With the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the school year winding down to a close, we asked 1,000 parents how much time their families plan to spend on their electronic devices this summer––and the results were staggering. The average American family will spend more than one-third of summer, which is the equivalent of 35 days, using their electronic devices. The survey also found that the average child will watch an estimated 60 movies and play 150 hours of video games over the summer months.
“We love technology, but we also think it should be in the service of something we love even more, which is spending time with our families and experiencing the compelling local activities offered during the summer months and throughout the year,” said Greg Rudin, head of Fun Things To Do at Groupon. “As parents, we’re often just as guilty as our kids when it comes to screen time, which is why it’s important for the entire family to put down our devices every once in awhile and go make some memories together.”
When asked how too much screen time affected their children, 77 percent of parents said screen exposure influenced their child’s mood, 62 percent said they face regular battles to get their children to put down their device and almost half said too much screen time impacts their sleep. And their children weren’t the only ones impacted by too much screen time, parents said they feel like they personally waste one of out every four weekends per month and throw away 9 non-working days over the summer due to their own inactivity.
Parents were asked the top five ways that families can make sure they get the most out of their summer without being consumed by their electronics, and they identified the following:
Hitting the beach
Attending a BBQ
Going on a road trip
Visiting a zoo
Going to a water park
But according to parents, ditching the technology and spending more time with the kids over the summer months won’t come cheap. The survey asked parents to imagine their perfect family weekend and found Moms and Dads estimating it would cost $2,328. Parents said they would spend $1,465 on travel, lodging, taxis and fuel––with an additional $510 spent on admissions and tickets to attractions and evening entertainment. Parents also estimate that they’ll spend $353 on meals during the perfect family weekend.
Groupon Celebrates National Small Business Week by Revealing the Top 10 Best Cities for Local Businesses
It’s National Small Business Week, which is a great time to celebrate the impact local businesses, owners and employees have on our daily lives. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States––accounting for two out every three new jobs created. Whether it’s for generating economic growth and job creation or defining the unique and distinct character of our neighborhoods, this week is the perfect time for us to show how much we love these businesses, the communities they foster and the experiences they deliver.
Since we’ve worked with well over one million local merchants and generated more than $13 billion for these businesses, we decided to take a look at our sales data to see which cities were the best places for small businesses. The top 10 best cities for small businesses––meaning they sold the most local Groupons as a percentage of subscribers––are:
As the world’s largest small business ecommerce marketplace––90 percent of Groupon merchants have 20 or fewer employees and almost one-third are sole proprietors––local merchants are at the center of everything we do here at Groupon. Connecting customers with the millions of small businesses around the world––and helping build vibrant and growing communities in the process––is our core focus as a company. So whether it’s your favorite local pizza place, a relaxing spa or something fun to do on a Friday night, take a few moments this week to tell the small businesses in your community and their employees just how much they mean to you.
In 2016, Groupon made some of its most significant strides as a public company as we continued to make progress on our path to becoming the daily habit in local commerce.
Local continues to be a vast opportunity. Connecting customers with millions of small businesses around the world — and helping build vibrant and growing communities in the process — continues to be our focus. Few others have the scale or ability to tackle this challenge, and no one has made as much progress in such a short time.
Since inception, Groupon has generated more than $13 billion with well over one million local businesses, and more than 50 million customers continue to trust Groupon to deliver incredible value on the things they do everyday and that make their neighborhoods great.
This is a mission that our more than 7,000 employees around the world take to heart and where we continue to do amazing work.
2016 was also a year of significant transition for Groupon.
Having built one of the largest marketplaces in ecommerce over the past eight years, our overall progress is clear. And, as exciting as that progress has been, I believe we still haven’t realized our full potential. We’ve often simply tried to tackle too many things in this vast space. It’s understandable: when you are pursuing an opportunity like local in real time with no tested blueprint, the potential for distraction is real and significant. Moving into 2016, it was clear that our business needed more focus.
When I took the role of CEO, I set out to bring focus to the business and team; to channel our collective energy and unleash it on four foundational things: streamline and simplify our business, grow customers, reduce empty calories and improve the overall customer experience. We believe these are the core elements to building a thriving business for the long term, and the team produced great results.
