A first of its kind, this article takes a look into what Groupon Singapore has to gain by investing extra resources into a physical storefront, despite the high rental and real estate prices in Singapore.
Better Customer Service
ZDNetasia reported few weeks back that the main reason behind the opening of the store is to make it “more convenient for Groupon customers to redeem their products”, says Karl Chong, CEO of Groupon Singapore. “Making it convenient for customers” means that buyers can now easily collect their items at a more central area instead of traveling all the way to Harbourfront Towers. To set themselves apart from the rest of its competitors in this competitive space, Groupon Singapore can now provide a better customer service by having a physical and prominent “service center”. This can also help customers overcome their skepticism of group buying that has been receving a really bad reputation over the past few months.
Awareness & Branding
Another reason of course is to create more awareness among Singaporean shoppers. Shoppers who frequent Suntec City have higher purchasing power, including many tourists who stream in for the Fountain of Wealth. Nonetheless, the awareness is two fold: awareness among the shoppers, as well as awareness among merchants. With the physical store, it gives an added confidence to the Groupon merchants as well as prospective merchants. A merchant who is interested in signing with a deals website would naturally be more inclined to partner with Groupon now that the physical store is a new distribution channel. It would also be easier for Groupon to pitch and sign on new merchants who were previously unaware of the model.
Product Quality Control
A physical store puts Groupon Singapore in a better position in terms of better quality control over some of its products. Typically, Groupon acts as a middleman/platform for merchants to sell their products to buyers, leaving the buyers to redeem their products from the merchants. The merchants have total control over the quality of the products, and undeniably, this causes problems of customers complaining about fake and inferior products. This greatly taints the reputation of Groupon. With the physical store now available, buyers of groupon deals can redeem products from the physical store improve their reputation.
Selling products and driving more sales
Driving me to my third point: more profits. According to Alexa, Groupon has a higher traffic rank than Deal.com.sg and Alldealsasia, but leads only by a bit. Other than selling items from its merchants, Groupon Singapore also has its own products which is also offered at a discounted price as deals. E-commerce and deals site are operating at a very competitive space, and to stay afloat, one has to innovate. With a physical store front, it promotes impulsive purchases among leisure shoppers in Suntec city. On top of targeting smartphone users as well as deal hunters, it can now target those who are not tech-savvy or those like me who do not actively look for deals online. Thereby, translating to more products being sold, and more profits being earned.
The official launch of the World’s first Groupon store front will take place in Singapore on the 4th of July, at Suntec City Tower 3, #03-27 G-L (at Cinema Level). Mr Karl Chong, CEO, Groupon Singapore, and Mr Adrian Tan, COO,Groupon Singapore will grace the event.