Deal-of-the-day (also called flash sales or one deal a day) is an eCommerce business model in which a website offers a single product for sale for a period of 24 to 36 hours. Potential customers register as members of the deal-a-day websites and receive online offers and invitations by email or social networks. The deal-of-the-day business model works by allowing retailers to market discounted services or products directly to the customers of the deal company, who receives a portion of the retailer's profit. This allows retailers to build brand loyalty and quickly sell surplus inventory.
Groupon is an American worldwide e-commerce marketplace connecting millions of subscribers with local merchants by offering activities, travel, goods and services in more than 28 countries. Based in Chicago, Groupon was launched in November 2008, and the first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed soon thereafter by Boston, New York City and Toronto. By the end of March 2015, Groupon served more than 500 cities worldwide, nearly 48.1 million active customers and featured more than 425,000 active deals globally.
When it first launched, the company offered one "Groupon" per day in each of the markets it served. The Groupon worked as an assurance contract using ThePoint's platform: if a certain number of people signed up for the offer, then the deal became available to all; if the predetermined minimum was not met, no one got the deal that day. This reduces risk for retailers, who can treat the coupons as quantity discounts as well as sales promotion tools.
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