Deal service Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) has unveiled Gnome, an iPad-based platform which provides an interface to help merchants process payments.
Groupon's Gnome is being compared to the Square Register, which has been the leader in portable payment systems among retailers thus far. The Gnome system includes software that lets businesses track cash and card transactions and a tool that will allow a shop's customers to redeem a Groupon voucher by simply telling a cashier their name at checkout.
The idea behind the system is to give retailers an easier way to connect with shoppers who redeem Groupon discounts. Historically, shoppers who redeem Groupon vouchers come into stores for their discount but don't tend to become repeat customers. The new Gnome system can help merchants better track these shoppers and design digital campaigns using customer purchase history, social media and other preferences.
The point of sale unit is customizable and comes with preloaded menus and inventory lists for the most popular types of businesses. Additionally, Gnome will come with 24/7 support and a payments service with competitive rates on credit card processing fees, backed by a low-price guarantee to protect merchants' revenue.
"When it's complete, Gnome will serve as an operating system for merchants to run their entire operation and enable them to create real-time promotions that bring customers into their business when they need them the most," Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky said in a release. "Gnome is an important step towards our long-term mission of creating a world where merchants are constantly connected to the Groupon local commerce platform."
Groupon has been attempting to break away from being known as strictly a daily-deals company. Earlier this month, the company unveiled a new Groupon Basics category focused on selling deals on bulk home goods. The new service lets consumers stock up on more than 100 household, personal care, health and wellness and grocery items. Initially available in the continental Unites States. Basics offers free shipping on orders of $24.99 or more and doesn't require a subscription.
-See this Groupon press release
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