Groupon (GRPN) has purchased Mertado, a member access shopping site, that offers its members exclusive deals.
Mertado is similar to Groupon Goods, which offers discounted items and the supplier ships the goods directly to you. You can also deal directly with the supplier to purchase directly with your Groupon discount code.
From what I can gather, the thinking behind the purchase is to create communities around Groupon Goods.
Eileen Brown from ZDNet summed it up best:
Lots of us are loyal to Groupon itself — but we are not loyal to the brand making the offer. We go from Groupon deal to Groupon deal. We rarely go back to the brand again — unless there’s another offer from the brand itself.
To get brand loyalty, brands will need to work with Groupon Goods / Mertado to encourage loyalty amongst their social shoppers. Encouraging deals to be shared widely brings in more revenue for the brand offering the loss leader.
Groupon has redefined how local advertising works. The grouping of like-minded people drives pricing down. The brand benefits, we all benefit.
Groupon has been increasing its social commerce offerings. It acquired social messaging and engagement platform Campfire Labs whilst it was still in stealth startup mode last month. Groupon want to capitalize on the shift in how consumers will shop in the future.Channels: groupon, social commerce