|Review: Groupon app|
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:30
I have a terrible confession to make: I’m not trendy at all. I’m not just referring to my fashion sense or sad lack thereof (because really, my inability to accessorise is actually quite tragic), but to technology in general.
I can’t even squarely blame this on budgetary constraints, because it extends far beyond not being able to afford the latest, greatest gadget when it is first released. But that doesn’t really count, because not having the money to shell out for a shiny new gadget is actually a perfectly legitimate excuse for not being an early adopter.
For some as-yet-unexplained reason, though, I’m usually slow to sign up to web-based trends too. I’ve no excuse there, since joining the latest social network/cool virtual hub usually is free. Case in point: while everyone else has already been doing it for months – which translate to centuries, in technological terms – I’ve yet to tack a single virtual pin to Pinterest.
When I do eventually sign up (and I will, because I almost always do – eventually), my reaction is bound to be: “Oh, so THIS is what everyone was gushing about all those years ago!” By that time, of course, most of those early enthusiasts will have already grown bored with their boards and abandoned their pin-ups to flock to the next latest and greatest thing.
The latest party I’m so shamefully late to arrive at is Groupon. Yes, I have known about it for some time (I always keep up with the trends, even if I don’t latch on to them right away), courtesy of the daily e-mails that have been faithfully arriving in my inbox for months, enticing me with amazing deals on travel, goodies and experiences.
In case you are techno-slow like me and don’t know what Groupon is, here’s a quick explanation: It is a deal-of-the day website filled with limited (usually 24 hour long) discounted offers to shops, goods, and experiences in your area. These products and services are sometimes discounted up to 70% from their regular prices, so great bargains are to be had. Groupon makes the concept of virtual shopping a social one, since a minimum amount of consumers has to sign up to buy a product in order for the deal to go through. You receive a R25 bonus to use towards another Groupon purchase for every customer you refer. (I think they have to buy something before you earn the bonus, though.)
Although I have often opened the mails when a particular deal caught my eye, I was somehow under the false impression that one has to be in possession of a credit card to make a purchase. (Like most other consumers in South Africa, I don’t have one.) I finally realised (again, a bit slow) that this is not the case when I helped my sister to register and sign up to the site a few days ago. I’m sure that my eyes visibly lit up when they caught sight of “EFT” under payment options!
I was even more thrilled to discover that Groupon has a BlackBerry app. (That, along with apps to other mobile platforms, was launched locally late last year.)To sweeten the already discounted deals even further, by buying straight from the app, consumers can earn up to R50 when making their first purchase from the app.
Downloading the app and signing up to Groupon are easy and free. The BlackBerry app’s User Interface is clean and simple. Once you open the app, you will be taken to a screen showing the featured specials in your area for that day. If none of the featured deals catch your eye, you can always search the travel deals (found when you click on the Getaways tab at the top of the screen) and other products (select the Goods tab ). The My Groupons tab lets you keep tabs on your recent purchases, or allows you to redeem your purchased Groupons from the specific merchant by simply showing them your handset – no printout required.
You can also use the BlackBerry button (the one with the dots on it) to access the app’s various categories, since it will bring up a column that will take you to your account, the Featured Deals, etc. From that column, you will also be able to change and select your location to ensure that you always receive details about those deals on offer near you.
Last night, I used the app to purchase a 50% discounted year-long subscription to one of my favourite magazines. The process was painless. Once the deal closes and Groupon has received proof of my payment (which I made via EFT), I will be e-mailed a Groupon voucher number which I can then e-mail, along with my mailing address, to the magazine’s subscription division. In a month or so, I’ll begin receiving my favourite magazine by post. The process is not as convoluted as it sounds, but even if it were, I think the savings make it entirely worth the effort!
Now, if only a local stylist will join Groupon to teach me how to become fashion forward…
This app was reviewed using a BlackBerry Bold 9790, courtesy of BlackBerry South Africa.
Good: Easy to use, clean User Interface, and free! The R50 credit you get when you make your first purchase via the app is pretty nifty too. Following deals is fun and a little bit addictive!
Bad: The fact that you might not get the deal you’ve set your heart on if enough people aren’t interested – but that is hardly the app’s fault. It is, after all, the whole premise of Groupon! The fact that I have to e-mail the magazine my voucher number and send all my details might seem convoluted to more picky shoppers, but I really don’t think it is that much trouble. Besides, the huge discount I am receiving is worth it! Now the only risk I face is going broke!
Download: BlackBerry App World link.
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