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Source: Internet Retailer Internet Retailer

Most of Groupon's revenue stems from web sales of physical goods

Published: 09 Dec 2014 02:54:13 PST

The retailer says that more than 100 million consumers have downloaded its apps. And, in some markets, up to 65% of its transactions occur via mobile devices.

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While Groupon Inc. still sells vouchers, that e-mail-based business now represents less than half the revenue at the company, which increasingly makes its money as an online marketplace for tangible goods.

The retailer reported yesterday that its revenue rose more than 27% in the third quarter, while sales of physical products through its Groupon Goods division, No. 44 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, soared nearly 63% from the third quarter of 2013. Groupon Goods generated $411 million in sales during the quarter, accounting for 54.3% of company-wide revenue.

More than 100 million consumers have downloaded Groupon mobile apps worldwide, the company says. And, in some markets, 65% of the retailer’s transactions take place on mobile devices.

“We began the year with three primary objectivesm," said Eric Lefkofsky, CEO of Groupon, during a conference call with analysts. "First was to reaccelerate local growth in North America and abroad. Second was to improve the gross margins and operating efficiency of our goods business. And third was to continue to achieve stability in our international operations and reduce our losses in rest of world. We’re pleased that our results in Q3 largely delivered on all three.”

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Groupon reported:

  • Revenue increased 27.2% to $757.1 from $595.1 million a year earlier.
  • North American revenue of $418.5 million up 16.0% from $360.8 million
  • International sales of $338.6 million, a 44.6% jump from $234.2 million
  • Revenue for Groupon Goods of $411.0 million, a 62.9% increase from $252.3 million
  • Operating loss of $5.4 million compared to a $13.8 million gain in Q3 2013
  • A net loss of $21.2 million compared with a year-ago loss of $2.6 million
  • Gross billings, which reflects the total amount consumers paid for Groupon vouchers, excluding applicable taxes and refunds, stood at $1.861 billion, a 38.6% increase from $1.343 billion in 2013.

For the first three quarters of the year, Groupon reported:

  • Revenue increased 9.0% to $1.967 billion, compared with $1.805 billion in the same period in 2013.
  • North American revenue of $1.135 billion, a 5.3% jump from $1.078 billion
  • International sales of $831.9 million, a 14.3% gain from $727.6 million
  • Groupon Goods revenue of $763.2 million, up 38.2% from $552.2 million
  • Operating loss of $33.2 million compared to a $62.4 million gain
  • A net loss of $14.1 million compared with a year-ago profit of $13.7 million
  • Gross billings stood at $5.497 billion, up 32.1% from $4.160 billion

Lefkofsky said that Groupon improved the margins on its Goods business, particularly in North America, by adding more drop-shipping and fulfilling more orders via its Kentucky distribution center. Those moves were particularly important, he said, because the retailer's shipping and fulfillment costs had historically been almost twice of that of other e-retailers. 

Zak Stambor

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