April 14, 2014, 1:15 PM

A new Groupon program drives traffic to retail stores


National retailers to advertise in-store offers on the daily-deal site.

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Major retail chains can now advertise offers redeemable in their stores via Groupon.com. In-store offers appear under the Freebies category. Current promotions include 25% off a purchase at Staples stores and $5 off any purchase of $20 or more of Barbie, Hot Wheels of Fisher-Price toys at Toys ‘R’ Us stores. Groupon Inc. introduced the Freebies category in Q4 2013.

 “When it comes to Groupons, most are redeemed in stores,” says Sean Smyth, vice president of global partner marketing and business development at Groupon. “We just want to make it super easy for a national retailer to find a way to get their promotion in front of the Groupon consumer.”

Groupon does not charge merchants to list their offers, but gets paid on one of several ways, the company says. One option is for the retailer to pay an undisclosed percentage of the total purchase when a shopper redeems a coupon. Other options include a set fee per conversion or per coupon printed from Groupon.com.

Groupon.com recorded more than 14 million unique visitors in February, up 20.7 from 11.6 million in February 2013, according to Compete Inc., a provider of web site traffic data. Groupon is No. 65 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide .

Currently, 250 national retail chains list offers redeemable in stores on Groupon. Smyth says the program will be extended to smaller local retailers later in 2014.  

Earlier this year, Groupon added Deal Builder, a tool that allows merchants to create their own promotions.
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