The deal-of-the-day emailing behemoth Groupon, has integrated real-time technology into its latest service extension, Groupon Now.
Groupon famously delivers deals to over 70 million email subscribers from merchants willing to relent 40-50% of their earnings in order to generate new customers. Operating under the same business model, Groupon Now enables users to see deals only when they enter their location into the Groupon website or smartphone app. The new service playfully integrates the complex technology powering current GPS accuracy, with the simple reduction of human emotions into two phrases: I’m hungry, and I’m bored. Choosing either of these options results in giving users a host of suggestions based on proximity.
Groupon’s President Rob Solomon, ever sensitive to the criticism that Groupon’s service amounts to nothing more than one-time customers, defends Groupon Now’s benefits to small businesses. Restaurants can specify at which times the coupons are valid, filling tables that would otherwise be left empty, and perishable food can be offered at a discount, reducing waste. In this way, Groupon Now is positioned to influence consumer and merchant interactions based on mutual needs. Solomon commented:
If we can eliminate 10 percent of perishability, we can change the dynamics for small business owners. Small businesses would become more like airlines, matching supply against demand to maximize revenues. “If we get this right, we are going to influence what tens of millions of people are buying at a frequency that we have never seen before.
Groupon is currently filing for a patent for this method of providing deals based on location and time of day.
[via Bloomberg Businessweek]