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Groupon's New Food Delivery Service Uses Direct Cashback as a USP

Groupon's New Food Delivery Service Uses Direct Cashback as a USP

You can gain cashback on pretty much everything these days - from clothes to sporting goods; even magazine subscriptions and boiler repair if you’re a buy-to-let landlord.

Last week it was the turn of US voucher site Groupon to throw another option into the mix. Getting cashback on takeaways without having to cross over to another site is now a possibility thanks to ‘Groupon to Go’, a new delivery service which has been taken out of ‘pilot mode’ in Chicago and hoisted into the mainstream.

Much like Just Eat and in Europe, users can order food to their door before Groupon delivers 10% cashback on each purchase from its own commission - an extra offered by no other firm, the company says. 

There is immediate scope to have Groupon to Go launch in Austin and Boston before being made available ‘nationwide’ - ie to other US cities should the concept gain a good reception.

But if there’s anything to be taken from the success of food delivery networks in Europe, there shouldn’t be anything stopping EU consumers from getting direct cashback on yet another regular purchase.

Rewards on food

Each country in the EU has its own rapidly-expanding list of food affiliates which gain commission from business driven to the companies listed on their sites.

These are currently having no issues with hitting the headlines, mainly for their attempts at gaining funds or finding new owners. 

For example, recent cash injections have seen €13 million fall at the feet of Germany’s and €74 million handed to the Netherlands-based With acquisitions, Groupon’s own foray into food arrives in light of the purchase of delivery service OrderUp - a rival to GrubHub in the US. 

Groupon’s 10% cashback offering for every purchase is new, though, in some senses.

On the one hand, the UK-based Just Eat - live in 15 countries and valued at £1.5 billion last year - is linked to TopCashback with a rate of up to 3.15% on purchases from first-time buyers (1.05% for existing). However, this is not attached directly to transactions conducted on the Just Eat portal without TopCashback membership.

The same applies to’s 6% on Quidco, and the 4% from Hungryhouse on the same site. They operate as regular marketplaces which are using the aforementioned publishers to drive sales through external sites, rather than have cashback listed on their own.   

Groupon feeds demand

For that added push in a market where supplier volume and general efficiency can take a business all the way, baking a cashback service into these offerings could be a way of getting ahead.

Reports suggest Groupon is personally handing over 10% cashback on orders and may even increase the rate of commission should merchants enjoy early success with ‘to Go’. 

The cashback angle also provides an air of justification into why Groupon is diving into the world of food delivery, aside from the market rising to a huge worth over the last few years. It’s another arm of a discounting business which can, understandably, dip into a number of different territories due to its reliance on corporate relationships as opposed to physical inventory.

By contrast, taxi hailing site Uber’s own swipe at the same market with an EU launch for UberEats (live in Barcelona, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Chicago) was met with a swathe of questions from analysts.

A Groupon spokesperson has described the 10% discount as an “indefinite promotion” for users and it will be interesting to see whether such a service makes its way over Europe, either through Groupon or another discounter broadening its horizons.

Richard Towey

Richard Towey

Richard serves as head of content at PerformanceIN. After many years spent covering developments from the automotive, sports, travel and finance sectors, he eventually turned his full attention to reporting on stories from the fast-evolving world of digital marketing. Richard now heads up the editorial team at PerformanceIN: the performance marketing industry's leading publication.  

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