In short, we did exactly what we said we’d do. And we exited the year with double-digit North America local billings and — more importantly — gross profit growth.
Streamline and Simplify
Most significantly, we fundamentally changed how and where we do business. Over time, Groupon had sprawled and the business became increasingly complex. At the beginning of 2015, we operated in 47 countries. This effectively meant running more than 40 companies — companies with their own sales, customer service, finance, operations and editorial teams. Bottom line, we were fighting too many tough battles that weren’t critical to our long-term success.
Over the last 14 months, we challenged our teams to simplify our business and to ensure we were only working in markets where we were poised to win and where we believe there would be strong return on our long term investments. That meant big changes to our operations, as well as our geographic footprint.
After a year of tough decisions and significant restructuring work, our global footprint sits at 15 countries. These are the markets where we believe we can continue to grow great businesses and that will benefit most from our products, scale and expertise.
As we trimmed our global footprint, we also expanded regional and global shared service centers to more efficiently provide core operations and service support for consumers and merchants around the world. These shared service centers are another key way we’re further streamlining our operations and making the business simpler to run while delivering a more consistent experience for customers. It’s also a much more efficient operating model, which is visible in the strong trend of cost improvements we’ve delivered since undertaking these efforts.
We will continue to focus on this area going forward. Running a lean and tight business is now part of our DNA.
We also made outstanding progress in growing customers. Groupon has built an incredible brand — one consumers recognize and embrace. It is a tremendous asset. We are also operating in a massive and underserved market where customer scale is critical and where we already have a strong foundation. In 2016, we invested more than $360 million in marketing to truly capitalize on our brand and extend our customer advantage. Over the course of the year, we added more than five million new customers in North America — our most since 2012. In addition, we acquired LivingSocial — one of our original competitors in local — to give us a further way to connect with customers through another strong brand.
As an extension of these efforts, we also launched our first significant offline advertising campaign since 2011 to reacquaint customers with Groupon while demonstrating how the company has evolved from our daily deal roots. Combined with our traditionally strong computational marketing efforts, we were able to effectively and efficiently drive millions of profitable new customers to our marketplace and further bolster our brand.
Expect more great things on this front as we move forward.
Reduce Empty Calories
Another key focus for 2016 was reducing empty calories — particularly in our Goods business. As we’ve increasingly focused on gross profit as the best indicator of the overall health of our marketplace, we needed to pay particular attention to our margins. While this is something we track for all our businesses, it is especially important in Goods. Over the past 5 years, our Goods business has been a powerful tool for customer engagement, activation and retention. However, Goods was also too reliant on low margin products that are good for revenue, but contribute little to the bottom line. We are focused on sustained gross profit growth and long-term customer value, and we believe we’re building our businesses to reflect that.
In 2016, we made solid progress ensuring that our Goods operation is a healthy part of Groupon. With improved margins, Goods helped us deliver 10% more incremental gross profit in North America year over year. Further, even as we’ve removed those empty calories, Goods continues to be a tremendous source of Local customer activation, with roughly 40% of Goods buyers also purchasing a Local deal.
As we enter 2017, we believe Goods is healthier, and we’re using it more strategically to fuel long-term marketplace growth.
Improve the Customer Experience
Even with a strong brand, amazing local merchants and tens of millions of loyal buyers, the customer experience remains king. Your product has to deliver value, but it also needs to be easy and rewarding to use. Then you have to back it with excellent service and support.
During the course of the year we made real improvements in our customer service levels driving them to industry standards with plans for further gains. We continued to deliver category-leading customer satisfaction ratings and boast a Net Promoter Score of 72 that rates alongside the world’s best brands. This is an excellent foundation from which to build.
We also invested significantly in our mobile experience. Groupon is the top rated retail app in the United States according to Applause and the second most visited retail app in the country — behind only Amazon — according to Comscore. Our app has more than 145 million mobile downloads and more than 60 percent of our transactions occur on a mobile device. We are — and have been — a mobile-first company. It’s now clear that we’re also a leading mobile shopping destination.
