Let’s face it – When you heard that Groupon turned down a $6 billion offer from Google you had to think – Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered. Groupon definitely appeared to be in the hog class. Come on, Groupon is not an extraordinary service – it’s just a local email list with offers from various companies that are drastically reduced in price with Groupon getting about half the price. Sure it is a way to get customers to sample a new companies offering but the question remains will they return when the offer expires or wait it out for the next deal of the day from another company with a better offer?
Groupon is the number one provider of online daily discounts and has over 70 million subscribers anxiously awaiting the deal of the day in their email box in 550 markets around the world. This was all accomplished in a mere 3 years. But now competitors are springing up everywhere. Where does Groupon go from here? Groupon Now!
Groupon Now is a new mobile application that the company hopes will change the way people eat, shop and play. Groupon Now is a revolutionary variation from Groupon’s current daily deal format – to real time deal optimization. It works like this – When a user opens up their Groupon Now smartphone app they will be greeted by two buttons – “I’m hungry” and “I’m bored.” By clicking on the “I’m hungry” button your phone transmits its location to Groupon servers and then displays time specific deals to local restaurants within your general vicinity. The offer is specific that the discount is good only during certain hours on that particular day. Groupon real-time offers get right to the point – they are displayed on a map on your phone. Rather than receiving the morning email at your desk, user will see deals when they enter their location via smartphone app or accessing the Groupon website.
The goal of Groupon Now is to help eliminate perishable inventory – filling the chair of a hairdresser that just received a cancellation, finding tickets for a North Central concert at a discounted price or filling Jimmy’s Grill patio on a sunny day. Merchants can change the deal, change the time and tweak the offer as they see fit – they are in control. All in real-time.
This is a game-changer for the online coupon industry. Previously barriers-to-entry to the industry were low – anyone with a database, website and sales people could easily enter the market. Now with the merging of location and opportunity via technological changes – the copycats will have a more difficult time catching up to Groupon.
Groupon Now is scheduled to be launched this month. Local advertising just got even more local with Groupon Now. It appears that this pig can fly!