Groupons in Plastic Instead of Paper? Not so Fishy


Share on LinkedIn

Groupon has ventured deeper into loyalty marketing – and away from paper coupons – with a Boston-area test program that’s offering $40 in shellfish for just $24 clams.

In the test, with Springfield, Mass.-based supermarket chain Big Y, the seafood transactions are processed through the supermarket chain’s loyalty cards, rather than through the traditional Groupon coupon. Users just make their purchase at the Groupon site, enter their Big Y Express Savings Club account number, and the deal is loaded onto their account.

Other supermarket chains and possibly packaged-goods makers are expected to join the program, according to a story in Advertising Age.

This is not Groupon’s first foray into loyalty marketing, which indicates a multi-pronged effort to fully understand and leverage the loyalty plan structure, in which consumers earn rewards and recognition for the amount of money they spend with specific consumers. In February, we blogged about Groupon’s partnership with Cartera Commerce, a Lexington, Mass., company that manages loyalty rewards programs for credit card companies, retailers and others. And in 2010, Groupon began testing its own loyalty plan that involved randomly invited members.

For a coupon company that built its business on deals for discretionary purchases, such as spa visits and restaurant meals, Groupon’s entry into practical venues – places where consumers will visit at least once a week – could be the strategy to push it into the black. The Chicago-based dealmaker has lost more than $500 million since it was founded in 2008, including a loss of $390 million in 2010.

But on June 3, the day after Groupon announced its $750 million initial public offering, Chairman Eric Lefkofsky said the money-losing company will be “wildly profitable.” Fishy statement? Maybe Groupon has more surprises up its sleeve.

Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here