Daily deal website, Groupon, recently announced it would be running its entire affiliate programme internally, after previously using networks such as Zanox and Affiliate Window.

The news is interesting because, unlike other big-name brands such as Apple that are choosing to run affiliate schemes direct, Groupon has decided against the third-party route and has instead gone for a tailor-made solution.

Groupon Partner Network is the new way for affiliates to connect with the daily deal firm and many may be wondering if this will be an option that other top advertisers are contemplating for the future. 

We posed a few questions to Sean Smyth, vice president of global partner marketing, for some insights into Groupon’s thinking behind the launch of Groupon Partner Network.

Why Did you Originally Decide to Take Your Affiliate Offering In-house?

Sean Smyth: Groupon operates in 48 different countries, and is a pioneer in building a local commerce marketplace. We felt that none of the third-party solutions had the global footprint we were looking for. We also felt that we could bring the entire power of our technology and our entire local inventory in front of affiliates by building an in-house solution. 

How Long Have you Been Working on Groupon Partner Network?

SS: We have been working with beta partners on GPN for a few months. 

What Made you Choose to Develop the Service Internally Rather Than Using a Saas Patform?

SS: We want to rapidly evolve our capabilities on GPN, and build several best in class features. Working with a Saas offering doesn’t give us the same level of ability to control our roadmap, and deliver what’s best for our affiliates. 

Which Parts of the World are you Seeing the Most Affiliate Traction?

SS: United States is the first market where we first brought on beta partners, and we are well on our way to a full rollout. We are slowly ramping up GPN in other countries. 

How Important is the Affiliate Channel to Groupon and Why?

SS: The affiliate channel is Groupon’s largest transactional marketing channel, worldwide. We expect it to grow even bigger as we roll out the best tools for our affiliates. 

What Future Plans do you Have for GPN?

SS: Some of the focus areas include launching more targeted advertising products via GPN, superior analytics, and building better mobile advertising tools.