At the end of the year we launched a dramatically improved app experience to build on our already-strong mobile history and deliver more of what consumers want. It is as much as 40 percent faster with vastly improved mapping and geolocation, filters, and browse features that make it even easier to find the perfect deal, wherever you are.
We also began attacking one of the biggest friction points at Groupon: voucher expiration. This has been a thorn in customers’ sides since Groupon’s inception. When vouchers expire, no one wins. Customers feel like they’ve lost out on a great deal. Merchants miss out on a new customer. Our new trade-in program allows customers to extend the expiration date of their deals or trade in a recently expired deal for a new one. We believe this is another key investment in a healthy marketplace.
These were all important improvements in the customer experience, but the reality is that our work here is never done. I expect even more gains here in 2017.
The year ahead
Our progress in 2016 is due to our focus. We set out four key priorities and spent the year relentlessly driving toward them. But there is still work to do. Winning in local isn’t a one year proposition. There’s a reason it is one of the last spaces to be disrupted. It takes time, resources and a great team with a true passion for helping consumers get the most out of their daily lives and for helping small businesses thrive.
Moving forward, we will use what worked for us in 2016 as a foundation for continued progress and refinement. In 2017, we will continue to focus on making the business simpler to run, on making Groupon easier for customers to use and merchants to work with, on continuing to increase our customer base and how frequently they engage with us.
We will make ease and elegance a key priority in our products as we build toward a truly voucherless future. That’s right: Groupon with no physical coupons. At the same time, we plan to make our platform even more powerful for merchants with flexible discounts and even market rate inventory alongside our traditional deals. The combination should mean a seamless and frictionless experience where nearly 50 million customers always find what they’re looking for.
Long term success
I’m often asked what long-term success looks like for Groupon. Ultimately, I see success as a world full of amazing neighborhoods built on amazing merchants — vibrant places where people eat, shop and — most importantly — connect. How do we do that? First, we have to ensure Groupon remains a great place to work with amazing people helping us tackle this incredible opportunity. We then need to remain focused on delivering against our strategy, which is helping us move step-by-step to being a daily habit for customers and an indispensable asset for businesses.
When we do all that, we’ll also have built a great company. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to share this incredible journey with all of you, our valued stockholders, customers and employees.
We are as excited to play a part in that as we were eight years ago and excited to be even further along the path.
Men plan to spend 35 percent more than women for their makeover with an average planned spend of $198 vs. $146 for women
Americans plan to spend twenty minutes extra each day in the spring on beauty routines compared to the winter months
People are three times more likely to start a new diet or fitness regime in the spring
Buying new clothes, sporting a new haircut, making diet improvements, going to the gym and getting a pedicure were identified as the top ways to spruce up for spring
With the weather in many parts of the country this week feeling more like January than the last week of winter, we decided to spring forward by asking 2,000 Americans about the different levels of effort they put into feeling and looking their best during the winter and spring months. And according to the results, 60 percent of Americans are planning to do a personal ‘spring cleaning’ makeover as the weather changes. The survey conducted in recognition of Groupon’s spring beauty Out to Wow! collection––running from March 15-17––revealed that women are more likely to do a personal spring cleaning makeover than men, but men plan to spend 35 percent more than women ($198 vs. $146).
Participants also said that they plan to spend an extra 20 minutes each day in the spring on their personal beauty routines and are three times more likely to begin a new diet or fitness regime. Buying new clothes, sporting a new haircut, making diet improvements, going to the gym and getting a pedicure were identified as the top ways people spruce themselves up in the spring.
“It’s not surprising to see that so many people want to get a fresh start on feeling and looking their best now that winter is coming to a close,” said Silvija Martincevic, vice president and general manager of health, beauty and wellness, Groupon. “‘Me time’ tends to take a back seat in cold weather, which is why we typically see big increases in people buying services such as massages, mani-pedis, facials, laser hair removal, haircare and other wellness- and beauty-related services during the first week of spring.”
The survey, conducted by market researchers, OnePoll, and commissioned by Groupon found colder weather prompts nearly two-thirds of Americans to take a break from worrying about their image, with 51 percent saying the shorter days leave them with less energy to focus on taking care of themselves.
