Groupon: Mobile devices drive one-third of transactions

Mobile devices now generate about one-third of transactions across Groupon’s North American digital deals platform, a year-over-year increase of close to 30 percent, the firm said Thursday.

Groupon presents daily bargains from retailers and restaurants in 48 countries worldwide. Mobile applications for platforms including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android enable consumers to purchase and redeem deals, browse on-demand bargains for nearby restaurants, bars and activities, and share deals via social media. Earlier this year, Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason told investors that the company’s mobile shoppers spend about twice as much as their desktop counterparts.  

Groupon is also expanding beyond deals with GrouponPayments, a mobile payments processing platform to rival efforts from Square and PayPal. Launched nationwide in late September, GrouponPayments enables any U.S. merchant running a Groupon deal to accept credit and debit payments by swiping the customer’s card through a small dongle that plugs into their iOS device audio jack. Groupon is also rolling out Breadcrumb, a new point-of-sale platform enabling restaurants, bars and cafés across the U.S. to run their business via Apple’s iPad tablet.

Groupon reported third-quarter revenues of $568.6 million, up 32 percent from $430.2 million in the year-ago quarter but below its forecasted range of $580 million to $620 million. Shares plummeted nearly 16 percent in after-hours trading and are now down more than 80 percent from their IPO price a year ago.

On the positive side of the ledger, Groupon featured more than 100,000 unique merchant partners during the third quarter and now serves more than 200 million subscribers worldwide–customer acquisition costs improved 55 percent year-over-year, translating to a 58 percent reduction in marketing spend compared with the third quarter of 2011.


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