Groupon’s transformation from a daily deals company to a multi-channel shopping promotions and e-commerce portal continue with its launch today of Freebies, a new program that groups together online coupons, promo codes. sales, giveaways and samples.
More than 5,500 brands are said to be participating. Retailers taking part with special offers in the initial launch include Macy’s, Nordstrom, Best Buy, American Eagle and Sephora. The effort is focused on the U.S., with international expansion expected in 2014.
The new effort pits Groupon against other providers such as ValPak, Gannett’s ShopLocal, Wanderful Media’s Find&Save, and adds to other Groupon branded efforts, including Groupon Local (local deals and offers), Groupon Getaways (travel) and Groupon Goods (electronics and other products). Groupon also offers Breadcrumb for B2B merchant payments, promotions and services.
Freebies is an interesting and ambitious application. By extending beyond daily deals and moving towards a shopping mall approach, Groupon has focused on becoming a more heavily trafficked site. The challenge will be to convince consumers to think of Groupon when they are researching their shopping choices. In this case, the eyeballs (help to) win.