August 19, 2013, 9:53 AM

Groupon launches an affiliate platform

The daily deal operator will offer commissions ranging from 8% to 12% at launch.

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Groupon Inc. today launched the Groupon Partner Network, a self-service e-commerce affiliate marketing platform that aims to broaden the daily deal operator’s reach by enabling online publishers to earn commissions when shoppers click on and buy from links to Groupon offers.

The daily deal operator is offering its affiliate partners promotional commissions through September of 12% for voucher offers, 8% for its Groupon Getaways travel deals and Groupon Goods discounts on physical goods. Starting in October, it will pay commissions of 10% for its voucher offers, 6% for Groupon Getaways deals and 5% for Groupon Goods discounts.

The Groupon Partner Network, or GPN, is available in more than 30 countries.

“GPN is the latest example of Groupon’s dedication to provide a comprehensive, effective and large-scale marketing platform for local and national merchants to help grow their business,” says Sean Smyth, Groupon’s vice president of global partner marketing and business development.

GPN provides affiliates with tools to track data, such as daily sales volume, impressions and click-through rates. It also offers features to help affiliates create trackable links and widgets. A widget is a stand-alone application that affiliates can embed on their sites.

Groupon is in the midst of trying to diversify the way shoppers find and purchase its offers. The daily deal operator says that direct e-mail marketing accounted for less than 40% of its North American transactions in the second quarter, down from 45% in the first quarter.

Rather than focus too heavily on e-mail marketing, the daily deal operator has encouraged more shoppers to search for offers on its mobile app and it aims for shoppers to discover discounts while browsing the web via the Groupon Partner Network, says a spokesman.

Groupon said earlier this month that in June nearly half of North American transactions were completed on mobile devices, compared with about 30% a year earlier. More than 50 million people have downloaded Groupon mobile apps worldwide with more than 7.5 million people downloading them in the second quarter alone.

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