Groupon makes inroads in daily deals market
The world's biggest group buying website, Groupon, has been building its New Zealand business for just over a year now and is claiming progress in a fragmented market.
Dylan Berrington, vice-president of Groupon Australia and New Zealand, said more than 1000 local businesses had engaged and done deals with the platform since its launch here last May. And, from an initial launch in Auckland, the site is now offering deals in Christchurch and Wellington as well.
Groupon, which launched in November 2008 in Chicago and now operates in 48 countries, features the kinds of daily deals Kiwis are familiar with – stuff to do, eat, see and buy. But by the time it arrived here, there were already a bunch of local upstarts vying for the market.
Berrington freely admits the company was comparatively late to market here, but says growth has been strong while many rivals are struggling.
He said there were five or six main players plus a bunch of smaller ones. No one had dominant market share, so there was everything to compete for. He expected the market would consolidate through either companies withdrawing or merging.
However, acquisitions are not at the forefront of his mind, he said.
In the meantime, Groupon is planning further geographical expansion, to Hamilton, Hawke's Bay and further into the South Island and working to ensure retailers and consumers get a great customer experience.
Group buying sites have been criticised on a number of fronts, but for retailers the most stinging criticism is that promotions through them haven't often created long-term increases in customer numbers or trade.
Berrington said Groupon had business development managers working with retailers to ensure deals were structured that provide value to everyone.
He said one focus was to ensure that the deal still had margin for the retailer as well as value for the end consumer.
To celebrate its anniversary, Groupon is bringing back its 12 most popular deals of the past year.
- © Fairfax NZ News