While the social network isn’t doing away with its direct-sale initiative, it is focusing its attention on ads that drive consumers to retailers’ sites.
The daily deal operator’s offers are now available at kiosks in the Chicago area.
Groupon Inc. vouchers aren’t just available via computers, tablets and smartphones anymore. The daily deal operator is working with SmartDigital, a technology company that makes interactive touchscreen kiosks, to offer daily, location-based Groupon Now offers and Getaway travel deals to consumers at kiosks located in heavily trafficked venues throughout the Chicago area, such as football stadium Soldier Field and Navy Pier, an entertainment complex and major tourist attraction.
“We’re looking to present deals in highly dense areas that will appear to both locals and tourists,” says George Burciaga, CEO of SmartDigital. Burciaga says the deals began appearing at the company’s 30 kiosks today, and it plans to roll out more than 100 more machines in the next few months. A consumer can use the kiosk to log into her Groupon account and select her credit card on file—or she can swipe a payment card at a kiosk.
“We want to offer a service that is convenient to a person walking by at street level,” says Burciaga. “We want to redefine marketing communications at a street level.”
Groupon’s offers are one of several applications loaded on the kiosks. SmartDigital’s kiosks also offer content from the Chicago Tribune newspaper, entertainment site Metromix.com and other city-focused information, such as a bus tracker, as well as interactive advertising. At certain machines, such as a Groupon-branded kiosk at Navy Pier, the daily deal operator’s application will have the most prominent positioning on the screen, says Burciaga.
This year SmartDigital plans to roll out kiosks featuring Groupon deals in New York and Miami. The company aims to expand into an additional seven markets within the next 36 months.
A Groupon spokeswoman says the kiosks are part of Groupon’s continual efforts to experiment with new ways to engage consumers, including when they are away from their homes.