Over the weekend, we learned Groupon is quietly testing a new self-serve offering, with potentially major implications to the future of the company. Today, we found full details on the program in a welcome page to merchants.
Here’s what’s interesting about the program:
Merchants can promote self-serve deals. Presumably this means having the deal appear on the side of the city landing page and included in emails sent out. This could drastically increase the content available for Groupon to personalise, however, a merchant will not be run as Deal of the Day more than twice per year.
Fees are 10% for non-promoted deals, 30% for promoted deals… No upfront costs. Deal of the Day is typically 50%.
…but Groupon keeps the “breakage.” This is huge: merchants are paid only for those vouchers that are redeemed. From their Stores FAQ: “When a customer redeems a Groupon, enter the Groupon code into our redemption system. We’ll mail you a check for all redeemed Groupons every two weeks…”
Emphasis on Facebook / Twitter like “Follow” function. The product encourages merchants to get current customers to follow their Groupon Stores page. Further, the CRM functionality goes beyond deals: Stores allows the merchant to “share the latest news, deals or specials, or just invite them to stop by.”
Real Time Push Alerts. The service pushes offers by stores users follow via emails like this:
Quality Assured. One risk to self-serve solutions is low deal quality, but according to the page, Groupon reviews all promoted offers.