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Groupon Rewards — “the easiest rewards program in the world” — rolled out nationally this week after tests in 36 markets that began in October. The product is Groupon’s answer to the emerging “transaction marketing” space that many believe will be the natural successor to the daily deals business. BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces has counted more than 24 vendors vying in this segment, with solutions ranging from Cartera to Swipely.

In Groupon’s model, consumers register a credit or debit card with Groupon. Every time they shop at a participating merchant, they can get points that can be applied to a Groupon at the merchant. Spending is automatically tracked, and reward vouchers are unlocked when goals are hit.

Merchants set reward terms, such as free deserts or spa treatments after a certain number of trips or dollars spent. They don’t need to participate in Groupon’s voucher business, but Groupon gets a commission based on the value of the reward when it is redeemed. As part of Rewards, merchants receive reports assessing the profitability of their Groupon campaigns.

A full report is being issued for our Marketplaces clients.

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