Groupon is Streamlining Its Technology Platform and Embracing Automation
Foundational improvements expected to accelerate pace of product development
Groupon, the trusted marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value, is taking steps to simplify the company’s technology platform and lean more into automation. Ultimately, Groupon believes these changes will allow it to accelerate its pace of product development and support better customer and merchant experiences.
“We have amazing talent within our Product and Engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders,” said Sachin Devand, CTO, Groupon. “Currently, our platform is too big and too complex, and this is prohibiting us from moving as quickly as I think we can to launch new products and features. So, I’ve empowered the entire tech organization to challenge our long-held thought process of creating a new service for every nuance and fundamentally rethink how we structure our platform––only building and supporting what’s mission critical to drive Groupon’s business forward.”
“We have amazing talent within our Product and Engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders”
Devand, who was appointed to the CTO role in May after serving as a consultant since February, is working with the Product and Engineering organization to improve its operating processes and streamline Groupon’s tech platform. Some of the team’s big 2022 initiatives include:
- Embracing Agility –– Reorienting the product engineering organization to be more customer centric. Product roadmaps will better align with providing specific customer solutions, more quickly. To that end, the entire team is embracing Agile software development methods, doing rapid delivery of features versus traditional methods that can take years. In addition, the team uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to prioritize these features every 90 days.
- Migrating to the Cloud –– To date, Groupon has moved nearly 75% of its data center capabilities to the cloud. Groupon is already gaining operational benefits from the move to the cloud, including better monitoring, observability, elasticity and ease of deploying infrastructure. Once the migration is complete, the cloud will enable Groupon to scale infrastructure up and down as the needs of the business change, which should provide even more flexibility and cost savings. The cloud also enables Groupon to use cloud-native services that can unlock additional automation opportunities throughout the company’s marketplace.
- Re-architecting Services –– The company is re-architecting its services, taking stock of which services are required and which ones can be combined or eliminated. At the start of the year, there were about 700 services operating behind the company’s global marketplace platform, which is too complicated and big for Groupon’s needs. As the move to the cloud continues, Groupon intends to move to a domain-driven design model which will allow for a more nimble architecture with significantly fewer services.
- Leaning into Automation –– Groupon is automating processes throughout the entire business to create efficiencies and improve productivity. For example, the company is scaling its self-service automation features to enable more merchants to join the Groupon marketplace without human touch. At the end of the first quarter, 65% of new campaigns in North America were created using Groupon’s merchant self-service tool that enables businesses to create and edit campaigns. From a customer perspective, Groupon is doing more to automate insights from search data to create a feedback loop with the company’s sales teams to ensure that its marketplace has the right inventory in the right places.
When this work is completed, these actions should significantly reduce the size of Groupon’s tech platform and allow it to accelerate its pace of product development focused on building a larger and more differentiated inventory base and launching products to support better customer and merchant experiences.