Groupon extends social commerce service to iPhone


Social commerce website Groupon announced the launch of an official application optimized for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, groupon social commerce appenabling consumers to purchase, redeem and organize deals on the go. Each day, Groupon presents a bargain from retailers or restaurants spanning across 40 U.S. markets; the offer is good only if a predetermined number of consumers take advantage within a 24-hour period--if the user minimum is met, everyone who signed up is charged for their purchase and mailed a link to redeem their Groupon, and if not, the deal is canceled. The startup encourages bargains that promote social interaction among users, like dining opportunities and spa treatments. According to the Groupon website, the service has saved shoppers more than $115 million since launching in late 2008, with almost 2.5 million coupons purchased to date--in December 2009, the firm closed a second round of institutional financing valued at $30 million.

Groupon's free iPhone app gives consumers the tools to browse and buy daily deals in 40 markets, redeem purchases directly from their device, sign into their existing account to find and organize their previous purchases, log in via Facebook Connect and map local Groupons in real time via the smartphone's GPS feature. Groupon adds it plans to expand to 100 U.S. markets by the end of 2010.

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