Groupon, the godfather of use-it-or-lose-it daily deals, is now getting even more specific. The local startup has expanded its arsenal of e-commerce services and will offer coupons for local businesses that can only be redeemed at specific times of day, TechCrunch reports.
Groupon has long struggled with heavy competition from other daily deals sites such as LivingSocial and OpenTable. Even Yelp, famous for its established make-or-break user-generated reviews, has gotten into Groupon's game. These new deals offer business owners a more targeted way to do what they've always done best with Groupon: increase awareness and attract new customers when they need them the most.
“Our new booking technology provides merchants even greater control over their deals to match the needs of their business and offers a tremendous customer experience,” said Julie Szudarek, VP of Local Deals, in a statement. “And as more and more businesses list their reservation and appointment inventory with us, it gives our customers another reason to always check Groupon first.”
Imagine a corner saloon that has recently introduced a lunch menu. It can't expect its standard late-night and after-work crowds to appear at noon for beer-battered fish. But by allowing new customers to reserve a discounted dish for that time, Groupon can help it draw in fresh clientele.
The new strategy started as a pilot program featuring Rick Bayless's Fontera Grill and over 100 other eateries in the Chicago area. It is currently being rolled out for any large restaurant, independent brunch joint, or bar-and-grill that accepts reservations.
“Offering this type of deal through Groupon is a fantastic way for even the busiest restaurants to diversify the ways in which they engage with customers and strengthen their brand,” Bayless. “They’re making it really easy for us to fill tables during off-peak times, which generates more revenue for the restaurant and gives us more opportunities to attract new customers and turn them into lifelong fans.”
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