Announcing Groupon Rewards

Today we’ve announced Groupon Rewards, a new program allowing consumers to unlock special Groupon deals from their favorite local businesses through repeat visits. Consumers earn rewards at participating merchants simply by paying with the credit or debit card they have on file at Groupon.com. After spending an amount set by the merchant, the consumer unlocks the ability to purchase a special Groupon for that business.

What’s exciting about Rewards is how easy it is for both merchants and consumers. As a shopper, you don’t have to worry about a loyalty card or remembering to check in – we do all the work behind the scenes. And as a merchant, Rewards works with your existing POS system to help you track redemption and ROI while incentivizing future purchases. Pretty cool stuff.

Merchant response in our test markets has been great so far. Here’s what we heard from Derek Miller, Director of Digital Marketing for Lifeway Foods, the parent company of Starfruit Café, which has five locations in Chicago and is participating in the pilot program:

“We love that Groupon Rewards is about increasing customer check-outs instead of the check-in or the added burden of a manual program. Fraud issues can often accompany check-in and traditional punch card loyalty programs. Groupon Rewards ties rewards to spend, not visits, giving our customers incentives to purchase a larger dessert or a second treat the next time they come in.”

Groupon Rewards completes our trifecta of merchant products, the ultimate marketing suite in local e-commerce:

  • Traditional Groupon deals are customer acquisition in its simplest form – they raise awareness and drive trial of a business
  • Groupon Now! is our yield management solution – merchants flip a switch to drive traffic when they want it the most
  • Rewards promotes loyalty and retention – merchants can motivate and measure repeat business, creating long-lasting relationships

Merchants who would like to learn more and participate can visit our merchant page.

Click here if you’d like to sign up for Rewards when we’re ready in your city.

G-Team Reflection

Know of a good cause that would be a good fit for our G-Team? Kurtlan Massarsky, Director of Development & Marketing at BAGLY, Inc., gave us his reflections and advice to other non-profits regarding his experience:

Having been brought on to the Northeast Animal Shelter’s staff as their first Development Officer, one of my goals was to expand the general thinking regarding fundraising.  “What current trend can we take advantage of” was my mantra for the first few weeks in that position.  Fortunately for me I was already a signed and sealed customer of Groupon, and that’s where my mind went.

After a relatively painless application process I was put in touch with Kyle, our G-Team representative.  Not only was Kyle knowledgeable as to the process I was going through, but he was supportive of both me and the Shelter’s mission.  We quickly sketched out the details of our G-Team Campaign, and then the fun began!

The campaign itself was beautifully written and presented, which provided me with the tools I needed for it to succeed.  Putting all of our Social Media resources to work (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc) we reached our goal of 60 donors within the first few hours of the campaign.  Three days later we had accrued almost $5,000 of new money for the Shelter, which is a huge amount of fluffy dogs and cats saved!  Without the G-Team’s inspiration, energy and willingness to work with an organization that was new to this type of marketing & fundraising experience, there is no conceivable way the campaign could have been as successful as it was.

Now I’m happily ensconced as the new Director of Development & Marketing at BAGLY, Inc. and I am eagerly anticipating putting together a new G-Team campaign with Kyle and his crew.  My unwavering advice to you non-profit fundraisers out there is to reach out to the G-Team and really utilize their expertise in this field.  As a marketing and fundraising opportunity, you couldn’t be in better  or more enthusiastic hands.

Kurtlan Massarsky

Director of Development & Marketing

BAGLY, Inc.

Featured Merchant: Rocco's Ristorante Italiano

For today’s Featured Merchant we decided to spotlight a partner in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax – not many people realize that Nova Scotia has Groupon deals, too! Meet Hannah Gibson, owner and operator of Rocco’s Ristorante Italiano, working hard to serve up a taste of Southern Italy.


 

After using other traditional forms of marketing, Hannah received a call from Groupon before we had even begun to offer deals in the Halifax area. Hannah was intrigued by our promise to bring her new customers and expand Rocco’s visibility. Click through to read Hannah’s full story.

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Update on the Groupon Team

As a fast-growing company, we’ve done a lot of hiring this year, including on our senior executive team. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve made a total of 8 additions – that’s 57% of the total executive team. It would have been great if I could say that we batted 1,000%, but that’s rarely the case; after five months at Groupon, Margo Georgiadis, our COO, has decided to return to Google (her former employer) in a new role as President, Americas.

We’ve built a fantastic team that has proven itself highly capable, so this change won’t have an impact on operations. In fact, we are using it as an opportunity to reorganize in a way that reflects our evolving strategic priorities. Sales, Channels, International, and Marketing will now report directly to me.

