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Knock down prices are always appealing, and the Groupon website offers cultural outings at -60%, travel at -50%, fun activities at -70% and the list goes on! It’s altogether pretty tempting!
What is Groupon?
is a site that offers discounts of between 50% and 90% on hundreds of products, activities and services of all types in more than 28 countries. How does Groupon get these reductions? Well that’s the question most people ask when they see the prices on their site.
The principle is quite simple: as the name suggests, the site negotiates group rates, which allows them to get considerably lower price and guarantee a minimum number of buyers to the supplier. If the number isn’t reached then the deal is cancelled.
What does Groupon offer in Barcelona?
Another Groupon advantage? Reductions on a plethora of themes: cuisine, activities, beauty, ealth and well being, multiples services, shopping, travel…
To give you an idea, at the time of writing this article, Groupon is offering entry to Barcelona’s Ice Bar, to which we have devoted an article, a set menu in a restaurant with a sea view, tickets to an opera at the Liceu, a trip on a yacht or in a hot air balloon, cooking lessons or paddle-surf lessons, a semi-permanent manicure, tooth whitening, massages, a stay in a starred hotel on the Costa Brava…there is no shortage of choice!
How do Groupon discounts work?
Once you have chosen the offer you want, you have to pay the amount shown. In the 24 hours following your purchase you will receive an email confirmation explaining how to obtain your product or service.
If you change your mind there is a 7 day period where you can request an exchange or reimbursement.
Good to know:
- Barcelona’s Groupon site is in Spanish.
- Offers are time limited! Generally the site tells you how long they will be available.
- Carefully read the conditions for each offer to avoid any nasty surprises.
- Some activities take place just outside Barcelona: Check where they are happening and how to get there before booking.
- In case of problems these can be resolved directly with the site’s after-sales service.
Why do we recommend this site?
- We’ve had good experiences with it in the past.
- The discounts offered by Groupon are unbeatable and allow you to make a lot of savings whether you’re a tourist or a local!
- The offers are so varied that they allow you to do activities, try restaurants or use services that would otherwise be too expensive.
So what are you going to try today?
Olivia has always loved Barcelona: its modernity, the fantastic climate, the sun, the beaches, the tiny winding streets of the Gothic quarter, the joyful and festive atmosphere… Like all the best love stories, this one ends “happily ever after”, and Olivia has now set up home in the Catalan capital.
Groupon in Spain – Discover our Valencia and Madrid offices.
Our Valencia office is located in the Iberdrola building, located on Carrer de Menorca, with an amazing view of The Agora, one of the modern symbols of Valencia. The location follows Groupon’s “never boring” standards, so our teams work in modern and fun surroundings. The conference room names are great Spanish artists – Goya, Picasso, Dali – reflecting the main office theme chosen by our local colleagues.
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Grouponers from Sales, Goods, Accounting, Recruiting, and many more teams make up our Madrid office. The office is close to the immaculate “El Retiro”—a gem of Madrid in the heart of the city. Monthly all-hands meetings keep employees connected, Nespresso machines keep everyone caffeinated, and futbolín keeps teams competing.
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Not interested in working out of our Valencia or Madrid offices? No problem! As a company grounded in forward-thinking technology principles, flexible work has always been a part of our culture at Groupon. We offer hybrid and fully remote opportunities across all lines of business.
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If I take a step back and think about my first day at Groupon, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned, how many experiences I’ve faced that helped me to grow, and how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing people. Overall, I constantly feel that I’m becoming a better professional. And of course, I have a lot of fun!
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Why the Spanish aggregator for beauty salons from the co-founder of Groupon went bankrupt – Offtop on vc.ru
The story of a former employee of the company about the fatal mistakes of the management.
The vc.ru editors talked to Vadim Moiseev, a former employee of Blissbooker, who spoke in more detail about the reasons that led to the bankruptcy of the company founded by Groupon co-founder Boris Hegney.
Due to system errors and an uncontrolled marketing campaign, the service spent its budget and was unable to attract new investments. As a result, Hagney left for the USA, and the company owed money to the former employees, which they are going to get through the court.
Groupon co-founder Boris Hagney launched the Spanish beauty aggregator Blissbooker in 2014. He noted that Groupon’s audience is most active in discounts in the beauty and health segment, and that it is often inconvenient for people to buy coupons for Groupon: they had to pay for them first, then contact the service provider and set up a time.
He suggested an alternative. Users could find a beauty salon on the platform, select a service, set a date, pay for it, and then come to the salon and simply use it. The company took a commission for each transaction, and also offered salons to purchase a premium account in order, for example, to answer customer reviews and questions.
