Back in the beginning of December Groupon decided to take a pass on Google’s offer to buy them out for $6 billion dollars. Yes, I said 6 BILLION dollars (in my best Dr. Evil voice). I’m still amazed at Groupon’s will power to say “Thanks, but no thanks.” The only thing that would make me pass on this deal would be a unbelievable business plan, vision and cash. Well, they are earning the cash now but we still don’t know what that vision entails.
Local businesses have not been completely thrilled with the Groupon operation and restaurants are losing money over it. People are buying up the coupons for a quick deal but they are not coming back to the establishment. So how can Groupon help businesses with returning customers? Groupon must do something or they will be known as one of the dumbest companies ever passing up on a 6 billion dollar buy-out.
Another company that is at a crossroad in their existence is foursquare. The popular check-in “game” that allows users to check into venues with there cell phones while earning them points, badges and mayorship titles. Recently they released their Ambassador Program to help spread the word about their service to venues. Outside of the cute little badges, users hope to earn specials or discounts for checking into local businesses offering it to them. The problem is not too many venues are participating in the program.
No venue participation leaves users wanting more out of their check-in fun. After awhile it gets old and easily gamed by users. Which leaves a lot of things for foursquare to fix or they will fail.
Groupsquare, Foupon, Grouquare, SquareGroup… Whatever
Each company has its flaws and strengths. The beautiful thing is they both have strengths where each other lacks. To say it simply:
Groupon has many businesses on board off the start and they give great deals for consumers. But customers don’t come back after they have used a Groupon. Leaving businesses completely upset and losing money.
Foursquare motivates people to come back to establishments for mayorships and badges but leaving consumers wanting more for their efforts. Plus the lack of involvement from venues is hindering the process.
This seems like a match made in heaven and could be exactly what each other needs to come out on top over their competition and maintain life for the companies.
What would Foupon Look Like
The online version of Groupon would not change much. It’s already appealing to the eye and easy to use. They would have to integrate the check-ins, reviews and mayors for each venue that foursquare has. People can friend others and find people to get Groupons with. Mayors would be able to get discounted Groupons for being such a great frequent visitor. The website would turn more into a social network instead of a site you would visit when you feel you want to get a good deal.
The mobile app would combine the powers of Groupon’s mobile app and foursquare’s mobile app. This would give you the power to buy Groupons on the fly, see places that are offering Groupons near you and check into venues with the hopes of becoming mayor and earn discounts. Also, mayor’s would get push notifications to their phones when a new Groupon is available to buy for a currently owned venue. You can make comments, take pictures of venues and converse with your friends just like foursquare but give the discounts and specials that Groupon offers.
I could be off my wagon but this just seems like an obvious fit for the two of them. Who knows? Maybe that is the business plan Groupon had in mind when they turned down 6 BILLION dollars… muha – ah -ah – ah. If that is the case, we can see foursquare getting blown to oblivion.