Groupon Materialises with Real Store

The group buying website Groupon has recently come under intense scrutiny, following the debacle incurred after it was revealed the company’s revenue results had been significantly overestimated for at least the fourth quarter of 2011.

The entire daily deals industry has had plenty of flak to endure in general, as many consumers have become disenchanted with the model following poor experiences, while retailers have voiced their concerns that the model is not as good for their business as they had been told.

With a view to begin turning these perception around, Groupon has just announced the opening of its first bricks-and-mortar store in Singapore’s Suntec City mall. The store has been designed with three digital terminals for consumers to directly access the website, purchase and redeem Groupon products.

The store is also pitched to boost Groupon’s sales among the less tech-savvy customers.

As it currently acts as a go-between for consumers to access great deals from retailers, Groupon has perhaps struggled without having a truly customer-facing component with which to facilitate these interactions. Now, with a physical presence, Groupon can implement better customer service processes in order to maintain its own accountability, as well as the accountability of its affiliate retail partners.

However, Groupon isn’t the first pureplay e-commerce operation to open up shop in the ‘real’ world, with eBay opening a pop-up store last year, Amazon toying with the idea of physical outlets and more recently, local electronics  retailer eStore opening its first bricks-and-mortar store.

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