The Internet was full of terrible jokes on April Fool’s Day, and Groupon wasn’t above the hype. They made a faux-announcement about an Elite Deal Series where people can pay premium-plus pricing for goods; the first deal they offered was $40 for $20 worth of Groupon Bucks.
While we all had a laugh, there was something serious to be found within the quotes from Groupon’s Chief of Luxury Joyce Lancastershire (who may or may not exist). That is, ever since our calendars ticked 2014, Groupon has been working to own the daily deals market.
While the Groupon Elite Deal Series may have been a joke, it shows their commitment to creative thinking in the industry. Additionally, Groupon has released countless, real press releases in 2014 so far that indicate just as much.
Across five major categories, they have shaken things up, added new features, bought new companies, and offered brand new deals to their users. Here are some of the biggest ways Groupon is working to own 2014.
- Groupon’s One Groupon, One Meal Campaign stipulates that when customers dine out using a deal purchased, Groupon will donate a meal to people in need. To that end they have partnered with six different food banks across Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, and Arizona.
- Outside of their food bank partnerships, Groupon has pursued partnerships with mainline personalities as well. Recently they partnered with Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld to offer his recommendations for premier fitness products like TRX bands. They also forged a partnership with business woman Barbara Corcoran, one of the Sharks on Shark Tank, to celebrate women-led businesses. Additionally, Groupon encouraged women business leaders to submit their advice for fellow entrepreneurs to help them achieve success.
- Only half of the Groupon platform is for deal hunters, so in February Groupon launched a deal building tool for the other half of the equation: merchants. Geared as a 24/7 self-service option for local businesses, Groupon’s deal builder guides merchants through a step-by-step process to construct a personalized and unique promotion that best meets the needs of their business.
- Since January 1, 2014 Groupon has acquired two different companies. First, they took a shot at Ticket Monster in the hopes that it could spark international growth for the year. They also acquired Ideeli, a leading online fashion retailer, to help accelerate their fashion presence in the daily deals market. The name of the game in the acquisitions realm seems to be acceleration toward success for Groupon.
- Groupon Getaways has expanded their travel offerings in two distinct ways early in 2014. First, they announced a curated series of vacation experiences via alternative destinations and deals. Second, they expanded their travel offerings by adding 20,000 new hotels in major, worldwide travel destinations; in addition to the added properties, users can find a hotel through Groupon for every major travel destination.