An interesting article written by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry for Business Insider discusses some of the ways Groupon is using new business ventures to compete with other similar companies. In particular, Groupon has begun to allow customers to redeem coupons with store loyalty cards. This allows Groupon to compete with larger coupon businesses that work with prominent retailers, as well as with Foursquare. Despite speculations that the two companies might merge, Groupon and Foursquare are now officially competitors.
Similar to Foursquare, Groupon’s new initiative attempts to essentially replace loyalty punch cards and other similar promotions at small businesses. While convincing such businesses to adopt new technology has been historically difficult, Foursquare’s success in doing so has prompted Groupon to launch a similar undertaking.
Groupon has also released an app called “Groupon Now,” which functions very similarly to the Explore feature found in Foursquare’s app. “Groupon Now” allows users to select between two buttons, labeled “I’m Hungry” and “I’m Bored.” The app then directs people to current deals at nearby restaurants and businesses.
Groupon seems to have adopted a goal similar to Foursquare, which aims to be a comprehensive mobile and social city guide. In fact, according to Gobry, the CEO of Groupon even said Groupon wants to “unlock the city” for consumers, using Foursquare’s catchphrase verbatim. In short, Groupon sees Foursquare’s business plan as attractive, and has begun to expand its business in ways that place the two companies firmly in competition with one another. It will be interesting to see how they each continue to innovate now that they are in competition.
IT’S OFFICIAL: Groupon is Competing Head to Head With Foursquare (San Francisco Chronicle)