Famous for its daily deals, Groupon branched out into selling discounted goods back in 2011 – offering everything from TVs to clothing, pet food to earrings. With an already enormous subscriber base signed up for its deals emails, there was a ready-made audience for this new venture, and in 2013 it was estimated that goods were now accounting for around 38% of Groupon’s sales.
Luke Massery, is Vice President and General Manager of Groupon and has the opening keynote of EDX 2015 on 25 March. We asked him a few questions about his work at Groupon, his views on omnichannel, and what he’s looking forward to at EDX.
eDel: Tell us about your role at Groupon and what a typical day might include for you.
LM: As the VP and GM of the Groupon Goods Global business in EMEA, I’m responsible for driving the long-term health of the business (including technology development, and customer and merchant satisfaction), while ensuring we’re hitting revenue and profitability targets each quarter along the way.
There’s no “typical” day in my job. I split my time between my Swiss home office, and our local offices in major cities around the region. In Schaffhausen I work on strategic questions with our EMEA SVP (Tamer Tamar) and CMO (Sasha Berson), day-to-day operational and logistics improvements with my EMEA central teams based here, and liaise regularly with our HR, finance, accounting, and tax teams. When visiting a local office, I make a point of spending as much time as possible meeting and talking with the front-line staff who are working like crazy every day to make Groupon a must-visit destination for customers seeking great deals on great products, and for product suppliers looking to move large volumes quickly. Our Buying and Operations teams in each market are my number one source for what products are trending, what problems are brewing, and what we need to be doing more/less of to stay ahead.
eDel: What’s the best thing about your job?
LM: I’m in the rare position of being able to run a large, well-known business which still has the potential and the resources behind it to be so much more. As with all my previous roles at Groupon, I’m managing an impressive team of dedicated professionals in an environment where change is not only accepted and encouraged, it’s demanded. Nothing is off limits here, no aspect of the status quo is considered too important to challenge / improve / refine / or even demolish if it leads to the greater long-term good. That’s exciting. Especially for a career consultant (before Groupon) it’s a magically refreshing corporate value to really see in action every day.
eDel: What are your thoughts on how the retail sector could learn from innovators and disruptors, such as Groupon?
LM: I think both sides have a lot left to learn from each other. Groupon as a company is only approximately six years old and the EMEA Goods business is only approximately three, so there are naturally finer points of our business that could still be improved- upon as we compare ourselves to industry benchmarks. That said, I think we can safely assert that Groupon has discovered a nice-sized niche in the eCommerce world and have quickly become a trusted provider of value to millions and millions of consumers around EMEA and the world. I think the most interesting consumer insight that Groupon has uncovered is that you don’t need massive product selection to be successful in the eCommerce world. Delivering a curated selection of the best deals without requiring someone to filter through 5,000 results is appealing to consumers. This is particularly meaningful in an increasingly mobile world, where it’s a bit harder to search / filter.
eDel: Where’s the growth / where’s the future for retail – online, in stores, multichannel, omnichannel?
LM: There’s growth potential everywhere! Online retail has decades to go still, making massive improvements to the online customer’s experience (pre-click and post), and we’re now moving into a world where the next level up of fruit to be picked is often a bit different from category to category. That’s not to say that omnichannel can’t be successful, I think quite the opposite (obviously), but we do have to recognise and work towards the differentiation required to create a truly frictionless experience in each category.
eDel: Tell us why you’re attending EDX, what will you be speaking about, what you hope to learn, are there any of the other speakers you are looking forward to hearing from?
LM: With the keynote address I’m hoping to set the stage for the more in-depth discussions to come over the following 2 days. This year’s expo is all about peering into the future together, and trying to gauge what consumers and manufacturers are going to be expecting of us in the year to come. There are a lot of intriguing perspectives on where the eCommerce world needs to head. I’ll share some of mine, backed up by some data showing what trends we’re in the middle of at the moment. But I’m even more looking forward to hearing the nuance of perspectives we’ll get from some of the top industry experts that will be speaking at EDX. In particular I’m looking forward to learning from Maxim Romain of Wayfair, regarding evolving consumer needs for flexible delivery and returns.
Luke Massery’s Opening Keynote Address (Crystal Ball Gazing: Aligning your Corporate Strategy with New and Shifting Customer Demands) will take place at 10:35 on Day One of EDX 2015, 25 March.
You can register free for EDX 2015 here.