Merchant Innovation

Groupon Overhauls Merchant Platform

The retail world has largely moved on from the short-lived panacea of daily deals, but perhaps the promotional tactic’s biggest supporter — Groupon — isn’t giving up on it just yet. On the contrary, it has a shiny new toy to make it even more attractive for retailers.

Groupon announced Tuesday (March 15) that it had launched a merchant-facing mobile app that will make it easier to manage offers listed via Groupon. Aaron Cooper, senior vice president of North America services at Groupon, explained how increased customization across mobile and desktop Web pages will allow merchants to reach more deal-hungry consumers than ever before on Groupon.

“We’ve seen firsthand that local businesses can compete in an increasingly connected world and against online giants, and we’re focused on continuing to enable that competition,” Cooper said in a statement. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to bringing in new customers, which is why we’re giving merchants every option they need to run a promotion with us in a way that’s the most advantageous for their business.”

Key to the design of a more manageable Groupon experience is the makeup of the dealmaker’s clients. Groupon claimed that while it’s worked with “more than 1 million merchants worldwide to date,” over 90 percent of those businesses have 20 or fewer employees running things behind the scenes. In fact, a third of all of the people who have contacted Groupon to list deals are the only ones running the show at their places of business.

Will a more easily navigable experience for retailers get more merchants to give Groupon promotions another look after the relative exodus from the marketplace over the last few years? It’s definitely possible. Would this be a huge announcement if Groupon had minded the stewardship of its clients’ digital experiences at the height of the daily deal boom market? Most likely.

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