As we celebrate the new year and the exciting changes we have in store, I’d first like to take a moment to look at what we’ve accomplished together over 2016 peak season. Cyber Monday was the highest grossing day in our company’s history, a milestone we can all be incredibly proud of. We enhanced our overall holiday customer experience via more timely fulfillment and introduced advance cancellations. With the addition of improvements to extended shipping cut-offs and improved order delivery cycle time (for suppliers participating in our new delivery estimates and hybrid fulfillment programs respectively- see below for more info on both), customers responded positively. But there is still much to be done and much to look forward to.
An Update On Our Gateway Migration Plans
We made huge strides with Gateway in 2016, releasing features that have made it possible for us to begin scaling up supplier transitions and usage of the platform beginning this month. All drop ship suppliers will be migrating to Gateway by September 30th of this year. After that time, Gateway will sunset current platforms used by Goods drop ship suppliers. As a new Gateway user, you’ll have access to the following benefits:
A single user experience to manage all product types
Advanced product catalog enhancements that support real-time inventory and bulk-upload capability
Increased visibility into the status of products and deals, as well as actionable error reports to guide you during the upload and approvals process
Built in contracting and featuring components that allow for easier submission of new deals and ongoing management of existing deals
Improved catalog exposure via expanded attribute sets that customers can filter on the site
The opportunity to take advantage of full EDI capabilities
What You Can Expect
There’s no action for you and your team to take at this time- we will reach out to you when it’s time to begin the transition to Gateway with notice of your start date and additional information to help you prepare. Here’s a basic rundown of what you can expect:
You’ll receive introductory info and full training materials to familiarize you and your team with the platform.
A Gateway account will be created for your business.
You’ll take part in a Gateway user training session (full info on the session will be sent in advance)
The process of uploading your information and product catalog to Gateway will begin.
Products/deals make their way through feedback and approval processes before being listed on the Goods site.
Gateway transition complete!
If you have questions about Gateway, feel free to reach out to your account manager by submitting a Vendor Help Desk ticket (You’ll need to be logged in to Vendor Help Desk in order to submit a ticket; if you do not have an account, please see How do I submit a Helpdesk ticket?). You can also take a look at the resources in our Welcome To Gateway portal within the Goods Vendor Help Desk. We look forward to working with all of you throughout this time of exciting change for our business.
Vendor Operations & Logistics Updates
Live Deal Inventory Snapshot
In an effort to assist with your inventory-planning efforts, our Supply Chain team has been providing drop-ship suppliers with a weekly breakdown of live deals whose SKUs are running low in inventory. Going forward, we will be providing visibility into all your live deals on the site along with the weekly notification of SKUs out of stock or projected to be out of stock within 2 weeks. If you have any questions about the modified live deal inventory notifications, please reach out to your buyer. Some key points to keep in mind:
This weekly notification will continue to be sent each Monday to drop-ship suppliers with current live deals. These notifications began on 11/21.
The live deal inventory snapshot will be sent with an attached excel spreadsheet that contains inventory information for all your deals currently live on the Groupon Goods site, including total units sold, units sold in the last 30 days, option cap, and remaining units. UPCs showing low inventory will appear in column “N” of the spreadsheet.
- There are no penalties if you aren't able to restock a product that is low in stock. The intent of this weekly notification is to keep you updated on fluctuations in your inventory and give you the opportunity to replenish if you have additional inventory available.
In addition to live deal inventory snapshots, all suppliers with deals live on the Goods site will continue to receive vendor scorecards each Monday. The scorecard offers valuable insight and metrics on vendor performance and targets including total bookings, units shipped, units canceled, and more. If you have questions about the vendor scorecard, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delivery Estimates And Hybrid Fulfillment
You may have noticed some Goods deal pages have been displaying delivery estimates. This recently added feature is designed to boost sales by showing customers a dynamically generated estimate of when they can expect a product to be delivered to them. Delivery estimates greatly improved our customer experience and sales lift during 2016 peak season and we’ve received excellent feedback thus far. The delivery estimate is based on several factors, including customer location, fulfillment-center proximity, and fulfillment/shipping timelines. If you’d like more information on how delivery estimates can benefit your business, or if you want to know more about how to participate, please reach out to email@example.com.
Those taking part in the delivery estimates program are also able to partner with us for the recently implemented hybrid fulfillment program that has been popular among many participating suppliers. Under this initiative, we set a pre-buy contract with suppliers for some of their higher volume product so it can be stocked in Groupon’s distribution facilities as well as continuing to be drop shipped. Orders from our site are then routed to the nearest distribution facility, reducing delivery time for our customers. If you’re interested in learning more about hybrid fulfillment, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks For A Great Year!
Thank you for your partnership and hard work on delivering an outstanding experience to our customers throughout 2016. I hope you’re all as excited as I am to get 2017 off to a great start. If you’d like to reach out with questions or feedback, feel free to contact your account manager via the new Vendor Helpdesk (see above, under Merchant Center). From all of us at Groupon Goods, we hope you and yours enjoyed a relaxing, festive holiday season and a happy New Year!
General Manager Groupon Goods North America