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Groupon launches standalone app for receipts-based offers

By
October 3, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.57.51 PMGroupon has launched its first standalone mobile application, Snap by Groupon, giving users a way to earn cash back for grocery purchases by snapping a picture of their receipt.

Working directly with leading consumer packaged goods brands such as Glad, Huggies and Barilla, Groupon is offering cash back on a variety of everyday grocery items while also providing users with a tool for creating their shopping lists. The app is the latest example of how mobile is breathing new life into receipt-based promotions, a strategy that is also being embraced by Walmart and Snipp.

“We think that mobile-first really made sense given the fact that we want people to look at Snap while grocery shopping,” said Nicholas Halliwell, a media relations representative with Chicago-based Groupon. “We want them to have something that is connected and accessible to use while shopping for groceries.

“It is a very successful app in Canada and we decided that we wanted to bring that same standalone experience to the U.S.,” he said. “Standalone apps are a great way to showcase a simple user experience.

Streamlining coupons
The Snap by Groupon app grew from Groupon’s acquisition of the Toronto-based SnapFaves app earlier this year. Following the acquisition, Groupon rebranded the app and extended its reach into the United States.

Snap, which is available on Android and iOS devices as well as a mobile Web site, enables users to earn money when they buy an item that is listed in the app and take a picture of the receipt.

To promote the launch of the app, Groupon will enter anyone who downloads the app and uses it submit a grocery receipt through Nov. 11 into a sweepstakes for a year of free groceries.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 3.58.26 PM

Groupon will use its existing Web site and apps to drive downloads of Snap and cross-promote offers that are available on Snap.

Cash-back offers
At launch, some of the offers in the app include $0.75 cash back on any Barilla Sauce, $0.50 off Chobani Flips or Chobani Oats, $1.00 cash back on any Glad Trash Bags as well as $3.00 cash back on Huggies diapers and $2.00 cash back on Huggies wipes.

Users can also refer family and friends to the app through Facebook and their email contact list, earning $1 cash back for everyone that opens an account and redeems their first eligible offer.

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Users can cash out once they have accumulates $20 in cash back.

Shoppers can also use Snap to build their own grocery-shopping list within the app and add featured items they wish to purchase during their trip.

Digitizing receipts
There is growing interest in using mobile for receipt-based promotions.

Walmart’s Savings Catcher is a receipt comparison tool available online and in the retailer’s app (see story). It is part of a broader digital platform built around receipts (see story).

Several brands, including Minute Maid, are also working with Snipp on promotions in Walmart enabling shoppers to text a photo of a receipt showing qualifying products to access a special offer (see story).

Snap by Groupon is an example of how the company is looking to offer mobile-first experiences as mobile shopping continues to grow.

Another example is that users of the traditional Groupon app have exclusive access to last-minute hotel offers.

For CPG brands, Groupon insists that Snap is a more efficient strategy than traditional coupons to drive purchase consideration.

“These are direct relationships with the CPG brands and we really feel that we bring a unique value proposition to the table given that we have an enormous reach through Groupon that is a very efficient way for them to drive purchases of their own products as opposed to putting something in a Sunday circular and hoping that someone cuts it out ad brings it to a store,” Mr. Halliwell said.

“We also can provide shopper analytics, so they can analyze the success of their promotions and better shape future marketing decisions,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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