It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything about Groupon, but it appears the company — which has struggled with both unhappy customers and ticked off retailers — is trying to take a new tack. It’s launching a service called Freebies, which is exactly what it sounds like: A whole bunch of free stuff.
Of course it’s not just handing out brand new products or entire meals for free, but instead, Freebies will compete with sites like RetailMeNot.com that already offer discount codes and other coupons, notes the Chicago Tribune.
The new national campaign will offer promotion codes and coupons that don’t require customers to buy anything upfront. Groupon says 5,000 brands including Best Buy, Reebok, Land’s End, Nordstrom and Sephora are signed up.
Here’s how it works: Customers will simply browse a grid of deals and then click on the one they want, say 15% regularly priced orders at one place or $25 off an order of $70 or more. You’ll either be taken directly to the sale or a coupon code will pop up that you can use, although it’s unclear if it’s just for online ordering or if you can print out discounts to take into the store.
So what does Groupon get out of this, warm fuzzy feeling? Well, that, perhaps, as well as commission when the orders are redeemed, that are “directionally consistent within the industry,” a spokeswoman said. Even better for retailers fearful of the usual Groupon deal snafus — they won’t have to offer a traditional Groupon deal.
If you act fast, there’s a free tap water deal marked as a “Groupon exclusive.” Hurry!
Groupon launches Freebies, entering the coupon segment [Chicago Tribune]