Groupon say they’re now a “True Marketplace”

Groupon want to become a marketplace and have revamped their site in an attempt to compete with the likes of eBay and Amazon.

This is an interesting one because, whichever way you cut it, Groupon is not a marketplace. It’s a deals site trying to reinvent itself and so the only products and services you’d expect to find are cut price offers. The only way that they can hold a vast amount of inventory is if the deals are long term… and in that case it’s hardly a “Deal”, it’s just the price.

So what have Groupon done to become more marketplace like – well firstly they’ve added a prominent search box at the top of the page, with type-ahead suggestions that allow customers to easily find the type of deal they’re looking for. Next they’ve added deal collections – curated collections of deals based on moments in time, like Christmas aiming to provide doorways into different areas of Groupon’s massive inventory of deals.

eBay are pretty keen on curated collection at the moment and whilst I do like the eBay Feed I’m afraid that their curated collections leave me cold. The curators in the main have nothing for sale and with the exception of the fashion category where a designer or blogger may gain followers, little that makes me want to browse them.

Perhaps Groupon will be able to do better and do what eBay hasn’t yet done which is when I make a purchase show me collections that encourage me to make complimentary products.

Groupon have also upgraded their mobile apps for Android and iPhone and they now include a tab to allow buyers to see deals in their area.

In the four years since Groupon launched in the UK, the number and variety of deals have grown rapidly,” according to 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“.

Groupon search for GreenhouseI thought I’d give the self styled “True online marketplace” a go and searched on Groupon for a Greenhouse. They couldn’t find anyone to sell me a greenhouse so offered me 100 paintballs for £2.50 instead! I tried “Green House” and this time they offered me a personalised House Sign.

I think Groupon have a way to go before they can truly be called a “marketplace”.