Tomahawk, WI 04/07/2014 (Basicsmedia) – For Chicago-based Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) the challenge is to differentiate itself from competitors in a business that is not built on top of anything proprietary or unique. Its discounted gift certificate idea can be replicated by others. Indeed, may have tried to do exactly that though not many have succeeded quite like Groupon has. But how will Groupon fare when the big boys — Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB),, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) — try to compete with it?

Groupon entering retail?

Consider the growth in ecommerce globally — from $482 billion in 2009 to $963 billion in 2013. Giants such as Amazon and eBay have grown on the backs of the growth in ecommerce. Groupon wants to take advantage of being the leader in discount coupons and take its business to the next level. It’s not for nothing that the company is reportedly building warehouses.

With the brand recognition and scale of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), it becomes an attractive option for companies who want to garner some attention nationally or internationally.

New Ad Blitz

The company has come out with a new ad since it weathered a lot of criticism for its Super Bowl ad in 2011. Its conservative slogan in the new ad is: “Check Groupon First.”

New Plans

Groupon has had a roller coaster ride since its founding. Former CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason was fired from the company and the company is now led by Eric Lefkofsky. The new CEO has ramped up efforts to boost non-coupon revenues by expanding beyond deals. After spending $260 million to acquire Ticket Monster from LivingSocial, it remains to be seen who came out of the deal better or who got more out of the deal.

The business challenges to Groupon could come from any direction: LivingSocial, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) or, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) might battle the challenges like a “real man” or perhaps might become part of Facebook if Mark Zuckerberg continues with his shopping spree.

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