Target audience: Local and national small and midsize businesses
Key Web executive: Kristi Klemm, b2b marketing manager
No. of people working on the site: Between two and 10 at any time
Last major redesign: At launch, November 2009; ongoing incremental changes
No. of pages on the site: About 400
Web developer: In-house
Hyper-local deal-of-the-day site Groupon caters to consumers, but the first market it needs to sell to is very definitely b2b: the millions of small and midsize businesses that use the service to attract and keep new customers. GrouponWorks.com was set up as a portal to reach those millions of potential local partners that would become the “bread and butter of the business,” said Kristi Klemm, b2b marketing manager at Groupon. “We were initially trying to put up everything that a small-to-midsize business might be looking for if they requested an advertising packet from us,” she said. The site, which uses lots of white space and minimal text, was tight and simple without “traditional "marketingspeak' or anything you might find on a traditional b2b site.”
Since the site's debut at the end of 2009, the simplistic, clean design hasn't changed much, but there have been some significant additions to navigation and content, Klemm said. One of the most important: a Groupon Merchant Services page, which went up last fall. Accessible via the site's main navigation, the new area is designed to help potential clients find information about getting started, she said. “It's a way to convince people how easy it is to work with us,” Klemm said. Another big change is the extensive use of press clips, case studies and quotes from current Groupon customers. “We've sourced a massive amount of press to supplement our case studies, which can sometimes seem biased,” Klemm said. “Every one was chosen to show how Groupon works. It's not just to add to our legitimacy. It's to boost the amount of rich information available.” A final addition to the site, a link to Groupon Now!, introduces the company's latest service offering using video to explain its premise.
Expert commentary: “The interfaces are simplified, with a lot of the garbage you might find on a site like this stripped out. They also do a great job using social proof—showing the many outlets that have covered their service as well as the case studies, success stories and customer quotes. Strong use of well-produced video,” said Jennifer Cardello, user experience specialist, Nielsen Norman Group.