MLB & Groupon Enable Baseball Fans to Get Up Close and Personal with Their Favorite Teams

During the baseball offseason, we’ve been warming up our pitching arm to provide one-of-a-kind experiences to baseball fans during the upcoming 2013 season.

Today we’re proud to announce a multi-year partnership with MLB Advance Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, to become MLB.com’s official daily deals site.

We’ll be working with the league’s teams to offer a greater number of tickets deals, official merchandise and rare experiences such as up-close encounters at MLB ballparks.

What does this insider status look like? Past deals have included exclusive access to World Series ticket packages, batting practice with an MLB team, the chance to throw out the first pitch before a game, an official Jumbotron welcome to the stadium and a tour of the locker room where your favorite players starch their lucky socks.

Look for deals similar to these and more on GrouponLive events platform (available at www.groupon.com/live) and via the Groupon mobile app.

Grouponicus and Toys“R”Us

Before everyone’s turkey has time to settle, the sun rises and the hustle of Black Friday begins. If you’re on the fence about venturing out to the stores and pushing your way through the crowds, think about this: with just a click of a mouse, Groupon’s saving you money on a fantastic door-buster holiday deal without even leaving the house!

For starters, beginning Friday customers can purchase a $20 Toys“R”Us voucher for $10 at Groupon.com. They will be redeemable in-store only at Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us or FAO Schwarz beginning at 5 p.m.

Still want more surfing and saving from the comfort of your own pajamas? Head over to our Gift Finder to see what our entire site has to offer! We’ll help you narrow your choices down and find great gifts for everyone on your shopping list. But sometimes, even with the help of robotic holiday helpers, you can’t find that perfect gift for the pickiest of loved ones. In that case, give them the choice and send them a Groupon gift card.

This year, we’re offering you the opportunity to unleash the collective buying power we’re known for and now you can buy a $100 Groupon gift card by chipping in with friends to buy someone a Group Gift! Customize it with an individual note, pick a delivery date and it will land in your recipient’s inbox or mailbox, ready to deliver top-rated fun at a huge discount.

After Thanksgiving festivities and the Black Friday scramble, we understand that you probably need a day to recover. But if your shopping list still needs some attention, seek out and shop local businesses! It is Small Business Saturday after all, and we’ll be right there supporting with you on November 24th.

The gifting season has begun!

Grouponicus is Underway!

Happy Grouponicus! It’s our third year celebrating the ancient non-denominational wintertime holiday that celebrates gifting, which was founded by Groupo the Bird and his colorful friends.

If it’s your first time hearing of such a spokesbird, we’ll give you a quick history lesson: Lore has it that Groupo leaves his kingdom of Winterland this time each year to fly to the homes of true believers, leaving stacks of Groupons in their ovens to reward them for adhering to the Eight Tenets of Grouponicus.

But as much as he protests, Grouponicus is not just about Groupo. It’s about the entire season of gifting! So whether you want to shop local, scoop up great savings with a national brand, or wrap up one of our Groupon Goods, we are excited to present a lot of options this season. Here’s a quick peek at what we’re offering this year:

  • Groupon Goods announced free shipping and returns on purchased items over $15!
  • Find great gift choices for kids and adults alike in the Goods Toy Book and Wish Book – Hurry, it’s only available through Thanksgiving!
  • Groupon Grassroots is launching a series of six national campaigns–“The Big Give” as well as participating in #GivingTuesday on November 27th.
  • And as always, your guides to savvy shopping and savings throughout the entire season of Grouponicus, our Grouponcierges:

We’ll be announcing more great deals and holiday happenings all through Grouponicus, so stay tuned, happy holidays, and happy gifting!

Home and Holiday Decor

Turn around–The gifting season is calling from inside the house! We don’t want you to get caught off guard, so we’re supplying  you with all the exciting products, experiences, all at our regularly scheduled discounts! This holiday season we’re making easier for you by continuing to bring you themed gifts each week. So take a look at all the home and holiday decor items we’re featuring and get the festivities going!

Two Emilia Faux Leather Dining Chairs – Adding style to any room, each chair’s sturdy hardwood frame supports sitters and keeps posteriors comfy with ample cushioning.

My Rug Dealer – American-made rugs from Milliken brighten up floors and rooms with more than 125 designs made from 100% Stainmaster nylon

Frame the Alphabet- Black-and-white or sepia photos of trees, signs, and other found objects double as letters to spell names or words encased in frames

Core Bamboo Turkish Glass Serveware – Elegantly curved and brightly colored bowls, pedestals, and serving trays crafted in Turkey


Ultimate Couture Memory-Foam Bath Mats – The mats’ air-spun polyester yarn looks and feels just like cotton, and feet leave virtually no tracks behind after curling into the mats’ soft, durable pile.