Thirty percent of respondents confess they put less effort into how they dress over the winter, and that might be why one in six say they’ve donned sweatpants with food stains at some point. Understandably, 55 percent of women admit they’re quite happy to shave their legs less regularly, while skincare routines, haircuts and other grooming rituals are also less frequent––with more than half saying they’ve grown hair in places they normally wouldn’t.
And if you’ve added a few pounds, then you’re not alone – nearly two-thirds of Americans have put on a little weight over the winter, with the average gain estimated at eight pounds.
Americans are most likely to start their personal spring cleaning makeover between March 6 and April 5, when four out of 10 report a spike in confidence due to the warmer weather.
Through its Out to Wow collection, Groupon is offering a number of ways for people to begin and save money on their spring revitalization at well-known places such as the following:
Out to Wow! offers users extra savings throughout the three days of the collection. Today only, users can find up to 80 percent off facials, massages, nail/hair care and more. Tomorrow, users will receive an EXTRA 25 percent off all health, beauty and wellness deals in the collection. On Friday, Groupon is running a ‘buy more, save more’ promotion, saving customers more money the more they personally spring clean, including $10 off $40, $20 off $75, $30 off $100 and $50 off $150.
With 2016 coming to a close, we thought it would be interesting to take our annual look at a popular service sold through Groupon that truly signifies “out with the old, in with the new” –– tattoo removal.
According to the results of an online survey released earlier this year and conducted by Harris Poll, the number of people who are getting tattoos is increasing, but so are the number of people who are having regrets about their ink. The percentage of Americans with at least one tattoo increased from 21% four years to ago to 29% today. With more people getting tattoos, the number of people who regretted their tattoos also grew from 14% to about one of out every four people.
We looked at Groupon tattoo removal purchases from the past year, and we found that Austin, Texas once again topped the list of cities that got the most ink expunged. Following Austin was Lexington, Kent., Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Okla., Louisville, Kent., Phoenix, Houston, Providence, R.I., Salt Lake City and Atlanta.
Some of most commonly removed tattoos include: name tattoos, dolphins, misspelled words, barbed wire, stars, butterflies Chinese characters, Celtic designs, signs of the Zodiac and fairies.
And finally, since most people still have no regrets about their tattoos (including the author of this post), we decided to also take a look at which cities bought the most Groupon tattoo deals.
Baltimore beat out last year’s number one, which was San Antonio, to top the list. Following San Antonio was Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Fla., Seattle, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, N.M., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver and Pittsburgh.
The day has come where we welcome twenty of the best and brightest rising high school juniors and seniors from Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, and Arizona for seven weeks of coding and mentoring through the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program!
Participants will also have the opportunity to learn from some of our very own. We’ve matched students with female employees so they can be mentored by other strong women in technology. Additionally, the girls will have the chance to hear from Grouponers in a speaker series covering a wide array of topics such as life as a developer at Groupon, empowering women in technology, and the concept of regular expression patterns.
And because they don’t have enough to do, the girls will apply what they’ve learned and build something of their very own as part of a team project. Projects that have come out of past summer immersion programs include Tampon Run, a video game to take the taboos out of menstruation, and jackALERT, a jacket that lights up when one feels like they are in a potentially harmful situation.
The culmination of all the girls’ hard work will be presented in a graduation ceremony hosted on Thursday, August 11th at the Seattle Public Library. We invite all Groupon employees, friends of the program, and lovers of technology to join us as these new Girls Who Code alumnae share their projects with the world!
Groupon’s partnership with Girls Who Code is part of our larger commitment to STEM education and closing the gender gap in the engineering and technology industry. Led by the Social Responsibility and Talent Development teams, this is Groupon’s 2nd year partnering with GWC. You can read all about last year’s program — hosted in Chicago — and see for yourself what an amazing opportunity this program is for the girls and the volunteers alike.
Groupon’s partnership with Girls Who Code is part of our larger commitment to STEM education and closing the gender gap in the engineering and technology industry. Led by the Social Responsibility and Talent Development teams, this is Groupon’s 2ndyear partnering with GWC. You can read all about last year’s program — hosted in Chicago — and see for yourself what an amazing opportunity this program is for the girls and the volunteers alike.
