Posted by: China Media LAB on Jul 05, 2012
Group buying website Groupon opened its first retail concept store in Singapore on Wednesday, saying that the move is not aimed at the business to go offline but to enhance consumer experience.
"Although many Singaporeans today like to easily go online to purchase deals, many still prefer the face-to-face interaction and the fact that an online shop like Groupon has a physical presence, " said Adrian Tan, chief operating officer of Groupon Singapore.
The strategy, aimed at offering a tangible interactive environment for its consumers, was not adopted anywhere else globally, the company said.
The initial results have been promising, and such stores may be rolled out to other markets if it turns out successful, it added.
The new store, located at the Suntec City shopping mall in downtown Singapore, came with resplendent colors and its "G" logo. It will host more than 50 service personnel to make a customer service center.
Customers will find it easier to redeem and collect their goods purchased on the Groupon website, and to find friendly staff to address any queries they may have on-site, it said.
Groupon was founded in the United States in 2008 and has been one of the most successful group buying websites worldwide. It works with selected business partners in different countries to offer goods and services at a comfortable discount. The business partners get to benefit from the promotional effect.
However, some have been skeptical about whether the business model can be sustained.
Karl Chong, chief executive officer of Groupon Singapore, said the company was not converting to an offline store at all.
"But certainly we'll have Groupon goods for display, where customers can try out the goods and have a feel for them before they make their purchase," he said.