Here’s a note from Margo: “Groupon is a great company and I feel privileged to have worked there even for a short time. It was a hard decision to leave as the company is on a terrific path. I have complete confidence in the team’s ability to realize its mission.” We wish her well.

Groupon Presents…

“Groupon Presents…” Movie Night at Wrigley Field! 

Not to be bullied by Mother Nature’s passive aggressive tendencies, we here at Groupon are still enjoying Chicago’s finest outdoor activities. That’s why we’re excited to introduce “Groupon Presents…” a showcase of the coolest stuff in local culture and entertainment, kicking off with a partnership with the Chicago Cubs to offer the first-ever movie night at Wrigley Field! This premier “Groupon Presents…” experience celebrates the 25th anniversary of Chicago’s biggest adventure, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” with a screening on Saturday, October 1.

That Saturday, Groupon and Ferris Bueller will take over the city with Groupon Now! deals honoring classic scenes from the movie, such as discounted admission to the SkyDeck at Willis Tower, as well as offers throughout Wrigleyville for pre- and post-event fun.

Other than demonstrating the ability to quote the entire movie from memory, guests can enjoy the quintessential Chicago film on three gigantic movie screens inside the Friendly Confines. People are invited to set up picnic blankets, join in a coordinated attempt to break a world record singing the film’s memorable anthem, “Danke Shoen,” and snap pictures with cast look-a-likes, among other surprises.

So grab your sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend and have some fun with us!

Groupon Helps Usher in Season 9 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show!

Some television is boring—reality shows about the spoiled sons of racecar drivers and stain-removal demonstrations. Thankfully, Groupon is partnering with The Ellen DeGeneres Show to put more “fun” back in “televisfun.”

Beginning today, Groupon will be popping up throughout The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s ninth season, introducing Groupon deals and experiences that will make you want to convert all the microwaves in your home to television sets for maximum viewing capability. Tune in and visit The Ellen DeGeneres Show online to get in on the fun.

Interested in watching the clip? You can view it HERE.

August Photo Contest Winner

This month’s photo contest winner had the right idea: using Groupon to plan a mini-vacation to a new city. We’re not saying Kim won because this new city happened to be our hometown of Chicago, but we’re also not saying this didn’t help her cause!

Here’s one of the on-the-go photos of Kim and John from Chicago Film Tours:

Writes Kim:

Thanks to Groupon, my husband and I were able to take a trip to Chicago…

Here’s a shot of us about to redeem our Chicago Film Tours Groupon on August 26th.

Thank you Groupon!!!! You are the best!!!! XOXOXOXO

For winning this month’s contest, we’re sending Kim $100 Groupon Bucks to spend on more of the best things in her city or exploring somewhere new.

Has Groupon helped make your life less boring lately? Make sure to capture your story in a photo – with your voucher or mobile app pictured – and send it to us at pictures@groupon.com. Each month we pick one winner, but we post all of our favorites to flickr.com/groupon, so don’t forget to check those out too.

Some honorable mentions include this little man and his bounty of organic produce, a fun group outing at The Cookie Mill and this Presidential redemption shot.

Until next month,

Groupon

High Security at Groupon

Though all of our employees live in constant fear of physical harm, we were only able to protect one for one day. Last Thursday at 303 E. Wacker, a pair of professional bodyguards—Marvin “Tuff Guy” Cruz and Pierre “Ruff Guy” Hamilton—closely guarded New York Metro team sales rep Katy Homanick. They stood at her side as she made calls. They did a sweep of a conference room before she entered for a meeting. They consumed her food before she did to ensure it wasn’t laced with long shards of glass.

If you weren’t fortunate enough to see how visibly comfortable Katy was under Marvin and Pierre’s watchful eyes, check out some of the photos:

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Artisans Celebrated in Chicago

Saturday, September 10th will feature deals from the city’s best artisan merchants including delis, bakeries and aromatherapy retailers!

Sometimes nursery rhyme memories are triggered when one finds a plum on his thumb or hires a marriage counselor to smooth over the sordid affair between a dish and a spoon. This weekend, “Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub” signifies celebrating the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker in the form of local Chicago artisans.

Examples of deals featured include $15 for $30 of meat and more from the local butcher, 52% off a custom cake from boutique bakery, Pastel Cakes, or $15 for $30 at Crash Candles. This citywide promotion is a first-ever for Groupon, and they’re excited to launch in the hometown of Chicago!


Maverick II

Remember Maverick? We’re very proud of the level of dedication he adds to our Customer Service team and thankful for the home grown tomatoes he brings to the office.

The men behind the man, Ben, Brandon and Andrew, have been busy documenting Maverick’s adventures again.

Here’s a preview: