The daily deal industry leader, Groupon, has continued down its shaky, uncertain path, leaving the skies none too clear in the immediate future. The company’s CEO, Andrew Mason, was recently fired but, getting rid of the founder most likely won’t end Groupon’s woes anytime soon.
To many who closely follow the daily deal industry, the recent news that Andrew Mason was fired came as no surprise. His experience and leadership capabilities were continually put into question by the press and rumors began initially surfacing in late 2012 that the board was looking to fire their founder and replace him with someone more qualified.
The deal industry as a whole has been experiencing some serious changes. A trend that we have noticed with Daily Deal Builder’s publishers is that they are finding it easier to attract and work with merchants than they were in the past…
Nearly every merchant now understands how Groupon and other daily deal sites function, and the smaller players have begun capitalizing on the fact that they are not Groupon. This means less time explaining what they do, and more time is able to be spent on explaining how they stand apart from Groupon and Living Social.
Niche players have a smaller subscriber base, yet this means less risk for the merchant. Too often we see businesses sell hundreds or thousands of vouchers, when in reality, they can only handle a fraction of what they sold. Groupon’s sheer user-base size makes it absolutely vital to carefully plan out a promotion and ensure a maximum quantity available is set.
Niche players’ workforces are much smaller yet, this means they are far more flexible in their decision making process and ability to adapt and change. Implementing even a small company change within a very large, publicly traded organization can take a great deal of time and resources. Smaller companies can see an opportunity and make more impulsive and immediate changes. In an industry that is constantly evolving and innovating, flexibility becomes an important ingredient.
Most all smaller deal sites do not have to answer to investors, meaning they have the ability to put more focus into helping the merchants and less into pleasing investors and shareholders. A primary goal of a daily deal site is to help merchants get new customers, quick cash influxes, and most importantly, work with them on a regular basis. If a merchant has a poor experience, they will not be working with the deal site again. In my professional opinion, I believe pleasing merchants and ensuring a successful promotion is of the utmost importance.
Don’t get me wrong, Groupon has a boat load of advantages going for them, but for those of you running the smaller daily deal sites, we believe you can take comfort knowing that you are not Groupon and you can use this fact to your advantage.
What other trends have you noticed occurring as Groupon’s popularity continues to grow?