Groupon Launches Digital Couponing Service, Freebies

Groupon (Nasdaq:GRPN) is modifying its business model with the introduction of a new feature called "Freebies" that offers free digital coupons, promotion codes, giveaways and samples.

The feature launched on Nov. 20 with more than 25,000 coupons from over 5,500 brands and retailers, including Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom and Macy's. The digital coupons can be claimed for free and are only valid online. After clicking on the coupons, shoppers are directed to the retailer's website and the discount is automatically applied during checkout.  

A Groupon spokeswoman said the company earns a commission on Freebies, typically when offers are redeemed, that are "directionally consistent within the industry," reports the Chicago Tribune.

"We want to save customers money everywhere they shop -- whether it's their local coffee shop or a large department store," said Rich Williams, senior vice president of global marketing. "With top brands, a huge selection and exclusive offers, Freebies is another reason to always check Groupon first."

The launch of Freebies puts Groupon in the running to compete with other popular online couponing sites, such as RetailMeNot, Brad's Deals and CouponCabin.  The Chicago-based company is offering the service to customers in the U.S. but plans to expand it internationally in 2014.  

Over the past few months, Groupon has made a big effort to reinvent itself.  The company recently upgraded its website to feature ongoing deals across a wide range of searchable departments in the Groupon Marketplace, moving away from its former model of just daily deals emailed to subscribers and also began offering restaurant reservations. Last month, Groupon said it will acquire Ticket Monster, a Korean e-commerce company, to further expand and grow its business. 

For more see:
This Chicago Tribune article
This Groupon press release

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