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So last week’s big tech news was the social commerce mega-deal that didn’t tip; Google’s offer to buy the group-buy e-couponing giant, Groupon, for a rumoured $6bn was rejected by the 100 week wordpress-blog-to-billion-dollars-sensation.

But all the deal talk eclipsed a flurry of social commerce innovations from Groupon demonstrating some smart creative thinking in the social commerce space – all aimed at helping deals find people and turning Groupon into The Web’s Deal Hub.

  • First, Groupon has launched “the Deal Feed“, a new Twitter-style/Facebook newsfeed UI allowing people to ‘follow’ businesses from whom they’re interested in receiving deal news.  This is an extension of Groupon’s deal alert personalisation feature launched this fall, allowing Grouponers to customize deal news by ZIP code, gender and age.
  • Second, Groupon has launched “Groupon Stores“, a self-serve service for businesses who can now set up and run their own Groupon deal store, without all that expensive messing around with Groupon’s 50% commission. Groupon’s commission from sales on hosted Groupon store sales is 10%,  plus an optional 20% if you opt for a Groupon email blast to promote your store.
  • Third, Groupon has grown out of its single deal-a-day model for advertising local businesses, now offering multiple deals from both local businesses and e-commerce businesses.  Groupon is now a flash sale hub.
  • Fourth, Groupon has launched an Groupon gift store “Grouponicus“, a curated store of Groupon deals designed for gifting. Is this the start of Groupon verticals – Groupon curated stores for wine, travel, sports etc?
  • Fifth, in addition to acquiring 3 yet more online couponing sites, this time in Asia (uBuyiBuy, Beeconomic and Atlaspost) – Groupon has acquired the things-to-do-before-you-die community site Diddit, along with OfferFoundry, another self-service advertising and deals platform for local businesses (via the purchase of holding company Ludic-Labs). This will presumably help Groupon target deals to consumers and partnerships with businesses.

Customisation for businesses, personalisation for consumers and curated stores – is this the future of social commerce?  Perhaps, and for Groupon, this future will surely also sit alongside a continued voracious acquisition stategy, and the grabbing of some low hanging social commerce fruit;

  1. Adding in consumer reviews to turn Groupon instantly into a tier 1 reviews site
  2. Adding a premium subscription service for deals – get better deals first – to generate regular income from annual subscriptions
  3. Offering a turnkey white label service for the publishing industry – now in perpetual crisis – looking to monetize readership through deals

Whatever, you take away from all this Groupon innovation, innovation is the name of the social commerce game right now. Groupon has set the trend for 2011.

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    The Future of Social Commerce: Customisation, Curation … | E-Commerce Center

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    Tweets that mention The Future of Social Commerce: Customisation, Curation, Personalisation | Social Commerce Today — Topsy.com

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    Dealosaurs

    http://www.dealosaurs.com

    Dealosaurs searches for the discounts on many popular products, services and events. No longer waste time browsing many different sites to find deals, with Dealosaurs browse all deals through a variety of cities in one location. Once you select a deal, you will be taken to the actual site from which you can purchase the product, service or event tickets.

    All deals come at lower prices based on more people purchasing the products, so please let all of your friends know about Dealosaurs.com.

    Dealosaurs is just not a listing of deals, but a guide which will assist you in enjoying your life with over spending for fun.

    Register as a subscriber and you can customize the deals which you like to receive updates about in My Accounts section.

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    Ron Zeligzon

    Groupon is most likely going to be included in the ranks of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook. They are constantly innovating in order to beat the competition. Groupon has positioned themselves quite well.

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      Paul Marsden

      Hello Ron, thanks for the comment; I’m with you on this – Groupon is turning into an innovation machine in this space, spawning hundreds of clones as it goes, making it ever-more necessary to innovate to stay ahead – network effect notwithstanding.

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        Dealosaurs

        Dealosaurs searching from more than 1500 recent deals in more than 150 cities. Groupon deals is the first preference and people will look 1st.

        Also showing other popular deals from leading deal sites like social buy, buywith me, tipper, living sociial, kgb deals, eversave…..

        Search feature is there to search based on deal keywords.

        Deal alert is there to sent mail according to your preferences

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    Paul Chaney

    I agree with Ron. We’re seeing a game-changing platform develop into maturity. Up to now I had taken a sidewards glance at group coupon buying sites, but Groupon is moving well beyond its nascent stage into something that ecommerce merchants can use as well, and do so without assuming the same degree of risk that has been associated with this concept heretofore.

    Therefore, I commend Andrew on his decision not to sell. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin/ Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and now Andrew Mason. I believe his name belongs on that short list. If that’s not apparent now, it will be.

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      Paul Marsden

      Hi Paul, thanks for the comment, good to hear from you – yep I agree – Mason is already being groomed for entry into this elite circle – as cover-man for Forbes. Attack of the Groupons blockbuster movie coming soon? ;-)

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    Dealosaurs

    Dealosaurs searches for the discounts on many popular products, services and events. No longer waste time browsing many different sites to find deals, with Dealosaurs browse all deals through a variety of cities in one location. Once you select a deal, you will be taken to the actual site from which you can purchase the product, service or event tickets.

    All deals come at lower prices based on more people purchasing the products, so please let all of your friends know about Dealosaurs.com.

    Dealosaurs is just not a listing of deals, but a guide which will assist you in enjoying your life with over spending for fun.

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    WWF create eco-friendly file format that can’t be printed « V E X E D

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    ElCapitano

    Social commerce? Groupon? They spend hundreds of millions on media. What’s social about that? Check out http://weshop.com That’s social commerce. Watch out for them in 2011.

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    Spencer Kline

    Great article. I really think this is why Groupon turned down the 6 billion dollar offer. If Groupon 2.0 can capture the social commerce market, as I think it very well may do, Groupon’s leadership team will look like a genius for turning down Google’s offer.

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