Groupon opens first physical store

The daily-deals site set up shop in Singapore's Suntec City Mall, where customers can buy and redeem physical products, and exchange defective goods. Similar shops may follow in other locales.

The Groupon shop in Singapore
(Credit: Jacqueline Seng/CNET Asia)

E-commerce just dropped the letter "E", with Groupon setting up its first retail concept store in the heart of Singapore.

During the official launch, Groupon Singapore CEO Karl Chong told CNET Asia that the shop is an avenue for shoppers to redeem their purchased goods instantly, as well as a way for the company to get to know its customers.

The shop has three computer terminals, as well as a handful of Apple iPads, for customers to browse, buy and print deals on the spot. However, only physical goods can be redeemed at the store in the Suntec City Mall.

The Groupon store's iPads are decked out in a green skin, the company's signature colour.
(Credit: Jacqueline Seng/CNET Asia)

Customers can try out the goods on display first before purchasing, as well as ask Groupon ambassadors about the product. We find this useful, as it gives customers peace of mind and makes them feel more secure about making a purchase.

According to Chong, Groupon Singapore previously had a smaller redemption centre, which saw long queues. However, it wasn't conducive to customers who wait for long periods, so the company decided to expand it into a concept store.

The shop also has a separate counter for customers to exchange or repair defective merchandise.

If the physical store is successful in Singapore, similar shops may be set up in other markets as well. However, this does not spell the end of online shopping for Groupon.

Groupon Singapore's customer-service team is also located at the store, although they're hidden from view.
(Credit: Jacqueline Seng/CNET Asia)

"Groupon will remain an online platform, both on your desktops and your smartphones. The strategy behind setting up the Groupon shop speaks to the huge priority we place on delivering convenience to our customers," said Chong.

Via CNET Asia



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