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Groupon

Jetsetter Mobile App: Effective App Promotion & Conversions

Jetsetter is known for great design (see here). Here is a good example of good design and effective mobile promotion. I have written before that promoting mobile applications via the web is challenging: for instance, conversions are weak due to web to download and data is limited (device, OS, etc). SMS and email are powerful ways to promote applications because they are consumed directly on the device. Good examples by: Sparrow, Redbox, Groupon and Gilt.

Here is another good example by Jetsetter (whose parent is Gilt). Login and you get the following promotion: - awesome slogan: "travel made, travel sized" - good looking promotion - big action item of downloading the app via SMS (enter your cell number)

Much cleaner for users and more powerful for the brand.

Amazon Local Deals, Now Promoted Within Amazon Deals

It's old news that big players like Google, Facebook and Amazon have (and continue to...) tried their hand at the local / deals space. To be successful, each has to figure out how to make the crowded space and somewhat commoditized consumer experience work within their brand. Facebook, for instance, has turned Facebook Deals into their new Facebook Offers product.... which is effectively an extension of their Sponsored Story ad products. It's a smart play by Facebook because it distinguishes the platform and the ad product to both consumers and advertisers. What's Amazon's angle? I visited Amazon Deals and, among some heavily discounted movies and toys, I noticed a two-night Vegas stay for over 50% off. Seems out of place... except for the fact that:

1. Amazon is all about great prices and great inventory, and 2. Amazon has become much, much more than movies, books and games

For those reasons, it is not so awkward to place local deals beside product deals.

And perhaps more importantly: purchasing can be as simple as a single click. Like Apple, Amazon has personal and purchase information for most online consumers, and that gives them a significant boost in a space defined by scale and conversion metrics.

Sparrow, Mobile: In the River Promotion

I frequently write about two ongoing themes: 1. the importance of "in the river marketing" (reaching targeted users at relevant points in the product / experience) 2. the difficult of driving mobile downloads from web, advertisement, other devices, etc

Here is a good example from Sparrow. They want to promote their popular Mac mail application to iPhone users. Within the initial product walk-through (now very popular within applications), Sparrow highlights their Mac app (Got a Mac?) and, to drive conversions, offers to send a download link. That's simple but effective (it's actionable), intelligent (captures some data / funnel measuring) and relevant (iPhone users are more likely to be Mac users than Android users).

Of course - if Sparrow were promoting their mobile product, SMS is more effective than mail. Groupon and Redbox do great work here.

Bonobos + Fab Looks More Like Groupon than Gilt.

I find this example so interesting: two fast-growing e-commerce brands working together to solve one another's needs: Bonobos delivers heavily discounted product to Fab, who delivers a user acquisition channel. From afar, I believe example is more similar to how merchants use Groupon / Living Social than how they use Gilt Group: it is more about attracting new buyers than it is for dumping inventory efficiently:

Even Groupon, the King of Conversions, Battles Clutter

I often give the advice of studying web leaders and learning from what they are great at. For instance, Amazon is unrivaled in the ease of navigation, findability and user experience. For user acquisition, onboarding and funnel optimization - Groupon and Living Social are as good as it gets (see more here). But as Groupon tries to grow its product offering and business - it is encountering the common problem of *too much*. How do you keep the experience simple, clean and therefore optimzied with too many offerings and too much noise? It is effectively the inverse of my "In the River" concept.

Here's the example of a recent Groupon. Notice all that's going on: - the Groupon itself (the primary focus) - an expanded promotional unit for "Groupon's Getting Personal!" - Holiday Groupon Gifts - Groupon Now! - the referral program

So in addition to the primary Groupon, the user is exposed to four programs: Personal Groupon, Groupon Gifts, Groupon Now!, and the Referral Program (which has been around from the start). That's a lot!

Let's Not Blame Groupon for its Merchants' Mistakes.

I Found the article, Groupon horror: Bakery must make 102,000 cupcakes, via Washington Post Social Reader app (written about here).

The bakery, based in Woodley, received 8,500 requests for a dozen cupcakes, far above the normally 100 it produces a month. Brown suddenly had to make 102,000 cupcakes.

Brown's company only employs eight people, and she had to bring in an outside agency to handle the orders. The temporary agency cost her $19,500, effectively wiping out her year's profits, MSNBC reported.

This is *not* a Groupon horror story. In fact, Groupon did percisely what they are supposed to do: drive immense volume.

Rather, It is a horror story about business mismanagement and the consequences of poor forecasting.

It's a lesson to be learned for all businesses - although this example demonstrates how small / medium businesses can be more dramatically impacted.

Groupon's IPO Slideshow

I encourage you to read through Groupon's roadshow presentation that TechCrunch posted today. I find the last two slides most interesting: the future of Groupon as a product and what it means for growth trajectory. From the chart, Groupon clearly is betting that new product (Groupon 2.0) will energize a decelerating growth plan (Groupon 1.0). Groupon 2.0 will focus on the delivering more product, more often and in more targeted ways... and, more importantly (?), driving consumer retention: - retention & rewards - merchant ROI (calculators for ROI & Earnings) - Places and Now! deals - new Deal Types - Merchant Mobile Apps

Groupon Aims to Drive Loyalty with Business Awards Flow.

How does Groupon address concerns of loyalty / merchant retention? Build tools directly into the product that allow customers to communicate directly with the merchants. It's an easy, smart way to connect buyers with sellers - without interrupting either flow. The experience (from the language to the graphics) is very positive ("Award a Business"). I am not entirely sure what the award is... and I am not entirely sure what is done with this content... but I applaud Groupon making an effort to address concerns and I always like tools that better connect both sides of the marketplace.

Groupon's Post Purchase Prompts. As "In the River" as it Gets.

Great example of "in the river" promotion by Groupon (one of the very best at conversions and promotions). It doesn't more "in the river" than the post-purchase screen... and it doesn't distract the user during the purchase / flow. This is an obvious example but worth showing because it's clean, clear and intentionally unavoidable. Immediately post purchase:

- the screen blooms into a popup with three components

- a lightweight receipt highlighting the coupon's expiration date (important)

- a chance for users to share their purchase and receive a $10 credit (Twitter, Email, Facebook, Facebook messages). I believe it's better to promote this post purchase because you can be more aggressive (even obnoxious) about it and not interrupt the conversion

- three more deals relevant to you (as determined by sales popularity and proximity)

Also worth noting: it is far easier to A/B test and optimize these flows than it is on the purchase / check-out page. Once you've optimized this flow, you can apply those findings elsewhere.