By September 2015, the company was operating in France, Portugal, Spain and Italy and Hagney decided to enter the Russian market. In Moscow, a small staff of sellers was formed who entered into contracts with beauty salons. Vadim Moiseev lived and worked in Barcelona. In the company, he got a job as an operating agent – his task was to upload information about salons to the platform’s database.
The first contracts were signed before he joined the firm. The opening of the site in Russia was constantly delayed. The developers explained this by difficulties with money transactions due to currency differences. However, sales managers continued to conclude contracts with Moscow beauty salons. “All salons started calling from the center. I did not understand Moscow, but it seemed strange to me that people in the center of Moscow would search for a beauty salon through some kind of application. But it was Boris’s decision, so it was not discussed, ”says Moiseev.
By November, he had added one hundred salons to the database, and the Russian branch was able to make the largest discovery in the history of the platform. But when he uploaded information about Russian companies, Moiseev found that they offered too many types of services, and it was inconvenient for users to navigate the site.
“In Europe, salons have a very narrow specialization: in one they only do manicures, and only 10-15 types of manicures. The other is haircuts. And in the average Russian beauty salon they offer from 100 to 400 services, and information about each had to be posted. As a result, the site turned out to be like a Bible – to find a suitable service, you need to scroll through 400 others, ”explains Moiseev.
He approached Hagney with a proposal to improve the interface, but both he and other executives decided to copy the design of competitors. At that time, Moiseev did not have enough authority to challenge this decision.
Business attracted customers only through online channels. Hagney didn’t believe in offline marketing, so all ads were placed on Google, Facebook, and through paid posts from bloggers.
“The rewards for bloggers were astronomical,” says Moiseev. – A couple of months before the dismissal, I found out that we paid some bloggers several hundred euros for publication. The service then still had enough money to pay them generous fees.
At the same time, the company could not influence the quality and track the effect of publications. According to Moiseev, some bloggers made mistakes even in the name Blissbooker. “Our first marketer was a bit confused about how it all worked. He was not familiar with the details of SEO, did not know how to maximize traffic from the blogger’s page, and so on. And the promotion channels themselves were simple.”
Everything changed when another marketer joined the company, who had previously promoted the Sony Xperia. “Then we realized that he was hired by the company for status. He proposed a different promotion strategy – to issue coupons to users.
The service began to organize mass email mailings, sending promotional discount codes to subscribers. However, the system was not set up, and customers in France could send the used coupon to their friends in Spain, who could redeem it.
“Yes, we got a lot of reservations, which was nice. There was some movement, but in fact, how could you make money from this? For example: we give a person €35, he buys a service that costs €15. He accumulates the remaining €20 in his account. He could only go to salons with coupons and save “change”, and then purchase a service that costs €200. Who, then, paid for their services?” Vadim Moiseev says.
Within a few months, the company lost a lot of money and the number of reservations exceeded several thousand. “Boris needed to show investors that the model worked and that people were ready to go to the site and make a booking. But investors were not interested: everyone understood that it was unprofitable. But Boris wanted to show them that we can work in any region. Like, we have mastered Europe, opened in Russia, and now we are ready to work in Turkey,” says a former employee of Blissbooker.
According to Moiseev, despite the large number of salons that joined the system, there were almost no reservations in Russia in the first month. Partly due to the inconvenience of the service, partly due to inefficient promotion. “The Vkontakte group was created, a new girl from Russia began to work – half of her working time was engaged in data entry, half – SMM. ”
By December 2015, Moiseev had fully moved into customer support. Then he realized that the company’s business model was not to earn money from order processing fees, but from the additional sale of special customer accounting software integrated with the Blissbooker platform.
The commission in Russia was lower than that of competitors who took up to 50% per transaction. However, they offered their software for free, which undermined Blissbooker’s business.
“Most of the salons worked on a free model, because no one needed our software: they were all used to using magazines the old fashioned way. And Boris had an idea to make people forget about paper,” recalls Moiseev.
When he moved to a new position, he found that many contracts with beauty salons were sloppy, and sales representatives did not pay enough attention to the presentation of the service. So after a few months, some business owners forgot not only how much commission they had to pay, but also that they had signed a contract with Blissbooker at all.
Due to high spending on promotional codes and low earnings, the management closed the Turkish branch, and in April 2016, the Russian branch, which until then worked in the background. In February 2016, Hagney made the decision to lay off about 40 people – just under half of the employees – while continuing to search for new investors.
