November 4, 2013, 4:40 PM

Groupon updates apps and site for 5th anniversary

The m-commerce powerhouse emphasizes search and personalization in its new design.

Lead Photo

The web-only retailer's iPad app, which now boasts personalized pages.

To mark five years in Internet retailing, Groupon has unveiled updated versions of its iPhone and Android smartphone apps and iPad tablet app and a redesigned e-commerce site for PC shoppers, all with new features aimed at making it easier for customers to shop Groupon’s large selection of deals, goods and travel excursions.

In short order, Groupon has become a mobile commerce powerhouse. 50% of transactions at Groupon, which now sells merchandise as well as the daily deals that made its name, occur on mobile devices, and mobile customers spend 50% more than web-only customers, Groupon says. The Groupon apps have been downloaded by more than 50 million people in 43 countries, Groupon says. The Groupon app is the third most used in retail, behind only the apps of Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc, research firm Arbitron reports. Groupon Goods is No. 5 in the recently published 2014 Internet Retailer Mobile 500, with 2013 mobile sales estimated to hit $939.0 million, a massive 588% leap over 2012's $136.4 million.

“In just five years, Groupon has grown from a daily deal web site to a true online marketplace with a tremendous mobile following,” says Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky. “Our new site and mobile app makes it easier and more rewarding for customers to check Groupon first when they want to buy just about anything, anytime, anywhere.”

The latest versions of the mobile apps and e-commerce site make it simple for customers to search and browse Groupon’s tens of thousands of offers to find the exact deal they want, when they want it, and in a more personalized way, Lefkofsky adds.

Local Explorer is a new feature of the app. Through the use of a mobile device's GPS technology, the app now follows customers as they travel, whether a city away or to a different country. When the app detects a mobile customer’s location has changed, it sends a push notification when she is in range of Groupon’s local deals for a new area. Inside the app, local deals are automatically displayed based on the customer’s current location rather than her home town. However, she can easily switch the display at any time to her home town.

The app's enhanced design elevates the search bar to the top of every screen to provide quick access to specific deals and goods. The redesigned iPad app also sports a new home page that, like the e-commerce site’s new home page, presents personalized collections of deals, based on an app user's interests and browsing and purchasing histories.

The apps and the site now offer Groupon's new Gift Shop, which features collections and gifts from local businesses, Groupon Goods and Groupon Getaways.

The e-commerce site offers enhanced search, which is now at the top of every page and employs drop-down type-ahead search term suggestions. And search results now span all Groupon offers from local deals to places to travel to goods to restaurant reservations and live events. And for every search or browse click, the results are displayed along with a set of filters that simultaneously showcase Groupon’s selection of deals and enable customers to drill deeper into specific categories and collections based on their interests.

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