We’ve been hearing rumbles about Groupon taking its Groupon Goods initiative more seriously, including rumors that it was talking with various eCommerce companies about partnering up. Those rumbles have a little more weight today, as the company has acquired YCombinator startup Mertado, the social shopping service that uses Facebook as a distribution platform.
From the Mertado blog:
“Our mission at Mertado has always been to expose a selection of high quality, unique, lifestyle-oriented products to consumers wherever they spend their time. Working toward this goal, we have strived to create shopping experiences that build bridges between content, commerce & community.
Today, we’re pleased to announce that we are continuing this journey by becoming a part of the Groupon family. Groupon has been a pioneer in social commerce in many ways, and when we started talking with them, it became extremely clear that they shared the same set of values as us.”
The startup says in the same post that it will shut the service down on February 28, 2012 and that existing customers will have customer service access until then. Their blog post implies that Groupon Goods is an alternative to Mertado, with the following heavy-handed appeasement, “If you enjoyed shopping on Mertado, we think you’ll love the great local experiences and goods that Groupon offers. Groupon’s subscription is opt-in, and you can register at www.groupon.com/goods.”