Groupon SA, the local operation of the global group buying powerhouse created from the seeds of a local startup, is coming over all grown up.
Once a fledgling business running on adrenalin and strong coffee, Groupon SA (through its website MyCityDeal.co.za) has had to become an adult fast in an industry barely out of nappies – but one that still has a responsibility to set the standards for South Africa’s social commerce space.
Groupon has moved out into its own place: from the serviced offices it used to call home to new corporate headquarters in Loop St, Cape Town, with enough space to keep growing.
Groupon has taken on more responsibilities: 41 of them, to be precise, with more joining later. From a small handful of people last year, Groupon SA has been hiring continuously to build a full team in only two months. Many of these new people are focused purely on customer care.
Groupon is being more responsible: SA’s group buying and daily deal sites have come far – but now they have to grow up fast and become good citizens. Which means formal systems of fact checkers, copy editors and deal validation, to prevent customers being disappointed or outraged.
Groupon SA operates MyCityDeal.co.za, which runs great deals aimed at users in each city Groupon covers – giving people a chance to rediscover the delights of their city at massive discounts of 50 to 90%, and giving local businesses and fantastic way to reach new customers.
“For such a young company, Groupon has an enviable reputation around the world for putting the happiness of its customers first – and for quirky but honest editorial," says Daniel Guasco, CEO of Groupon SA.
"We have made many mistakes in the past few months while we were launching the business and getting it flying. Now that we have more resources, we have tightened up how we do things, with people checking up on each other.
“Subscribers of the MyCityDeal sites in the various cities will now get daily deals that are fresh every day, and that are double-checked to make sure customers get what they expect.
"If we do drop a ball, we have customer care people to sort things out. It’s our responsibility to make sure that the group buying and daily deal business in SA becomes a positive experience for both our consumer customers and companies wanting to promote their offerings.”
Groupon SA has now set up sales teams in each of its cities to find local businesses with great offerings.
These are currently Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth, with more coming soon. With more feet on the ground in each city it serves, MyCityDeals subscribers can expect a lot more variety.
Groupon SA is now finding and posting at least a deal a day in the big four cities (JHB, CT, Pretoria, Durban) – and getting a solid response.
Most restaurants get over 1,000 Groupon buyers within 24 hours from MyCityDeal.co.za, and some desirable city activities reach their caps within hours – the Pepper Club Spa reached 900 Groupons within three hours.