Figuring out how to better serve local businesses and connect those businesses to readers is a big part of local news organizations’ hopes and ideas for making money online.
Here’s what Groupon Stores offers:
Businesses can now create and launch their own deals whenever they want. Think of it as the online equivalent of a merchant’s physical storefront. Merchants can now:
- Setup a permanent (and free!) e-commerce presence on Groupon for promoting their business.
- Create their own offers to run deals whenever they want.
- Submit deals to be promoted to Groupon subscribers through email and the Deal Feed (explained below).
- Get customers to follow their Groupon Store, and stay in touch by sending messages through the daily email and deal feed.
Groupon takes a 10 percent cut of deals sold through this platform without its promotional help, and a 30 percent cut of such deals that it promotes. (Groupon takes a 50 percent cut of its bread-and-butter deals-of-the-day.)
Facebook Deals, meanwhile, is free.
What can a news organization offer a local business to top these platforms? It’s not like businesses will be lacking an audience through the platforms, since the entire universe uses Facebook and a growing number of desireable-demographic folks use Groupon.
If Groupon adds aggregation of restaurant reviews, Better Business Bureau rankings, and the like, it’ll have local-business content that equals or is better than that of most news orgs.
No wonder Google is willing to spend $6 billion to get in on that.