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Jun 7, 2011

Groupon Begins Competing Directly With Foursquare

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Groupon is about to enter the loyalty cards business, a move that could help the company land more national retailers.

The company’s business plan up until this point has been fairly straight forward, convince local businesses to buy into their coupon discount program, however that plan has rarely allowed the company to land the Walmart’s and Target’s of the world who prefer to off their own discounts.

The first such deal has already begun in Massachusetts where users can redeem their Groupon using a story loyalty card.

The plan also mirrors much of what location based service Foursquare has relied on for advertising, taking over and even creating the loyalty programs of businesses who may not have the resources or the time to implement their own loyalty card plans, allowing them to learn more about their customers buying habits while eliminating the cost of actual loyalty cards by replacing them with a users Smartphone.

The company has even went on to copy Foursquares “Explore” feature which allows users to find places to eat and things to do in the area they are located when they are bored. Groupon Now does the same thing with Groupon fed deals for customers to purchase.

Where Groupon currently falls behind Foursquare is there inability to show cities as a guide through friend interactions and other Foursquare specific offerings, however the company plans to change that, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason has even stolen Foursquare’s catch phrase during talks, saying Groupon Now wants to “unlock the city.”

Are you going to try Fourclone? Pardon me, I meant Groupon Now?

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