Groupon’s mobile customers spend 50 per cent more than non-mobile customers, according to VP and GM of consumer media David Katz.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday Katz said mobile is accounting for an increasing number of transactions, with a third of all US transactions now coming via mobile.
“This is not visits or unique users, it is people spending real money on mobile. We are always asked if this is cannibalising our business and the answer is absolutely not. We have done over 40 million downloads worldwide and we are finding that customers spend over 50 per cent more once they start buying on mobile,” he said.
Groupon is evolving its business to become a “commerce discovery” experience, integrating different products and channels together, according to Katz.
This includes integrating its travel experience Getaways, its shopping experience Goods, and local product Nearby more closely together. “Shopping is meant to be fun – that’s the major reason people are doing it – let’s face it I don’t need a fourth iPad cover or a sweater for my cat – I like buying those things and we need an experience that leverages that sense of fun,” he said.
Katz said focus will be on maximising its use of new technologies to ensure it can match the sophisticated, automated kind of merchandising the likes of Amazon can offer.
“When Groupon was a deal-of-the-day site it wasn’t that complicated but increasingly as we bring together many channels and types of commerce we need to do the kind of automated algorithmic merchandising that you associate with the most sophisticated digital retailers like Amazon.
"So we are doing that algorithm personalisation within the app so any two people in the same room will see totally different deals,” he added.
Katz said mobile has moved away from being a nascent media, having reached a point of “maturation”.
“A few years ago I did a TV interview when I said that mobile was a nascent opportunity so many times that when I came back to the office my staff had a cake for me saying nascent opportunity across the front. I think we have finally got past that and come to a point of maturation where mobile is the opportunity not something off in the distance,” he said.
Groupon saw traffic in the US surge on black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving last year, with transactions up 140 per cent year on year, with mobile accounting for 40 per cent of sales, according to Katz.