Where will Groupon be in 2014

Groupon wants to become a full-fledged travel portal

The couponing provider is expanding its business model. Hoteliers are wooed with a high reach.

BERLIN. 20,000 new partner hotels and an online booking calendar are intended to advance the Groupon placement portal. The company announced that it now wants to become a “full-fledged travel portal”. In future, users should enter their desired destination and the desired date at Reisen.groupon.de and search for corresponding hotel offers.

The couponing offers should, however, be retained. These "deals" are based on the 2-for-1 principle and are controversial in the industry, among other things because of the high commission and the low turnover that is washed into the hotel's cash register.

But Groupon is still successful in the market. The company announced that sales in 2013 were US $ 700 million. Groupon woos its hotel partners with its reach, especially with that of its newsletters. The portal reaches 3.5 million newsletter subscribers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and 200 million newsletter subscribers worldwide. These users should be tied to Groupon in the long term. For every booking made via the booking calendar, you will automatically be credited 5 percent in Groupon credit.

“We are now investing even more intensively in targeting our customers geographically and demographically so that they receive excursion and vacation offers that are tailored to their individual needs and wishes,” explains Ait Voncke, Head of Groupon Travel EMEA, explaining the further strategy. The company is also investing in the mobile sector: With the last-minute app Blink, it has added a tool for short-term mobile bookings to its portfolio.