Host: An e-mail came out offering a $50 gift card to the Gap注1 for just $25. The response was immediate. Half a million people clicked “buy.” That e-mail was legitimate[合法的], but it didn't come from the Gap. It came from a company called Groupon. It's one of several companies offering consumers some amazing deals and changing the way businesses market themselves.
The Gap deal was Groupon's first big national promotion. And the response overwhelmed[彻底击败] the company's servers. Rob Solomon is Groupon's president.
Solomon: We thought it would do well. We had no idea it would do as well as it did. And now we're getting calls from every national retailer[零售商] out there about how they can get in on the fun with Groupon…
Up until now, Groupon has built its business with a local focus. It partners up with small businesses in the dozens of cities it serves, then offers hard-to-resist savings to the people on its massive e-mail lists. Solomon says the customers buy directly from Groupon.
Solomon: Traditionally, the cupcake bakery[面包店] or the Pilates注2 studio or the Brazilian steakhouse[牛排店] wasn't able to sell on the Internet, and they maybe promoted themselves a little bit on the Internet, but nothing really moved the needle[找到方向] until this thing came along.
Groupon may be the leader in discount[折扣] group buying on the Internet, but it does have competitors.
LivingSocial recently sent an e-mail to its customers in Washington, D.C. offering $50 worth of fancy cupcakes for $25.
More than 2,000 people responded—double what the managers at the Red Velvet[天鹅绒] Cupcakery had been expecting. Tracy Wilson says it's been a wild ride for the pastry[糕点] chefs.