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经济学人:团购网站惨淡的独家新闻

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Business The economics of Groupon The dismal scoop on Groupon

商业 团购网的经济学 团购网站惨淡的独家新闻
A micro-economist assesses Groupon
微观经济学家评估团购网站Groupon
ON OCTOBER 24th Groupon says it will start its "roadshow".
Groupon声称将于10月24日开始"路演"。
The social-media sensation, which offers online coupons for bargains at local shops and restaurants, is planning an initial public offering later this year.
这个曾一时轰动的社交媒体,提供当地商店和餐馆特价商品的在线优惠券,计划今年晚些时候进行首次公开招股(IPO)。
Valuations as high as $20 billion were until recently bandied around, but that now seems wildly optimistic.
直到最近才有消息称该公司市值高达200亿美元,但是现在看起来有点过于乐观,
Groupon will lose $280m on revenues of $1.69 billion in 2011, predicts Benchmark, a consultancy. That is an ocean of red ink.
邦仕马克(Benchmark)咨询公司预测Groupon公司2011将亏损2.8亿美元,年收入为16.9亿美元。这是巨大的亏损。
Groupon started with a nifty idea. Its website offered a "daily deal" whereby consumers could buy a product or service very cheaply if a minimum number of people signed up.
Groupon公司源于一个奇妙的想法。该网站提供一个"每日交易",如果购买的人数达到最低要求,那么消费者可以非常便宜地购买一件商品或一项服务。
People would nag their friends to come to the same bar or shop. The merchant would get new customers. Groupon would take a cut.
人们就会要求他们的朋友去相同的酒吧或商店,商店就会有新的消费者,Groupon也从中分一杯羹。
For merchants, this model has big advantages.
这种模式对于商店来说有巨大的优势。
They are advertised on Groupon's phenomenally popular website. This is especially useful for new businesses that no one has heard of.
他们在Groupon表面上受到大众欢迎的网站上刊登广告,这对无人知晓的新商业来说特别有用。
Groupon helps merchants manage capacity, too.
Groupon公司也帮助商家控制数量。
For example, a restaurant might sell vouchers that are redeemable only on Tuesdays, thus filling tables on a quiet night.
比方说,某餐馆出售的抵用券只能在星期二使用,这样就能使原本生意冷清的周二晚上爆满。
Or a Pilates studio might use vouchers to manage class sizes.
或者某个普拉提健身房通过使用抵用券控制课程人数多少。
Once a client has paid for the voucher, the studio collects the fee even if she is hung-over and doesn't turn up.
一旦客户支付抵用券,即使客户延迟且不来参加普拉提课程,健身房也会收到这笔费用。
Groupon also allows merchants to charge different people different prices for the same product.
Groupon同样允许商家在出售同样商品时,对不同客户收取不同的费用。
A student might buy theatre tickets on Groupon for half price. A businessman with no time to shop around online might buy the same tickets for full price.
学生可以在Groupon网站上以半价购买电影票,而没有时间在网上闲逛的商务人士可能以全价购买相同的电影票。
Without Groupon, it is harder for the theatre to find out what people are willing to pay.
如果没有Groupon的话,电影院很难发现什么样的人原意支付。
It could charge both punters full price, in which case the student may stay at home.
如果都是收取全价的话,那么学生就会待在家里不去看电影了;
Or it could charge both the lower price, in which case it makes less money.
如果都是收取半价的话,那样电影院赚的就少了。
Groupon created a new market.
Groupon创造了一个新的市场。
This is a boon to consumers, but confers no lasting "first-mover" advantage on Groupon.
这对消费者来说是福利,但是对于Groupon来说并没有持续"先发制人"的优势。
Its business model is unpatentable and simple to replicate, so there are already more than 20 copycats.
Groupon的商业模式没有获得专利,而且模仿起来很简单,因此已经出现超过20个模范者。
Groupon aspires to be global, but the markets it serves are intensely local.
Groupon渴望全球化,但是它服务的市场却非常本地化。
Internet selling is best suited to "experience goods".
网络营销最适合"已经体验过的商品"。
These are goods and services the quality of which you cannot judge until you experience them, such as haircuts and Thai meals, so there is no advantage in having a bricks-and-mortar shop for people to browse in. (In North America 83% of Groupon's deals fall into this category.)
这些商品和服务的质量只有在你购买之后你才能判断,比如理发、泰国食物,因此,如果网站上供人浏览的只有传统实体企业,那么毫无优势可言(Groupon在北美83%的交易都是这些类别)。
The trouble with experience goods is that generally you cannot separate manufacture from delivery: you cannot cook a meal in Guangzhou and eat it in New York.
大家体验过的商品存在一个问题,那就是通常你无法将生产与运输分开:你不可能在广州烹调,然后在纽约享用。
So for Groupon, each city is a separate market. (Big ones, such as London, are subdivided into regions.)
因此,对于Groupon来说,每个城市都是一个独立的市场(诸如伦敦这样的大城市又划分为区域)。
In each neighbourhood, it must vie with copycats to sign up merchants. Its marketing costs are expected to be a painful $958m this year. This is why it loses money.
在每个街区,Groupon都要与模仿者竞争登记商家。Groupon的营销成本将会达到9.58亿美元,这正是其亏本的原因。
A final woe: the Groupon model is open to abuse.
最后的悲哀就是,这种模式公开被滥用。
Nicole Peters, an avid online shopper, describes how she bought a massage via one of Groupon's rivals.
网上购物狂妮可?彼得斯(Nicole Peters)描述她是如何从Groupon竞争对手哪里购买一项按摩服务的。
The day before the appointment, the massage firm e-mailed her to say it had gone bust.
在预约日的前一天,按摩公司发邮件给她说公司破产了。
Ms Peters also bought a voucher for several pairs of men's underpants. When she logged onto the supplier's website, there were only huge pairs or bright pink ones available.
彼得斯女士还购买了几条男士内裤的兑换券,当她登录供应商的网站时,只有大号的裤子和明亮粉红的裤子。
She says she will never shop this way again.
她说,她以后再也不会通过这种方式购物了。
Groupon's webpage includes a guide to avoiding arguments with merchants, which suggests such tiffs are common.
Groupon的网页中包括如何避免与商家扯皮的指南,这就意味着这样的口角事件很常见。
In short, Groupon is still the king of online discounts.
总之,Groupon仍然是网购折扣的领军者。
But with so many pretenders around, it may be unwise to pay a premium for its shares.
但是随着模仿者的异军突起,为了购买其股票而支付佣金就显得不明智了。
On October 19th the firm was reportedly considering scaling back its IPO.
据报道,10月19日,Groupon考虑相应缩减首次公开募股的规模。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
manufacture [.mænju'fæktʃə]

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n. (复)产品,制造,制造业
v. 制造,捏

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global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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sensation [sen'seiʃən]

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n. 感觉,感知力,激动,轰动

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replicate ['replikeit]

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v. 折叠,复制,模写 n. 同样的样品 adj. 转折

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advantage [əd'vɑ:ntidʒ]

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n. 优势,有利条件
vt. 有利于

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scoop [sku:p]

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n. 铲子,舀取,独家新闻,一勺,穴
vt.

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initial [i'niʃəl]

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n. (词)首字母
adj. 开始的,最初的,

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willing ['wiliŋ]

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adj. 愿意的,心甘情愿的

 
delivery [di'livəri]

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n. 递送,交付,分娩

 
abuse [ə'bju:s,ə'bju:z]

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n. 滥用,恶习
vt. 滥用,辱骂,虐待

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