Diversity continues to be a hot topic in the tech community.
And for good reason: most tech companies want more diverse employee populations. Groupon is no different.
We’re pushing hard to increase employee diversity at Groupon and have made solid advances over the past year.
Today, I want to update both our diversity statistics, as well as the programs we have in place to continue the momentum we’ve seen since our last report.
First, though, let’s take a step back and talk about why we think increasing diversity in the workforce is important. Some talk about diversity as if its value is self-evident. But that sells the topic short.
There’s value to the larger conversation when companies talk about diversity in terms of leverage — e.g., how and why diverse communities can be a force multiplier for their businesses. And there’s value to the larger conversation when we’re more expansive with the definition of diversity: race and gender diversity are important pillars, but so too are veteran status, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, nationality and parental status, among others.
Here are just a few of the reasons we’re focused on diversity:
Groupon’s merchants and customers are a melting pot of countries, cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. Having a diverse workforce helps us better relate to and serve those perspectives. It allows us to step beyond just being a customer-focused company; a diverse workforce gives us the opportunity to truly connect with our customers and the communities in which they live.
How that plays inside the company day-to-day is that diversity brings viewpoints and ideas to the front that may not have otherwise been considered and that can accelerate innovation. A more diverse workforce can bring a different kind of idea to the table, and that can net more good ideas and more great things for our customers.
Even with work to do, we see the benefits of diversity in product design, in user experience and in our sales calls at Groupon. This matters for our culture and our business. It’s not some box ticking initiative… we’ve learned from other areas of our business that bolting on foundational elements doesn’t work. We’re making progress because we’re continually integrating diversity into all parts of our organization — from hiring, to training, to retention, to career development, to reporting.
All that said, here are Groupon’s updated diversity statistics. We know there is room to grow, but we are making progress thanks to the commitment and the work we’ve done to make this a core part of our business.
Let’s dig in:
Global Diversity | March 2016
US Diversity | March 2016
Women in Leadership Global Numbers
Net + 54%
Women in Leadership Global Percentage
Net + 19.2%
* Leadership is defined as Senior Director and above.
Women in Technology Global Percentage
Net + 13%
* Technology is now defined based on job profile, which we believe is the most accurate method, as opposed to by department (as used previously).
Overall Ethnic Diversity | US
Net + 57%
Black and Hispanic/Latino Diversity | US
Net + 62%
Reflects data as of March 31, 2016. Demographic definitions: Leadership = Sr. Director +; Tech = employees in the ‘Technology’ job family. Overall ethnic diversity includes employees identified as Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native or 2+ races and excludes employees who did not specify race/ethnicity.
What we’ve done isn’t as important as what we’re doing. To that end, here are a few of our key focus areas:
Continue to expand our sourcing efforts with diverse communities
We are focused on establishing stronger relationships with diversity networks, organizations and schools. Many talk about a “diversity pipeline” issue, but we think that’s only a challenge if you artificially constrain where you look.
Enhance leader capability
While diversity works best as a core value that’s spread throughout an organization, there’s no denying that leaders play a key role in the success of diversity initiatives. Equipping leaders to champion diversity efforts begins with helping them understand potential institutional and personal barriers. To that end, we’re working with Paradigm on training for managers across all our functions to raise our cultural awareness and remove potential barriers to inclusion.
Continue to support STEM education and women in Tech
We’ve established strong partnerships with great organizations like Girls Who Code, Grace Hopper and Chi Ladies Hack. In some cases, these have a longer-term focus on developing future generations of diverse talent, but — in all cases — they’re deserving groups we’re excited to work with.
Maximize the role of our Employee Resource Groups
Our ERGs — Women@Groupon, Blacks In Groupon, Parents@Groupon, Pride@Groupon, and Veterans For Groupon — are passionate cultural ambassadors both inside and outside of Groupon. We want to help these groups be even more effective in recruiting and retaining talent, as well as in telling the Groupon story.
Remain thoughtful about how we select, develop and retain talent
This one is pretty simple. We’re enhancing our Human Resources tools and practices to ensure that we nurture talent across the company and that we provide meaningful careers for everyone — including our diverse populations.
