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Groupon exec claims mobile is one-third of transactions

During the “Groupon: How the Daily Deals Giant Mobilizes Retail” closing keynote, the executive addressed how the company is not only using mobile as a transaction medium, but also using the channel to run interactive mobile ad campaigns to grow its database.

“Our goal is to become the operating system for local commerce,” said Iryna Newman, head of mobile marketing at Groupon, Chicago.

“We want to really build a powerful suite of tools that will let merchants compete on the same level as bigger merchants,” she said.

The Mobile Marketing Summit: Holiday Focus 2012 conference was a Mobile Marketer event.

Testing mobile
According to Ms. Newman, marketers looking to dip their toes in the mobile space face several obstacles including user acquisition, yield management and how to best reward their top customers.

Groupon figured out how to answer those challenges with mobile.

Mobile is the fabric that is making it possible for merchants to compete with larger companies, per the exec.

Over the past few years, Groupon has seen a lot of success with mobile.

The company’s mobile application is available in more than 30 countries.

Additionally, nine million people used Groupon’s mobile apps in North America in December 2011, a three-times increase over December 2010.

However, mobile apps do not make a complete mobile strategy.

“If you want to be a mobile-first company, you have to think about how you advertise on mobile,” Ms. Newman said.

Earlier this year, Groupon ran a targeted mobile campaign within Pandora. The goal of the campaign was to drive sign-ups for the company’s service.

The first version of the creative simply featured a Groupon deal. The company saw a low number of visits to signups, but had a high conversion rate.

Additionally, the company saw a highly qualified audience, but the CPS was too high.

For its second version, the signup form was served first and every few clicks. Groupon tested two versions of the signup form. The second version also had a high CPS cost.

For its third and final version, Groupon rolled out interstitial ads that featured both the product feed and signup form at each impression.

The company saw a conversion rate of 10x.

According to Ms. Newman, version three performed the best on all KPIs.

The mobile campaigns were grouped into gender-specific categories in real-time.  Furthermore, the deals were grouped into value categories to motivate the value buyer.

“You have such rich data on mobile,” Ms. Newman said. “We have location, gender and time and these analytics help.

“It’s time to start using smart ads and really taking advantage of the data,” she said.

Final Take
Iryna Newman is head of mobile marketing at Groupon, Chicago