Not resting on its laurels

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According to Neoh, Groupon Malaysia has over 4,000 merchants and is growing between 5% to 10% every month

It may have been the pioneer group buying site in the country and market leadeer but Groupon Malaysia is not resting on its laurels. It aims to develop new partnerships as part of its plans to further develop the group buying industry in Malaysia.

Indeed, its existing partnership with Maybank2u and TripAdvisor has allowed the company to extend further its customer reach to a wider audience. At the time of its signing with Maybank2U last year in Aug, Groupon Malaysia was able to extend its reach to the then 1.7 million active Maybank2U users. Meanwhile, its recent tie-up with TripAdvisor was more to help the over 1.7 million Groupon subscribers find the best travel deals based on TripAdvisor reviews and opinions.

Groupon Malaysia has also expanded rapidly in the last 12 months in cities and states, including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Johor, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

It has rolled out Groupon Healthcare, a portal for specialty deals designed to help consumers locate selective, affordable and quality healthcare solutions which have been approved by the Ministry of Health.

Says Joel Neoh, Vice President and General Manager for Groupon in Southeast Asia and India: “We will be announcing other similar partnerships to maintain our market dominance in Malaysia.” Neoh is also the CEO of Groupon Malaysia, part of the Nasdaq-listed Groupon.

Since its launch in January 2011 to date, Groupon Malaysia has grown from 50, 000 subscribers comprising mostly students aged 18 to 25 to over 1.7 million male and female subscribers aged between 18 and 60 years old.

According to Neoh, the company’s monthly growth rate is between 5% and 10%. He reckons however that there is a huge untapped market, adding that more and more Malaysians are realising the value of Groupon which is beyond the need to find value for money bargains alone.

At the same time, merchants are eyeing the marketing and economic value that Groupon claims it can provide to their businesses. It currently has over 4,000 merchants.

Neoh elaborates: “In Groupon Malaysia, we have market specialists who ensure the right mix of products and services are on the site. It is built as social e-commerce thus diligent monitoring of consumer behavior on social media is a top priority to ensure potential and existing customers’ needs are fulfilled.”

The company has designed a business policy for customers known as the Groupon Promise. This means that if a customer feels that Groupon has let him down, he can contact them and Groupon will return their purchase.

“However, we at Groupon are aware that direct engagement between customers and merchants has been an issue in the past. In these situations, we work with merchants to ensure such incidents do not repeat themselves. Groupon Malaysia also provide comprehensive call-center services from 8am to 12 am year round on behalf of merchants. This allows us to directly manage and oversee deal transactions between customers and merchants to ensure that customer experiences are not compromised,” says Neoh.

Finally, he believes that the power of social marketing is fast becoming a leading channel for e-commerce throughout the world, with many merchants already seeking its integration into their business models.

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