Groupon Counters Amazon’s Anti-Small Business Promotion

    December 20, 2011

Earlier this month Amazon enraged retailers everywhere by running a one-day deal to promote their new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to purchase the same item from Amazon. Everyone from retail advocacy groups to US legislators denounced the promotion as a dirty trick.

Well, it appears that Groupon hopes to counteract Amazon’s move. Yesterday afternoon the company announced via blog post that they were launching their Buy Local program, designed to reward users who, well, buy local. Groupon users who register for the promotion and make a qualifying local purchase by Christmas Eve will be rewarded by having $10 in Groupon Bucks added to their accounts. Considering the normal going rate of Groupon’s offers, that’s a fairly substantial reward.

Holiday Shopping

The point of the promotion is to help shoppers who often feel forced to choose between supporting the local economy and getting good prices. It has proven to be quite popular: the deal launched yesterday afternoon, and sometime early this morning the 150,000 registration limit was reached. It remains to be seen whether Groupon will extend the promotion or launch similar deals later down the line.