Before I go on with this article, let me give full disclosure; I think Groupon is run by a bunch of incompetents and Groupon in Japan is a total disaster. But, hey! Don't believe me, you be the judge.
Recently, Groupon Japan has completely dropped off the map. I never see their online ads anymore at all (sign of over extension) yet you see their competition all over the place.
The biggest two that seem to be kicking Groupon (hereinafter referred to as "Groupoff") in the royal behind is a new-comer called G-Market and Recruit's own Pompare.
You see online banner ads for these two constantly. I haven't seen an online ad for Groupon for 9 weeks in a row now (and trust that I am on the Internet constantly).
The other thing that makes me realize that Groupon Japan is almost as messed up as Groupon in the USA is the fact that, while you see no banner ads for Groupon in Japan on the Internet anymore, if you watch a minor cable TV network (I think it is J-com) you see their ads every once in a while.
Let me ask you a question: What kind of an idiot advertises an Internet business on TV yet doesn't advertise on the Internet at all?
Answer: I don't know. I've never heard of such a scatological strategy.
Groupon has messed up big time in Japan with the New Years fiasco and continues to be run by fools to this day.
Don't expect Groupon Japan to do anything spectacular. It is quickly becoming an "also-ran". Not only is Groupon's business plan unsustainable, it doesn't involve any social media features (e-mail only) hence it is dead in Japan...
Companies like Recruit are grinding Groupon into the ground... Along with foolish mistakes from Groupon mismanagement in Japan spells disaster for that flash in the pan.