 

Be sure to check out this week’s full list of home and holiday decor deals. Or visit our Gift Finder and we’ll help you discover a perfect gift match for that special someone!

 

Launched: Groupon’s Local Marketplace

Last week, Groupon took an important evolutionary step: now, you can search, browse and buy thousands of deals in Chicago and New York City (and very soon, in all cities Groupon serves in the U.S.)* Whether you’re looking for a weekend activity, a cleaning service, browsing your mobile phone for a place to get an oil change on the way home from work, or a good Mexican restaurant when you’re visiting your parents in Pittsburgh, you can now turn to Groupon when you have a need locally, and we’re likely to have what you’re looking for.

Most people know Groupon as the original purveyor of daily deals: each day, deals show up in your inbox. This is cool not just because of the great savings, but because you’re never quite sure what to expect. The possibility of a great new discovery is exciting.

At Groupon, we refer to this as “demand generation.” It’s a boring way of describing being not boring. And while it has become a pretty massive phenomenon, it’s really not how most people shop. Usually, when people buy something it’s because they’re looking for it. I’m hungry, so I look for a place to eat. This we refer to as “demand fulfillment.”

For a long time, demand fulfillment was something Groupon could not do. Our deals had short lifetimes–we’d launch a deal, it would be emailed to customers for a day or two, and then it would be gone. So we would never build up any real inventory to offer people when they were actually looking for something. About 18 months ago, though, we started evolving the model; we first created Groupon Now! We leveraged our massive network of merchant partners to build a large selection of a new kind of deal–a deal to use right now–and made the inventory easily browsable.

Our customers really liked Now! In fact, we were so encouraged by our customers’ adoption of Now! that we took it to the next level: we decided to start capturing all deals, not just use-right-now deals, in a new inventory system we call Deal Bank.

Since then, we’ve been quietly building up our inventory. In the last year, we’ve increased our North American selection of active deals by nearly 13 times, to more than 27,000 at the end of Q3. As of today, we’ve opened the doors so you can search and browse that inventory of deals, both daily deals and real-time Now! deals. Yes, you can actually type in a search (“pizza,” “couple’s massage,” “oil change”), and you can browse by category (Food & Drink, Beauty & Spa, and so on) and subcategory (Indian Cuisine, Massage, Yoga). You can also specify exactly where you want your deals. Just type in an address, a neighborhood, or a city, and we’ll instantly find the closest, most relevant deals for that location.

We’re all very excited to be able to offer this first-of-its-kind local marketplace to you. Stay tuned for even more cool enhancements coming in the weeks and months ahead!

* Note that we’re busily testing the marketplace right now, so if you don’t see all the great stuff I described above, worry not—it just means you didn’t get into one of the experiment groups, but it will be available to everyone soon.

Jeff Holden | SVP Product

Announcing Groupon Goods Toy Book

To help with gift ideas for kids this holiday shopping season, we launched our Groupon Goods Toy Book. Since we’re new to the game, rigorous testing and research was needed. What’s the best way to test toys? Bring in the experts. And what better experts than second graders? We opened our doors to 25 pint-sized toy aficionados to get their opinions on Groupon’s new toy catalog for the holiday season.

They handled the challenge like champs and provided some solid feedback:

I didn’t expect the birds to be this angry!

I like princesses.

Spoken like true toy professionals.

See the Toy Book for yourself! Our inventory’s brimming with must-have toys for kids of all ages. But if you fancy yourself older than a child, take a look at the complete holiday catalog Groupon Goods is offering here: http://www.groupon.com/goods/holidays. We’re featuring great deals on gifts for the whole family and that one stranger you feel obligated to acknowledge at the laundromat.

In addition to this virtual treasure chest of toys for kids and adults alike, Groupon Goods is also announcing free shipping and free returns on purchases over $15! Everyone likes saving a little bit of money, so we’re happy to help customers stretch their dollars with the gifting season right around the corner.

Be sure to check back—if you don’t see the perfect gift for your hard-to-shop-for aunt of yours, the catalogs will refresh with a whole new selection for you. But act quick, these catalogs are only available until November 22nd! Let us know what’s on your shopping list this year in the comments below and happy holiday shopping!


Grouposal: Halloween Edition

We love a good Grouposal–our customers share their engagement stories, bring a new twist to popping the question, and let us be a part of their exciting day. We can’t help but gush and spread the word of their happiness.

