Last week, daily deals giant Groupon registered a bunch of domain names with ‘groupongoods’ in them (.com, .net, .us, .info, .biz and interestingly, .fr). Evidently, securing those domain names doesn’t necessarily mean the company is going to debut a service by the name ‘Groupon Goods’ soon or even in the distant future, but let’s hypothesize for a moment that this is exactly what they’re planning to do.
Imagine if Groupon starts instructing its vast sales forces, which are located all around the world, to start focusing on opportunities other than restaurants, spas, massages and pilates classes.
Better yet: what if they end up seeking mutually beneficial partnerships with companies like Alice.com, Drugstore.com, Pets.com, Overstock.com or Newegg.com in order to branch out into selling discounted groceries, households items, consumer electronics and whatnot.
Theoretically, the fast-growing company could apply its successful ‘local commerce’ model and leverage its enormous international subscriber base (circa 120 million subscribers and counting) to venture into offering deals for groceries, household items and other goods regularly purchased online. Actually, it would make perfect sense in my mind.
For one, it would be a way for Groupon to diversify its revenue streams and accelerate sales growth as the company prepares to go public, without necessarily adding a lot of overhead costs (especially if they go for partnerships rather than building such a service in-house).
Notably, it wouldn’t be the first time Groupon makes such a move. They’ve already partnered with juggernauts Expedia and Livenation to offer online deals on travel (Groupon Getaways) and event tickets (GrouponLive), respectively.
We’ve contacted Groupon – perhaps they’re cool enough to not decline to comment on rumors or speculation. Hope springs eternal, etcetera.
A ‘Groupon Goods’ done right could potentially be a challenger to Amazon, which is not only known for its Amazon.com ecommerce business but also for its grocery shopping site Amazon Fresh and (acquired) niche online stores such as Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com and Zappos.com.
Amazon also owns Woot, which offers daily deals on a range of items (mostly consumer electronics).
Groupon recently announced that it took a net loss of $102.7 million in the second quarter of 2011 on $878 million of revenue (and lost roughly $205 million in the first half of the year). Groupon currently employs some 10,000 people all over the globe.
So, Groupon, any cats on hand to fuel or debunk the above Groupon Goods rumors?