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From daily deals to daily habits: Groupon’s ambitious Australian plans

With a new country manager and sales strategy in place, Groupon has ambitions to be the biggest online marketplace in Australia.

Steve Traplin, who took up the role of ANZ country manager in May 2016, wants visiting the Groupon platform to become a daily habit for shoppers.

The 5-year-old company has moved away from email-driven daily deals to an online marketplace spanning products, food and beverage, entertainment and experiences.

“We would love not to send another email ever again,” Traplin told Internet Retailing. “That would be a lovely thing for us to do. I’m not sure we can do that right now but that would be absolutely utopia for us.”

Traplin added that email sales have gone from 100 per cent of Groupon’s business down to 20 per cent.

He is bullish about the potential growth for online sales in Australia, as well as Groupon’s future.

“I want [Groupon] to be the biggest marketplace in Australia. Do I think we can do that? Absolutely.”

Traplin describes Groupon as an “adolescent trying to become an adult”, a milestone which he believes the company will reach in two years.

To achieve the lofty goals Groupon is focused on executing a strategy to grow the number of customers and merchants on the site, while keeping both sides happy.

“For merchants we want to be a business partner of theirs,” Traplin said. “We want to be seen broadly as a relevant digital marketing channel for them, which can drive new business to them and repeat business on top of that.

“Our growth from a customer perspective and a merchant perspective is accelerating and for us that’s awesome, and what goes with that is revenue.”

In December 2015, Groupon launched a new web platform which has aimed at simplifying the marketplace for customers and merchants.

“From a usability perspective, from a customer satisfaction perspective and from a merchant satisfaction perspective it’s had a positive impact across the board,” Traplin said of the new platform. 

Groupon now has 6500 deals a day on the site and transactions via mobile and app outnumber desktop transactions.  

Since taking the reigns at Groupon Traplin has restructured the sales team into two parts: a partner management team, to look after existing merchants and a business development team, to grow the merchant base. 

“When I first came here they were doing both,” Traplin said. Embedding that cultural and behavioural change is a one of Traplin’s top priorities. 

groupon, GWS giants

GWS Partnership announced

This week Groupon launched a campaign in partnership with AFL team the Greater Western Sydney Giants. 

Groupon will host the GWS Giants Shop on its platform which features a range of places to eat, drink and have fun in Western Sydney, all hand-picked by the players. Anyone who makes a purchase from the shop goes into the running to spend a day with the AFL team.

Traplin, said the synergy between the two brands and Groupon’s renewed focus on the Western Sydney market were the main drivers behind the partnership and resulting campaign.

“There’s a lot of connection between the Giants and Groupon – we’re both five years old, both challenger brands, and both are performing tremendously this year.”

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