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Groupon Hires New Marketing Boss amid Tight Competition

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Groupon’s unit sales and revenue dropped in the latest quarter

Groupon (GRPN) has hired a new chief marketing officer. Craig Rowley, former vice president of marketing at recreational equipment retailer REI, will oversee Groupon’s global marketing channels and functions. Amid tightening competition in the e-commerce space, Groupon is counting on Rowley to boost its sales. Groupon sales fell 12% YoY (year-over-year) to 37.2 million items in the first quarter, dragging down its revenue by 8.0% YoY to $578.4 million and expanding its loss YoY to $42.5 million from $6.9 million.

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Players respond to escalating e-commerce competition

As the e-commerce industry’s competition continues to heat up, players have responded in a variety of ways. For instance, eBay (EBAY) is dropping PayPal (PYPL) as its primary payment processor in a shift aimed to deliver cost benefits for its marketplace sellers. Last year, eBay also tapped Square (SQ) to extend small loans to its sellers. Amazon (AMZN) and Alibaba (BABA) have long used loans to sellers to boost their loyalty and marketplace activity, and have continued to invest in express delivery services to fulfill orders as quickly as possible.

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