Fast-Growing Site Groupon Will Leverage Real-Time Deals With Groupon Now

By March 18, 2011
Groupon Now coming to Mobile

Daily Deal site will move into here and now mass-purchasing power. The user interface? Click "I'm Hungry" or "I'm Bored."

Current leader of the Daily Deal category, Groupon is set to generate between $3 and $4 billion this year. This is an increase from $750 million in 2010, as valued by Business Week's sources. As they discuss going public, bankers are valuing them at $25 billion. The startup that BW is referring to as "what could be the fastest-growing company of all time," is also planning to roll out real time deals in addition to its location-specific daily discounted specials.

The new service Groupon Now will function on mobile devices and gives users a simple choice of buttons to push: "I'm Hungry" and "I'm Bored." By time and location, Groupon will send the user nearby restaurants if she's hungry, giving deals from participating vendors. Part of the deal functions to encourage traffic to locations during their emptier hours. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason explains, "People could end up being driven to eat by what they find on Groupon and when they find it."

This potentially powerful model may extend Groupon Now deals to many of the sundry services currently available on the full site - clothing chains, spa visits, dental work, etc. Though there are many companies doing much what Groupon is, starting with daily deals as a startup or incorporating the business model into a preexisting one, for some reason Groupon remains the most visible.

With Groupon Now, Mason "not only wants to change people's dining times, he wants to embed Groupon further into the daily routines of consumers and merchants." Making instant coupons available to people can certainly keep them more relevant in daily life - instead of waiting the hours or even a day until their coupon is ready on the Web site, this service delivers in real time. "It makes Google's market look quite small if we get it right. It's really tapping into the largest part of commerce in the U.S.—local," investor Harry Weller told Business Week.

A complementary site, LivingSocial, launched instant mobile deals last week, which gives customers the ability to search nearby offers. The offers will be added to an Instant Deals feature on the mobile app. Instant Deals is being tested in Washington, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.

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