 6,345
Palo Alto, CA