March 18, 2013


Last month, Groupon canned Founder/CEO Andrew Mason (click here).

Of course, executive gossip gets all of the attention.

Have you had a chance to read through their 10-K statement?  Sure, there are problems, lots and lots of problems.  But there are things that should earn praise, too.
  • 41 million customers purchased a Groupon in 2012.  Stop, and let that number sink in for a moment.  Does your business have 41 million twelve-month buyers?
  • 500,000 merchants have been featured.  Again, stop, and let that number sink in for a moment.
  • Mobile accounted for 37.5% of all purchases in December, 2012.  Again, stop, and let that number sink in for a moment.
  • Groupon uses Television, Radio, and Billboards as part of their marketing mix.  Yes, I know, one of the digital elite, using Television, Radio, and Billboards.  You'll do those things when you learn to appreciate new customer acquisition.
  • Marketing expense was reduced to 10% of net sales in Q4-2012.
  • Sales force of 1,151 North American employees, and 3,526 International employees.  As we discussed with Forrester, companies selling a digital future sure seem to employ a lot of analog tactics, don't they?
  • Gross Billings per Active (12-Month) Customer were $160 in 2010, $187 in 2011, and $144 in 2012.  Oh boy.
  • With approximately 10,000 employees and $654 million in wages and benefits, the average Groupon employee is receiving a total compensation package that averages about $65,000 per year.
  • Number of times the phrase "omnichannel" is used in the 10-K statement?  Zero.
Keep reading upcoming 10-Q and 10-K statements - pay particular attention to their ability to generate more business from existing customers - a stated goal of the management team.  It is very, very hard to get existing customers to spend more.