Groupon Plans Credit Card Processing Service For Merchants

Groupon and Merchants

Groupon and Merchants

Social shopping website Groupon has announced plans to offer a merchants app. The product which mimics itself after payment processor Square allows customers to install a plug-in device on their iPhone in order to create a point of sale terminal.

The shopping application also serves as a Groupon scanner, allowing customers to redeem their Groupon purchased deals.

To secure customers Groupon is promising a quick turn around in which all purchases are processing overnight, providing customers with near immediate access to their funds.

Each transaction will range in price from1.8 percent to 3.25 percent of each transaction alongside a15-cent fee. Much like traditional credit card processors the cost of each transaction will very with swiped transactions costing less than keyed transactions. Business and rewards cards will also come with extra fees. [Read more…]

Groupon Acquires Location Based Services Provider

Ditto Groupon

Ditto GrouponSocial coupon service Groupon has acquired Ditto which specialized in connecting users with other local customers interested in the same type of food and entertainment options.

At this time it appears that Groupon purchased the company as part of a “talent acquisition” and will shut down the company’s iPhone app.

The possibility of integrating Ditto type services with Groupon is exciting, for example Ditto created a system in which friends could follow one another to determine what they are doing, friends could then decide to join in on a movie or lunch. The company also integrated its service with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare so plans could easily be shared across various networks.

It’s not clear how much Groupon paid for Ditto.Me which currently has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating with just 58 reviews and 1000 Facebook likes.  [Read more…]

Groupon VIP Gives Better Options To Buyers For $30 Per Year

Groupon Social Buying Website

Groupon Social Buying WebsiteGroupon is currently testing a new “Groupon VIP” program that gives users first dibs on deals and reservations while offering special pricing on select old-out and expired deals for just $30 per year.

The idea comes about from sites such as Ideeli which offers first dibs on designer clothes that would normally fly off the shelve in a retail setting. Flash sales have become a big deal on the internet and this new move by Groupon takes direct advantage of flash sales on a potentially large scale.

The service will also provide in-store credit for unused Groupon’s in some cases which we assume will need prior approval from the seller. It’s estimated that 20 percent of Groupons go unused at this time.

The program should also let Groupon compete with the likes of Living Social and Google Offers which allow merchants to keep a greater percentage of the profits while giving customers the chance to comparison shop before making a purchase.  [Read more…]

Groupon Acquisition Targets Campfire Labs, Could Lead To Small Business Division

Groupon Logo - G

Groupon Logo - GGroupon on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Campfire Labs, a company that has yet to launch but showed promise thanks to a line of social shopping enhancement services. It’s believed Groupon will use the company to better their merchant, customer and customers friends communication while possibly helping the social buying company expand into small business participation.

The social buying company has been on a purchasing tear, they recently purchased OpenCal and used that technology to create the Groupon Scheduler product. Using the Groupon scheduler buyers can purchased a Groupon then go right in and schedule an appointment if one is needed for the purchase.

By offering better service and the ability to schedule locally Groupon could find themselves in a position to offer better, more accurate and real-time service to local merchants and merchants in smaller markets which have been ignored because of size and customer service related inefficiencies.  [Read more…]

Groupon Launches Rewards Program, Gives Businesses More Control

Groupon Rewards Program

Groupon Rewards ProgramGroupon on Wednesday rolled out Groupon Rewards, a new program that allows businesses to provide extra incentives to Groupon users who spend a certain amount of money with their company.

Integrated with Point of Sale systems the program allows businesses to offer special incentives as users pass varying thresholds, those incentives then become available as special Groupon offers.

In a blog post Groupon says of the system:

“Consumers earn rewards at participating merchants simply by paying with the credit or debit card they have on file at,” while adding, “After spending an amount set by the merchant, the consumer unlocks the ability to purchase a special Groupon for that business.” [Read more…]

Blog Herald Week In Review: Google+ Goes Public, StumbleUpon Announce Changes And More

social media

social mediaThis week has been one of big changes as Google+ rolled out to the general public, Facebook announced massive upgrades to their social networking system and StumbleUpon managed to anger users a month ahead of their proposed changes. Here’s 5 stories from the last week you should be sure to check out.


