Should Groupon Acquire Foursquare? Better yet, join with Yelp?

Discovered an interesting article asking if Groupon should acquire Foursquare?  This is tricky and at first does seem like a good business move for Groupon.  But who will this benefit more…Groupon or Foursquare?  Hands down, Foursquare will be the big winner and it makes sense.  Foursquare is looking for ways to make money and Groupon has that down pat.  What does Groupon gain?  The biggest gain is Foursquare’s users, but thats really it.

I’d argue that Groupon will gain most from partnering with Yelp.  IMO, Groupon’s biggest competitor is Facebook Deals and they will need to make bigger partnerships to stay on top.  I still prefer Groupon over Facebook, but thats now…things may change.

Here’s what Groupon needs to be thinking about in order to stay on top:

  • Engage Facebook and Twitter posts with “deals” – Groupon is awesome, they have daily deals and make it easy for users to make purchases.  But how do they keep users on their site?  Perhaps integrate FB and Twitter posts with people who have bought the daily deal.
  • Allow “ratings” for Groupons – This is valuable and will help future users make purchases.  I’ve noticed that some companies use Groupon over and over again to attract new customers, this is great!  However, why now allow users to rate their experience using a Groupon at a specific store for future use.  I know of a few friends who have had bad experiences (company giving bad service b/c of a Groupon, company not accepting Groupon code from iPhone).
  • Create categories for Groupons – Location-based Groupons are great, it works and its the easiest way for me to find a Groupon near me.  But what about those Groupon deals (like Fandango) that you can use in any location?  Categorizing those type of offers into groups (Movies, Music, Entertainment, Sporting, etc)

I commend Groupon for joining partnerships with other social tools, but keep growing and improving the user experience.  User experience is one key advantage you have over Facebook.  Don’t settle for the small buy-outs and instead take some risks and make big splashes.  It’s the only way you can compete with big companies.  Just hope that Google doesn’t get into the “deal” business.