Groupon announced that it was going to make a growing inventory of less perishable deals accessible to consumers. Calling this the Groupon “Local Marketplace” the new functionality is live in Chicago and New York, soon to be available across Groupon cities.
This is part of Groupon’s larger product diversification plan away from push email marketing. In another way of looking at it Groupon is making a bid to become a local deals search engine, a destination where consumers go to look for local offers and deals.
One of the criticisms of the daily deals market — and one reason why it has fallen from its peak last year — is that many push email deals are simply not relevant to users. In-boxes were (and still are) clogged with irrelevant offers. Adopting a search or directional media model helps address that problem, at least in theory.
In the old way of interacting with Groupon, consumers would simply sign up for the daily email and rarely visit the Groupon site, though some use the Groupon mobile app. In the new model Groupon wants you to visit the site on a regular basis looking for discounts on business categories where you have an already existing need: the search model.
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