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Groupon buys SnapSaves' grocery coupon app

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by Jacqueline Renfrow

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) has acquired SnapSaves, a grocery store app that compares prices and gives cash back.

SnapSaves was developed by Toronto-based Buytopia, which operates a deal-of-the-day site similar to Groupon's. The app offers shoppers instant cash back on grocery and personal care purchases at any retailer in Canada including big box names such as Walmart, Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Safeway, IGA and Shoppers.

How does the app work? Customers need only to sift through a list of daily product offers on a mobile device, take a picture of that product on their grocery receipt and instantly receive the cash back. For current customers, accounts will continue to work as before but with a wider variety of offers as part of Groupon.

SnapSaves has two million users and will now have the opportunity to expand into the U.S. market. This is big news for brand partners, as the audience has grown to include Groupon's 52 million customers and 80 million mobile app downloads.

This now puts Groupon in a good place to compete with Coupons.com, which handled $1.3 billion in transactions in 2013.

Integrating mobile devices into the grocery shopping experience is becoming increasingly necessary and will certainly influence the future of consumer supermarket behavior. According to a recent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, more than half of shoppers want to integrate their mobile devices into their future grocery experience.

Many retailers are already making a big mobile couponing push. For example, Target rolled out mobile coupon marketing in a recent effort to reach millennials and its new mobile coupon app, Cartwheel, has played a major role in Target's online traffic—nearly two-thirds of this entry point comes from mobile devices. Cartwheel leads all other major retailers in terms of time shoppers spend browsing and buying on mobile apps, according to comScore.

SnapSaves bears a close resemblance to Walmart's latest SavingsCatcher program that lets shoppers upload their receipt and get store credit for any item the app finds for less at another retailer.

"Get ready for even better dynamic couponing, targeting and brand building solutions through our mobile and Web platforms," announced SnapSaves on its website.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

For more:
-See this SnapSaves press release
-See this Seeking Alpha story 
-See this Yahoo Finance story

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Groupon targets Costco and Sam's Club with Groupon Basics
Groupon buys flash-sale site Ideeli for $43 million
Groupon plans warehouses, wants to compete with Amazon, Costco
Groupon launches digital couponing service, Freebies

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