Groupon recently revised its financials revealing the company is headed for a severe crisis if they are unable to go public and secure much needed capital. If I was in charge, here are 5 things I would do to immediately work on getting the company stabilized financially.
– Immediately drop the term “daily deal” … it’s lost its value and for some people it’s toxic in the way that they look at businesses that have run daily deal promotions. There are 660 daily deals sites currently in existence and I would work to focus consumers back on the idea / terminology of a Groupon and work to promote Groupons as superior to offers they can receive on competing sites.
– I would work to secure brand level deals. Every daily deals site has spas, massages, restaurants but no one has daily deals for Apple, Nike or Adidas. If Groupon could promise me that at some point over the next 6 months they would do a deal for Adidas shoes I would sign up for their mailing list right now. LivingSocial recently did a mega deal with Whole Foods and the space is really going to see more mega deals as companies work to secure brands like the Yankees and Red Sox compete over free agents.
– Stop sending daily emails. I think consumer interest gets lost if you receive an email every morning you check your mail. I think that even if the deal is desirable it’s loses luster because it feels ordinary. I would use a random frequency everyday then two days or maybe one awesome deal for an entire week … make a Groupon something people urgently wait to receive.
– I realize the above item would severely cut into already shaky revenue but focusing on fewer, better deals would allow the company to shed 50 percent or more of their employees. I know that sounds really mean and perhaps heartless but if they don’t save some of the jobs now, just wait until the company goes bankrupt and everyone gets laid off.
– Try hourly deals … imagine if national / regional businesses could pick slow times during the day and have a Groupon only valid during that period. Let’s suppose that Subway is essentially dead between 2 and 4pm because it falls between lunch and dinner, what if the company ran a $2.50 sub promotion valid for just those two hours. I realize the argument is that there is no opportunity for long term sales growth during that period but I could definitely see brands working to boost revenue near the end of quarters or extend seasonal items.