Google+ Ditches Private Invite-Only Status, Welcomes Everyone To Platform

Google+ managed to attract more than 30 million users to their new social network when it was in closed beta with private Google and user invites only and this week they announced that anyone can now join and enjoy the network. With Facebook fans angered over the networks newest changes to profiles Google+ could have a big month ahead of them in terms of user number growth.

[Read more…]

Groupon COO Departs As Company Corrects IPO Offering For Third Time

Groupon Social Buying Platform

Groupon Social Buying PlatformMargo Georgiadis was hired as Groupon’s Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) just five short months ago and already she has announced plans to return for work at Google thanks to a hefty promotion.

Not only is Margo going back to Google to become president of the Americas, she’s the second COO lost by the company in just two months.

News looked even more grim for Groupon after they issued a third amendment to their IPO which cut revenues in half for 2010, making America’s “fastest growing company” in history spiel seem a whole lot less appealing for investors. Groupon filed the amended S-1/A paperwork with the SEC on Friday afternoon.

Realizing that the COO role has been a near disaster for his company CEO Andrew Mason has announced that he will take over much of the role himself. Here’s what he had to say: [Read more…]

Groupon & Foursquare Create Partnership To Provide Location Based Deals

Groupon and Foursquare Deals Screen

Groupon and Foursquare Deals ScreenLocation based service Foursquare has teamed up with daily social coupon site Groupon to offer users daily deals in the Explore tab of the Foursquare application.

Offering daily deals through partners is nothing new for Foursquare which has previously teamed up with LivingSocial, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, BuyWithMe and Zozi however the Groupon offers are by far the largest to grace the applications presence.

Foursquare plans to fully launch the program on Sunday which will see Groupon’s daily deals appearing next to their five other partners on a regular basis. The program is convenient since the deals are pulled in by location, which means a user visiting another city doesn’t have to reconfigure their favorite daily deals sites to find special offers each day.

As with their other partners Foursquare will give the mayor of each location a special deal on top of the Groupon deal, while the partnership will earn Foursquare a part of Groupon’s revenue for each deal they help close, making the partnership truly beneficial for everyone involved. [Read more…]

Facebook Deals Launching Tonight In United States

Facebook Logo

Facebook Logo A leaked embargo notice posted by the New York Times and picked up by TechCrunch is claiming that Facebook Deals is in the process of launching in the United States, a move that could be realized in all initial launch locations by Monday night.

The program which launched 3 months ago in Europe is seen as a direct competitor to Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers among other social buying platforms.

According to the report the program is first launching in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco with other cities to follow in the near future.

Much like their competitors, Facebook will offer deep discounts to customers of their service, discounts provided by company’s around the country who want to sell their products quickly and introduce new users to their offerings.

While there is no certain future for Facebook Deals, the company does have some huge advantages against their competitors which in turn could signal major trouble for Groupon. For example, rumors are circulating that retailers may not have to pay for the service. Under current business models businesses must pay social buying sites a percentage of their sales in order to secure their services, however Facebook may decide to profit only when Facebook Credits are used to buy products, allowing retailers to keep more of their upfront profits when users pay with credit cards and other payment services outside of Facebook’s virtual currency.

According to the report, Facebook Credits will be allowed to be used as payment and let’s be honest for a moment, how many users who meant to buy “in-app” products are going to unload their virtual real world cash on a really cool deal they see on Facebook Deals before they buy that next Farmville add-on they were planning to grab. Impulse spending is the name of the game and with their Facebook Credits making a huge splash for the company Facebook can already tap into users who with a few simple clicks may be willing to buy products from their deals platform. [Read more…]

LivingSocial Receives $400 Million Funding Round

Living Social Logo

Living Social LogoIn December 2010 social deals platform LivingSocial announced $175 million in funding from web empire Amazon and now just four months later the company has raised $400 million in a new round of funding.

At this time the sources for the new funding round have not been disclosed, however they are said to have come from both public and private sources.

In a public statement the company says they will use the money to create new innovations in their space, while expanding both domestically and globally.

Along with that funding the company now sits at a valuation of approximately $2 billion, while announcing more than 26 million members now use the site to find daily deal specials.

When the company’s first large Amazon round of funding was announced LivingSocial stated that they were currently raising $1 million in gross sales per day with $500 million revenue expected in 2011. [Read more…]