Groupon announced this week that it will soon launch Groupon Goods, a division that will sell selective clearance items. The announcement, which comes a day after it announced a merchant rewards program, shows the company moving to really leverage its deals-oriented user list.
Can Groupon pull it off? To me, it depends on whether Groupon is (still) seen as a great curator of discounted consumer services and goods — or whether it has watered down its core message (and credibility). Let the consumers decide.
Groupon Goods, of course, will compete directly with other non-local deals, such as Amazon’s Woot. Theoretically, it also pits Groupon against other companies that specialize in discounted, overstocked goods — like Next Jump and Overstock.com.
As Portfolio reports, the initial batch of offerings includes an ionic hair dryer for $69, an LED HDTV for $440 and a coffee-brewing machine for $69. The discounts, Groupon says, range from 37 percent off to 60 percent off the retail price.
“To get airspace on Groupon Goods, a product has to be cool enough to share and innovative enough to inspire,” noted a company release. “It also must be made of reliably bonded molecules and stardust. Honestly, if we think a product is remarkable and we can offer a good deal on it, we’ll do so.”
Groupon isn’t the first deals company to provide goods. Others have done it, including South Korea’s TMon. But it is still a significant reimagining of Groupon’s footprint. As board member Ted Leonsis notes in a haiku-like post: “Lots more great deals now are offered up. This is a curated commerce business. Daily Deals. Travel deals. Deals on Goods. Deals on Services. Deals.”