Get Your Groupon On…Now

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Groupon recently launched its Groupon Now product.  It’s the same Groupon deals that you love, only now with more rapid buying and redemption cycle.
When you log in, you must first tell Groupon Now what you’re in the market to do, such as eat something, go out, get pampered (my personal fave), go shopping, have fun or exercise.  Next, you are given a menu of all the available deals.  The catch is each deal must be purchased and used in the same day.  For example, one of today’s Groupon Now deals in Raleigh is a $20 nail shellac.  You still receive the same great deal, saving 39% in this case, although the offer is only valid between 10 am and 7 pm today.
My marketing mind is begging the question: “What’s the catch?”  Surely, you must lose the $20 that you paid for this deal if you don’t cash it in by 7 pm today.  Actually, that’s not the case.  The purchase price is automatically refunded back to your card if you do not redeem the deal by the expiration date and time.  Pretty sweet!
I think this can be a great product to drive traffic to businesses on a slow day, if it’s the right kind of business.  I don’t think Groupon-style products are necessarily a great fit for all business however.  For example, at a retail establishment you can sell the merchandise today with a Groupon Now deal at a heavy discount or you can sell the same merchandise tomorrow at full price.  Which is more important, maximum revenue or turning over the inventory at a lower price?
I do think this is a great avenue for businesses that are selling products or services with a specific expiration date, such as a bakery.  If a bakery will not be able to sell their inventory the next day, and traffic is very slow on a particular day, go ahead and issue a Groupon Now deal, since any revenue is better than tossing out your inventory and not generating any revenue.
For now, Groupon Now is available in 25 US cities, including Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit and Raleigh.  Since Groupon is in the process of taking over the world, Groupon Now is sure to available everywhere in the near future!

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