“First of all, sales managers were laid off, because at that moment more than three thousand beauty salons were registered in the system – more than any competitors. Boris thought that this was also important for investors, ”recalls Moiseev. After the salespeople were fired, the marketing department was fired, coupons were dropped, and discounts were reduced. As a result, the number of customers has plummeted.
If we used to celebrate thousands of reservations, then by the summer the volumes fell by 5-10 times.
The most popular city where the service was present was Barcelona. According to Moiseev, this is due to the fact that the city had the most employees who advised the service to their friends.
“We had an internal competition to see who would bring the most customers using their personal promo code. The winner got an iPhone or iPad. At the same time, it was enough to bring 10-20 people to win. I myself did not participate in this action, but one employee won twice, ”recalls Moiseev.
In addition, Hagney introduced an additional motivation program. When the company abandoned its own discounts and promotional codes, he suggested that employees call beauty salons and get discounts from them. For each salon that reduced the price by 20% for five services, the employee received a large reward.
According to Moiseev, at that moment many employees were able to double their salaries. “It was easy. We promised salons new clients. They called them and said: “Let’s make discounts for your services yourself, and then you will be moved to the first page on our site. ” And they agreed.”
A lot of mistakes in the company were related to the technical part of the service. Hagney told employees that this was one of the key factors in the death of the service. After the influx of the audience due to the introduction of coupons, the servers did not have time to process client requests.
And the developers decided to transfer the system to new servers. However, it turned out that for this they would have to rewrite almost all the code from scratch. “There was one big jamb with the programmers. If everyone came to work by 9:00 and left at 19:00, then the developers came at 10:00 and left at 18:00. And all this was supported by the fact that after 18:00 their concentration drops and they can make mistakes in the code. And it’s much more difficult for them to fix the code than to write it right right away, ”recalls Moiseev.
However, there were errors and shortcomings in the code. For example, a person could create an account on the service with any email address, and he did not need to confirm it. “You could enter any random address and the system would let you through. And people created thousands of fake accounts and used the same coupon multiple times. In addition, the service did not have a mobile application for a long time, ”says a former Blissbooker employee.
At this time, Moiseev received a promotion and began to support partners. “I noticed that beauty salons often began to receive complaints about erroneous settlements. It turned out that our people simply did not know how to create invoices and sent them with errors. The wrong amounts were sent and transferred to beauty salons.”
They thought they could always return. My manager correctly described this situation: we worked more on fixing our own mistakes than creating something important for the company.
By May 2016, Hagney had found the money, but it wasn’t enough to finance the company’s operations. The management decided to keep only key employees. “At that time I had five people under my command. And they told me and other leaders – go to lunch. When we returned, we saw that the tables were empty, and all the subordinates were fired. There are about 20 of us left. Then there was a feeling that the end was near, ”recalls Moiseev.
At that moment, Hagney decided to change the company’s business model. Instead of being a platform for aggregating beauty salons, Blissbooker has turned into a service for their promotion. “We did SEO optimization, created or maintained their Facebook pages, registered a Google Business account, and so on. Surprisingly, many were not actually registered with Google Business. For example, you walk in Portugal past a 5-star spa, and there is no information about it on the Internet, because it was not promoted in any way, ”says Vadim Moiseev.
The company sold the service of creating websites to some salons. “We have introduced crazy prices for all services. And in June-July 2016, I even felt that maybe everything is not so bad, because one person could easily conclude 10 big contracts.
And people were happy with what they were offered. That is, we made a website for some small contractors, promotion for some large ones. It seemed like a scam to me, because you are adding information about the company to all sorts of electronic bulletin boards, where no one comes or looks anyway.
However, at the end of July 2016, Hagney sent a message to all employees early in the morning to urgently arrive at the general meeting. “Then he told us that the company had run out of money, there was nothing to pay wages, and we could no longer go to work. Everyone was in shock. You work for a whole month, and at the end they say to you: “Goodbye, we won’t pay you,” Moiseev recalls.
According to a former employee of the company, Hagney was really trying to raise money and save the business. But investors didn’t want to listen to him. “He had a personal conversation with each of us. And in a conversation with me he said that he would pay, but a little later. That at first he will negotiate with different companies to sell the service in parts: to someone the platform, to someone the customer base, to someone the partner base, and so on.
According to Moiseev, the employer owed him about four thousand euros. This amount includes wages for the month, benefits for termination of the employment contract and vacation pay. At first, Hagney kept employees informed about the fate of the company. In August, he was going to sell the platform to a German company, and to make sure that employees do not lose their jobs.
