“Discovery to purchase” enablement is a strong value proposition, and Groupon knows that. Groupon officially launched its Groupon Payments credit-card-processing service in September 2012. The service’s unique selling point was based on pricing, customer service and reliable card readers. Why? Because Groupon is in the coupons/deals market, and those need to be redeemed to complete the commerce cycle. It bought Breadcrumb so customers could redeem Groupon vouchers with a single tap at supported POS. Also, several companies, including GrubHub and PayPal, have been trying to change the dining-checkout experience. It is also believed that Groupon acquired a company called FeeFighters that was looking to offer credit-card processing services to merchants as part of a broader effort to deepen data collection and analytics. And that also propelled Groupon towards Breadcrumb etc. Groupon also wanted to have a checkout system that could be used in stores and restaurants.
On 19th May 2014, Groupon announced the introduction of Gnome, a tablet-based platform that will provide sophisticated tools to local merchants to run their businesses in a more effective manner and to better understand their customers.
This is not Groupon’s first foray into the POS space. In May 2013, the company released Groupon POS, an iPad-based version of its mobile payments service aimed at local merchants. Around the same time, its wider payments service was rebranded as “Breadcrumb,” with the addition of a merchant app called Breadcrumb POS.
Groupon says that the new tablet will enable merchants to immediately recognize their Groupon customers as they enter their businesses. Using Gnome, users can seamlessly redeem Groupons and save money as well as time with the help of a straightforward POS system and credit-card-payment processing service.
“Gnome is an amazing piece of technology that plugs our merchants into the Web and helps them form relationships with every customer that walks in their front door. When it’s complete, Gnome will serve as an operating system for merchants to run their entire operation and enable them to create real-time promotions that bring customers into their business when they need them the most,” stated Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky, in a press release. “Gnome is an important step towards our long-term mission of creating a world where merchants are constantly connected to the Groupon local commerce platform.”
- The company says that Gnone will integrate with popular accounting-software programs such as Xero and Quickbooks.
- Groupon will its offer users a slew of customer-relationship-management tools, such as the ability to share customer feedback through social media, respond to customer inquiries or comments and customize marketing campaigns.
- Gnome is also set to come with 24/7 live support and a payments service with competitive rates on credit-card-processing fees.
- Groupon charges $10 a month for its iPad system.
Some features of the platform:
- All-in-one cash register – Everything local businesses need to operate more efficiently and deliver outstanding customer service: accept credit- and debit-card payments, log cash transactions, print or email receipts, manage menu items, calculate multiple tax rates, issue refunds and view transaction history.
- Bluetooth Groupon redemption – Automatically redeem Groupons using Bluetooth technology or search for customers by name, Groupon bar code or voucher number.
- CRM – Customize marketing campaigns using customer purchase history and preferences. Gnome also enables merchants to share customer feedback through Facebook and Twitter and enables one-click email responses to solve customer-service issues on the go.
- Simple, customizable point of sale – Gnome comes with preloaded menus and inventory lists for the most popular types of local businesses, enabling merchants to begin running their systems within a few minutes. Merchants can also add, scroll and search thousands of menu items.
- Accounting-software integration – Gnome integrates with popular accounting-software programs such as Xero and quickbooks, providing merchants with a convenient and hassle-free way to upload their sales data for bookkeeping and tax purposes.