An End To My Groupon Spam?

Groupon’s most interesting offer to date doesn’t involve a discount but instead a deal with consumers to provide relevant offers via its new Groupon Now service in exchange for user permission to factor in location and buying habit data.

In the last week, Groupon gave mobile users in select cities the option to receive relevant, on-the-go offers (via iPhone and Android apps or the mobile Web).

In an email to users, Groupon put it this way: “If you use a Groupon mobile app and you allow sharing through your device, Groupon may collect geo-location information from the device and use it for marketing deals to you.”

Fortunately, Groupon spelled it out for us. In addition, Groupon stated in the email that it might also collect other information (including relationship information, transaction information, financial account information and mobile location information) and share it with Expedia.

I’ve been vocal about the irrelevance of many Groupon offers, pointing to the similarities between the deals I get and outright spam. Groupon Now represents a step in the right direction and Groupon should be congratulated for being so transparent.

Some users will choose to participate, and others will opt out rather than divulge personal information in return for a deal. As for me, I’ll take the relevant offers every time. I do that already by simply opting in to the loyalty clubs run by my favorite brands.

More on this in my weekly column