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Local businesses offering coupons via iPhone app to drive sales

The Groupon application includes a daily deal from different local businesses. The application is available for the iPhone and iPod touch.

“The Groupon application allows customers to enjoy the fun and convenience of Groupon shopping anywhere they go, enhanced by the GPS functions of their iPhone,” said Andrew Mason, Founder/CEO of Groupon, Chicago.

“We wanted to make it possible to buy or redeem a Groupon on the fly – when you’re in the mood to do something fun, plot your Groupons on the map to see which are closest and use your phone to redeem,” he said.

Groupon features daily deals on restaurants, salons, gyms, etcetera in major cities across the United States.

Here is a screen grab of the application:

Day Deal
The company claims that it offers unbeatable prices and provides a win-win for businesses and consumers.

Users can access their account by signing in to their existing Groupon account, use Facebook connect to log in or sign up for a new account directly through the application.

Consumers who purchase a Groupon deal, can present it to merchants directly from their screen, without printing it out. 

Additionally, there is a feature to activate the GPS to plot Groupon deals closest to a user’s current location.

Consumers can also find all of their past purchases already loaded when they log in.

Recent New York local businesses which featured deals on Groupon include Essex Restaurant, New York Sports Club, Baja Fresh, Amish Market Tribeca and Chelsea Piers.

Groupon claims that consumers cannot use the coupon more than once.

“Each Groupon has its own identifying bar code and number,” Mr. Mason said. “Our merchants keep track of this different ways – some scan it, some implement it into their POS tools, some keep an excel doc and manually mark them off when redeemed.”

Here is another screen grab of the application:

Mobile coupon
Deals are currently available in 40 cities including, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Cleveland.

Groupon features a daily deal which consumers can purchase as long as there are enough people that buy it.

There is also fine print with each purchase where consumers can see the limit of the coupon, find out if the deal is valid for services only, check if gratuity is included or if they can get cash or credit back.

Although the application is available for the iPhone and iPod touch, the company is planning on expanding the application to other smartphone platforms such as BlackBerry and Android.

Groupon has not set a release date yet.

“People who are looking for cool things to do in the city, cannot be bothered to carry around a folder of printed Groupons,” Mr. Mason said. “You are no longer limited by needing access to a computer or printer.”