We haven’t cracked the code on growing diversity at Groupon, but we’re working on it, and — most importantly — we’re making progress. Hopefully, our path is one that others find useful.–RW–
Get your chopsticks ready – Saturday, June 18 is International Sushi Day. To celebrate the occasion, Groupon is honoring the Top 10 Sushi-Loving Cities in America over the past year. And we know sushi––having sold enough rolls to line up end-to-end for 670 miles.
Compiling our ranking required several long nights working through boatloads of raw, nori-wrapped sales data. Our findings were calculated using sushi deal sales over the previous 12 months, balanced against the subscriber base of each city, providing the following ranking:
Memphis claims our top spot, lead locally by the very popular 45% off deal at Akita Sushi and Hibachi Steakhouse. Perhaps Midwest cities should have more rolls named after them, with St. Louis (4), Minneapolis (5) and Cleveland (7) all claiming spots in our ranking. The “Cleveland Roll” sounds delicious.
From Anchorage, Alaska, to Washington, D.C., Groupon customers can find a great deal for International Sushi Day in just about every major city in America. Check Groupon for some inspiration on how you can celebrate Saturday in your neighborhood.
If Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, then why do the majority of parents have no activities planned for their children once they’re out of school? And do you fall into this group? Well, you are not alone.
According to a recent nationwide survey of 1,000 parents commissioned by Groupon, 57 percent of respondents said they had absolutely nothing planned for the family this summer. Which is baffling, considering that a whopping 99 percent of those parents DO want to do something fun and exciting with their kids over the summer months.
Parents were also asked in the survey what the perfect summer looked like with their children, and the results were expensive. According to respondents, the idyllic summer consists of: six BBQs/dinners out, five movie/beach outings and two overseas trips. Though respondents reckon that the total cost for those experiences would come in at around $43,154.87.
“Many parents aren’t aware of the number of affordable local activities they can do with their children over the summer months,” said Greg Rudin, head of fun things to do at Groupon. “By taking full advantage of the amazing things to do around their neighborhood, building long-lasting family memories can be done on just about any budget.”
The average family will travel nearly 600 miles together over the summer, according to the survey, with most vacation destinations between four and five hours away by car.
A day at the beach was considered the top family activity, followed by visiting an amusement/water park and having a classic backyard cookout.
Most – 85 percent – look for vacation activities within their home state. Parents in the West were most likely to want to take their children overseas with those in the Midwest least inclined to do so.
When it comes to travel outside of mainland USA, the Bahamas and Australia are among the dream destinations.
Unsurprisingly, the internet is the top source of inspiration for summer vacation ideas, ahead of word of mouth and traditional advertising, the survey revealed.
The survey also reported that parents are now looking to give their children experiences rather than gifts – and said their kids were 18 times more likely to benefit from an experience throughout their entire lifetime than a toy.
“Research has shown that people increasingly value experiences over material things, especially with friends and family,” Rudin said. “Now is the perfect time to get out there and create those memories by trying something new that you’ve always wanted to do together.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated May 8 – 14, 2016, as National Women’s Health Week, and Groupon is celebrating the occasion by honoring the fittest cities in America over the past year.
‘Fitness’ encompasses a wide range of activities, and local pride is strong — it’s not nice to step on the toes of someone doing a perfect Warrior I. Fortunately, the leader in local commerce, with its mountains of local deals data, is happy to stair-step up to the challenge.
We tabulated Groupon sales figures for everything from boot camps and boxing to yoga and zumba over the last 12 months, accounting for the size of a city’s subscriber base along the way, to arrive at our second-annual fittest cities in America rankings.
America’s Fittest Cities
Albuquerque, one of the top cities in last year’s ranking, continues to be a warm weather fitness mecca for Groupon customers. Cities in Southern states ran away with our rankings, represented by Memphis (2), New Orleans (4), Louisville (5) and this year’s Florida standard-bearer, Tallahassee (9). Finally, San Diego, a city you are not at all surprised to see in our rankings, ensured that California was not shut out from this year’s list.
Congratulations to the communities on this year’s list! Groupon invites everyone to check out our amazing local health & fitness deals on the way to a healthier you.