The setting: A drizzly October evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jerilyn’s love for Halloween was the inspiration behind Rosana’s flash mob surprise. Oh, and there just happened to be a Groupon for Cambridge Haunt’s Ghost Tour to provide the perfect cover.

Rosana stated on her blog:

Once upon a time I believed in fairy tales. I believed in them with all my heart. But I had a very hard time believing that they could happen to me…she changed everything.

Watch the video to see what lengths (wrangling dancers, choreographers, friends and family share the moment, not to mention a stunning engagement ring and learning dance moves herself!) Rosana went through to capture the heart of both Jerilyn and the surrounding onlookers.

HVDsq Engagement from Daniella A Rascon on Vimeo.

Again, Rosana:

Groupon helped to make our special night a reality in a very unique way. Needing a way to round up Jerilyn’s family for the engagement without her suspicion, Jerilyn unknowingly selected the perfect event while looking to reenact our first date, which occurred on a ghost tour in Newport, RI. She instantly expressed her interest in the Cambridge Haunt’s Ghost Tour and invited members of both of our families, supplying the perfect excuse for a gathering. Thank you and Groupon for playing a part in the most magical night of our lives and making the planning of this proposal possible!

Want to read the whole story? Visit Rosana’s blog where she documented the whole exciting process.

Thank you for sharing this with us and from all of us at Groupon, congratulations!

Introducing the Updated Groupon Mobile App for Windows

As believers in the inherent worth and dignity of every mobile device that will ever grace the cellular space waves, we strive to bring new mobile experiences directly into your hands.

So you can imagine how excited we are today, with the announcement of v3.0 of Groupon’s mobile app for Windows Phone 8! Our Windows Phone app has received a number of big updates that combine Groupon’s dedication to ease of use with the technologically buff Windows phone 8 platform.

The app is designed to make buying and redeeming Groupons even simpler and to quickly connect you with the deals you care about most. If your reputation for sushi addiction precedes you, use the app to your advantage; its added features include the option to set up notifications or display the latest deals in your favorite categories on the neatly updated Windows Phone 8 start screen!

Have a hankering for pizza on the go? Make that pizza dream a pizza reality. We worked with Nokia to create a deal discovery feature that connects you with nearby offers by displaying them through the camera view of your phone! When it comes time to redeem, you can speed up the process with our deal integration into the new Windows Phone wallet, which allows quick access to the deals you’ve already purchased.

You can learn more about Groupon’s mobile services and download v3.0 of the Groupon Windows Phone 8 app at www.groupon.com/mobile. It’s also available in the Windows Phone Marketplace and by visiting the Nokia Collection embedded on Lumia Devices.

Have you downloaded the app already? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

Election Day Deals

We were going to stay out of the political ring, but we feel like this issue needs to be addressed and we’ll need your help to settle the controversy.

The Election of 1883 was one of the most contentious and controversial in American history, with candidates Jefferson Quincy and Monroe Chester each emerging from relative political obscurity to seek the highest office in the land.

Because we can’t stand unfinished political business and will leave no chad hanging, we’ve reached out to the estates of Jefferson Quincy and Monroe Chester to determine an outcome.

Show your support for Chester with a Ronco Rotisserie and Barbecue Oven. And remember, a vote for Quincy is a vote for a Core Bamboo 14-Piece Utensil Set. Not convinced? Check out all the deals we’re featuring to decide the election (of 1883) and cast a vote for your candidate by purchasing a deal with his campaign button on it!

Not everyone understands politics, but we’re positive this is how these two former candidates would’ve wanted their presidential fate decided. Curious about why this election was so controversial? Find out more here.

Here’s What’s Open in NYC

Like many of you, our heartfelt thoughts are with residents and businesses along the east coast who were affected by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.

While countless people remain without power and a number of businesses remain closed, we’ve developed a website to help connect consumers with those nearby businesses that are up and running. If you need a hot meal, want to meet up with friends and family, or just want a way to get back to your normal routine, these merchants are there for you and are offering those comforts.

In addition, we want to provide some resources where all of you can go to help those in need during this trying time:

  • For merchants looking for relief and recovery sources, there is The Disaster Help Desk powered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • For those looking to help get local businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy back on their feet, visit groupon.com/sandy. We want to extend our thanks to those who have already donated to the Grassroots fundraising campaign for Accion which works to provide small business recovery microloans.

We can work together to help the thousands of businesses on the east coast rebuild. Every dollar goes a long way. Thank you for spreading the word!

Patty Huber Morrissey

Manager, Groupon Grassroots