This option suited Moiseev: he could ask the new employer for a salary increase. However, something went wrong. “I found out through a close friend of Hagney that we shared our database with this company, and in the end they ditched us – they began to go to our customers and offer them their service, saying that Blissbooker was closed and would no longer work with them. “.
According to Moiseev, one of Hagney’s friends worked for the company, and after the business closed, he continued to bill clients for services rendered. Hagney began to disappear, and Moiseev began to put pressure on him to return the money to him.
“At one point, he said he was negotiating with our competitor, the Italian company Vaniday, to sell the database. And he promised me that if he manages to sell it, he will be able to return the money to me and other employees, ”says Moiseev.
As a result, Hagney finally stopped communicating with Moiseev. Various rumors reached the former employees of Blissbooker – Hagney told one employee that he allegedly filed for official bankruptcy of the company.
However, in November 2016, Moiseev saw that when going to the Italian site of Blissbooker, there was a redirect to the site of a competitor, Vaniday. “I decided that the company was sold and wrote a letter to Boris, congratulated him and asked when I could collect my money. But he refused to return them. He said that the deal was actually broken. But in December 2016, a friend of Boris sent me an article that really talked about the sale of the service, but on the same day I was informed that Blissbooker was put up for bankruptcy, ”says Moiseev.
Hagney then left Spain for the US, where he became a director of Global Founders Capital. In addition to the monthly salary, Blissbooker still owes Moiseev a monthly unemployment benefit. “A week before I was fired, I found out that I have 21 days off. When I came to the labor exchange, they told me to come back after I took them off, because the company pays for this time.
“I came after this time, and they say to me: “You were late, according to your documents you didn’t have days off.” So I lost my monthly allowance from the state. It turned out that Boris removed my weekends to cut company costs. But he promised that he would pay me,” recalls Moiseev.
“There is no news from Boris at the moment, but my former employees and I have sued Blissbooker to get all our money back. The lawyer said that the process would last about two years, ”concludes Moiseev.
Mobile World Congress will be held in Barcelona
24 February 2022, 06:00
BARCELONA (Spain), 24 February. This February, the long-awaited Mobile World Congress (MWC) returns. The event will be held in Barcelona from February 28 to March 3 in person. It is expected that more than 1.5 thousand exhibitors from 183 countries, including Huawei, will take part in the exhibition.
Huawei will debut its Petal Search at MWC this year for the first time. An exciting adventure awaits guests.
Discounts for exhibition guests
Are you planning a trip to MWC? Make a list of attractions and find things to do with Petal Search. With the new search engine, it’s easy to buy flights, book a hotel room, rent a car and compare prices across different platforms. Petal Search covers over 20 markets and its advanced features are available in over 170 countries.
On the eve of the event, a real gift awaits users.
Petal Search partners – Groupon and Tiqets – offer exclusive discounts for MWC guests in Barcelona: 20% when buying a coupon for Groupon (using promo code PETALMWC2022) and 8% – for Tiqets (using promo code PETAL8OFF).
Coupons can be redeemed at checkout on their respective websites from 25 February to 6 March (Barcelona only). Attend MWC 2022 and save on exploring the city with Petal Search.
Debut at MWC 2022: Petal Search-enabled augmented reality glasses
Interactive augmented reality glasses with Petal Search support will be waiting for guests at the Petal Search booth at MWC 2022 (Fira Gran Via, Hall 1).
Launched in collaboration with Huawei Poisson Labs in 2012, users can enjoy many features, such as real-time recognition of landmarks, animals, plants, and products, and display encyclopedia articles and similar content for each identified object .
Integration with Petal Search made real-time text recognition, image recognition and translation possible. This feature is useful for tourists to overcome the language barrier.
For example, you are visiting Barcelona for the first time and want to learn more about the Sagrada Familia. With multimodal search of the cathedral in augmented reality glasses, you will receive comprehensive encyclopedic information in the selected language.
Visitors to the Petal Search booth at MWC will be able to see for themselves the wide possibilities of search based on augmented reality technologies. Content search, text and image recognition, real-time translation are done in a fraction of a second using visual and voice commands.
Explore the city with Petal Search
When you visit the Barcelona Fair, you can’t miss the opportunity to explore this beautiful city. Petal Search will be a great helper in this matter.
The bottom panel of the Petal Search application has a Nearby tab. Click on it and discover the most popular attractions, including nearby hotels and restaurants. Thanks to the convenient search function nearby, guests of the exhibition will be able to prepare for its visit: you can book a hotel or find a restaurant with one touch of the smartphone screen.