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Groupon, Users to Celebrate the Turkey Business' First Year

Groupon Sehirfirsati.com is readying to celebrate its first birthday in the Turkish market. Having entered the Turkish market a year ago as the Turkey branch of the European group purchase network City Deal, later to be acquired by the US giant Groupon, the website presently has more than 2.5 million subscribed users has collaborated with almost 5,000 small and medium enterprises in Turkey

Having entered the Turkish market a year ago as the Turkey branch of the European group purchase network City Deal, Sehirfirsati.com, a translation of the original name, now a Groupon business, is ready to celebrate its first birthday in the Turkish market.

The online portal presently has more than 2.5 million subscribed users. It also has collaborated with almost 5,000 small and medium enterprises in Turkey and the total amount of saving the company helped its users to achieve so far is around 60 million Turkish Liras, according to company figures provided by the General Manager Emre Ekmekçi.

Speaking to Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Ekmekçi said City Deal funded by the European Founders’ Fund contacted him over a year ago to enter the Turkish market.

“The company does not work by opening direct branches or giving franchising. They contact and invite a resident entrepreneur to the city branch. We first started as City Deal, than Groupon acquired the company to enter the European market and we became Groupon Şehir Fırsatı.”

The Sehirfirsati.com started its operations in Turkey in April 2010. Since then the company have collaborated with many local small firms as well big companies like Coca Cola and Pegasus Airlines. Sehirfırsatı.com presents its users discount opportunities in a wide range of interest areas, like eating and drinking, social activities, tourism activities, cosmetics and beauty sector. The website offers city deals in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Antalya, Adana, Samsun Koceli provinces at present but aims to spread to whole country in 2011.

The initial investment of the City Deal in Turkey was 4 million euros and today American giant Groupon is operating in 47 countries. “Among all the Groupon branches worldwide, we were the 5th biggest last year,” Ekmekçi said.

Recalling the first deal the Turkish office offered to its subscribers, Ekmekçi said it was a price discount for pizza for lunch in 360 restaurant on İstiklal Street. “We sold 100 coupons for the deal and it was more than the total amount of pizza sold in the restaurant for lunch in a year.”

Ekmekçi defines their business as an online advertisement media. “That is how we first introduced ourselves to businesses. We tell them we will be send notifications about your business to 2.5 million people’s email boxes and even more we will get these people through their business’ door. And we ask them what they can offer in exchange? That is how we sign our discount coupon agreements.”

He said Groupon created a new market worth up to 120 million Turkish Liras for small and medium enterprises, or SMEs. “And they did not have to pay out of their cash flow to attain this.”

Ekmekçi said Groupon’s basic business principle was helping the growth of SMEs.

“We have a very solid international network and we can provide our SMEs exposure in the foreign markets, and the same applies to those in other markets the Groupon is active in,” he said.

Speaking of the company’s 2011 targets Ekmekçi said they planned a fast and correct growth. “Our target is 5 million subscribers by the end of 2011,” he said.

Groupon also plans to simplify its web layout. “The U.S branch has developed this model. There will be two fundamental concepts on the webpage. ‘I’m hungry’ and ‘I’m bored’. We have a great power and we are using this to contribute to local SMEs business volumes, but we are also encouraging them to develop their business management skills by rapidly increasing this business volume,” he said.

According to data provided by Ekmekçi, Sehirfirsati.com is providing more than 100,000 customers to local small firms with the discount coupons it presents. Source: Hurriyet Daily News
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07
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