If you’re a Groupon subscriber, you’ve probably already seen the email, but, just a few weeks ago, the popular daily online coupon site, announced the launch of Groupon Now!, which is now also available for the Boston area.
With Groupon Now!, Groupon is making it easier for people to explore their surrounding area and save money on things they’re interested in at that very moment. Whether it’s somewhere to eat or something fun to do, Groupon Now! has it covered.
Users simply launch their mobile app or go to the landing page and enter their location. Users are then prompted to select what kinds of deals they’d like to see with categories for wanting to eat something, have fun, go shopping, go out, exercise, get pampered, take care of their pet, or take care of their car. Once a category is selected, a series of deals are presented in order of proximity, and once one is selected, you simply present it to the merchant and enjoy! If you’re selecting a restaurant deal, there’s even an option to go straight to Open Table to see if there’s availability first.
Pretty cool, huh? Yeah, I’d say so, but haven’t I heard of this before?…
If you remember, a little over a year ago, I blogged on a mobile app service, Peekaboo Mobile, recently acquired by nSphere, that brings local deals straight to users’ smartphones through mobile coupons. Seems pretty similar to Groupon’s new service, if you ask me…. and, as it turns out, if you ask Peekaboo Mobile co-founder Ben Dolgoff as well.
In a recent conversation with Dolgoff, he agreed that Groupon Now! is very similar to what he launched in March of 2010. He commented, “The current trend is to be more ‘real-time’ when it comes to offering deals in order to fully take advantage of your smart phone’s capabilities. Being able to pre-purchase a highly discounted deal is great, but it can be inconvenient to have to wait to print out the deal and redeem it. Peekaboo Mobile, Groupon Now!, etc. allow consumers to find great deals directly around them and then instantly redeem the deal straight from their phone.”
Dolgoff continued to note that, “This is also great for businesses that are trying to get rid of excess inventory fast. For example, if a small pizza shop is about to close for the day and they have 10 extra pizzas made, they can instantly post a real-time deal to get rid of the remaining pizzas. I think people will start to see most of these group buying sites start to offer the same features as Peekaboo Mobile in the near future.”
Undoubtedly, such services are taking off, and being able to access deals even more quickly and easily truly compliments the mobile lifestyle more and more people are rapidly adopting. At the same time, with so many online coupon services available, the market seems prime for mergers and acquisitions. Will Groupon, now heading towards an IPO to become a publically traded company, come out on top? We shall just have to wait and see…