Groupon transforms from deal site into online marketplace

20/08/2014

Groupon has redesigned its UK website in a step towards becoming an online marketplace, as the firm moves away from its daily deals roots.

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Changes to the site are aimed at making it easier for customers to browse Groupon’s deals and come alongside updated iPhone and Android apps.

The new-look website, which debuted in the US last year, tries to be more "sophisticated", with a white, as opposed to green, background and bigger pictures.

“In the four years since Groupon launched in the UK, the number and variety of deals have grown rapidly,” said Tamer Tamar, senior vice president, Groupon EMEA. “Groupon UK has added thousands of new deals across local, product and travel in the last year alone. Our new site and mobile apps mean you can quickly find exactly what you want to do or buy, anytime, anywhere.”

Changes to the website include updated search bar, browse and location-related features. There’s been an emphasis on images and deals collected around themes such as Christmas. On the app, customers can now click a tab to see what’s near to them geographically.
Today’s changes were first implemented in the US market in November 2013, Groupon’s fifth anniversary.

Groupon has had a turbulent life since it became a public company in 2011. The initial success of the novel daily deals idea fuelled stratospheric sales growth and propelled the shares to $26 (then £16), but its ensuing disappointing financial performance – it is expected to be loss-making this year – means the shares now change hands for close to $6.

The company's setbacks culminated in the ousting of its controversial chief executive and founder, Andrew Mason, in 2013 with the maverick businessman choosing to go out with a bang, writing in his resignation letter: "I was fired today. If you're wondering why … you haven't been paying attention."

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