With everybody’s noses tucked into their smartphones, Groupon CEO Rich Williams said that even his discount-centered online marketplace is rapidly shifting to mobile.
“The transition to mobile for our business has been profound, and now we’re close to two-thirds mobile in terms of transactions,” Williams told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer on Wednesday.
After delivering a strong quarterly earnings report in which billings growth, a key metric for businesses like Williams’, accelerated to 14 percent from 7 percent last quarter, the CEO said Groupon was eager to build on the foundation it has formed since its 2011 initial public offering.
With several new initiatives underway including Groupon Plus, Williams said the company’s main objective is to do away with traditional paper vouchers as payments become increasingly digital.
“You talk about the old paper voucher experience. The time for that has come and gone,” Williams said. “And the Groupon Plus product, using the credit card networks and partnering with the credit card networks, really allows us to put savings on people’s payment mechanisms, which at its very core keeps people from having to change their behavior.”
Williams touted the “seamless savings experience” as one that should draw even more phone-savvy customers to Groupon’s business and bolster the company’s burgeoning mobile segment.
“We really need to make Groupon voucher-less and leverage all that mobile capacity that we’ve built over the last couple of years,” the CEO said.
Groupon is also carving a place for itself in the bookings business, another area of the market undergoing a massive shift online.
Recently, Groupon announced a new program called Beauty Now, which will help what Williams said was an under-served area of the beauty space.
The application will help salons toss their paper-and-pencil appointment calendars in favor of online bookings, streamlining the often dreaded process of scheduling that plagued the restaurant business for years.
“We’re bringing that product to market with both partners and our own technology solutions, and we’re starting to unlock those businesses for that online, really seamless interaction where a customer can just pick a service, book a time and walk in and walk out,” Williams told Cramer. “That’s where the local experience should be, and we’re excited about Beauty Now and booking in general on our platform as a way to help bring it there.”
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Source: Investment Cnbc
Shedding paper vouchers and moving to mobile, Groupon CEO shares discounter's next steps