Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

With Search-Heavy Redesign, Groupon Starts Acting Like a Deals Marketplace

New Groupon homepage home page

Groupon unveiled a redesigned website and mobile apps this morning — the latest attempt by the Chicago-based deals company to transform itself from a company relying on daily-email marketing and into a marketplace of local and travel deals that shoppers visit just as regularly as other e-commerce marketplaces.

The redesign includes several changes related to the site’s search functionality, including a more prominent search bar atop each page, and search results that are pulled from Groupon’s various categories — local deals, products and vacations.

In a canned statement announcing the redesign, CEO Eric Lefkofsky said, “Our new site and mobile app makes it easier and more rewarding for customers to check Groupon first when they want to buy just about anything, anytime, anywhere.” (Say, a diamond engagement ring for the lucky lady.)

Even with the new site design, that statement still seems much more aspirational than realistic for now, especially when talking about shopping for products versus services, since the Groupon Goods database only shows a little more than 600 products currently for sale.

Lefkofsky has previously said that he wants the site’s merchandising to take more cues from Costco — with its low prices and limited variety per product type — than from Amazon. But, even with that clarifier, Groupon has a long way to go.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work