Bringing the “Group” Back to Groupon

Groupon currently presents a range of individualized experiences, from oil change to rock climbing to eyebrow threading. While these products and experiences may be practical, they aren’t necessarily exciting, or presented to consumers in an engaging way. The new GrouponGO aims to add fun to these experiences by encouraging group activity.  For example, college students could use this revamped platform to plan efficiently a budget friendly trip together over school breaks. By adding the “group” to “Groupon,” we present a convenient and inviting platform for collective brainstorming and decision-making.

We’ve All Been There: Common Pain Points

Participating in a group activity stimulates behavioral and reflective pleasure by strengthening group identity. However, group planning requires extensive research and coordination, which can be a strain on individuals and their relationships. We analyze the three main pain points of group planning as the following:

  1. You may not know what you want to do (confusion/indecisiveness)
  2. There is an unfair share of research and/or input (frustration)
  3. You may have different budgets in mind (awkward)
Journey planning can undermine the experience of the journey itself.

Keeping Up with the Latest Trends

The current Groupon user experience fails to help users navigate their options. For one, Groupon is no longer considered “cool”; although Groupon highlights certain “trending” deals, these do not necessarily reflect what is trending in the real world. An average young adult, for instance, may start brainstorming for a trip to New York by searching #NYC on Instagram, and decide to go see the Vessel or MoMA. They would only use Groupon, then, to receive additional discounts once they have already made up their mind. The new GrouponGO will highlight experiences that are “trending on Instagram” or “trending among your age group” to suggest personalized options for the user.

GrouponGO takes advantage of infrastructure that allows Groupon to determine what’s “trending” in its own app to curate suggestions more likely to appeal to the user.

An Intuitive Interface

GrouponGO further alleviates confusion by directing the user through one question at a time. The old Groupon app is cluttered with incongruous options, each of which has its own picture with its own color scheme. This overstimulation makes the app jarring and fails to sustain the user’s attention. The app categorizes deals by “Featured,” “Beauty & Spas,” “Goods,” “Hotels & Travel,” but this is not helpful to users who may not know what exactly they want to do. GrouponGO’s home page, on the other hand, forces the user to make a series of simple decisions. After the user selects the dates (already decided by the academic calendar) and the location, they are prompted to choose a “theme”: nightlife, tourist, shopping, underground, etc. As the user is presented with options, the app’s interface accommodates their strenuous decision making process through increasing spacing and simplifying the color scheme, enhancing the user’s visceral pleasure.

Swipe for Streamlined Communication

Initiate a comfortable voting process with friends.

GrouponGO aims to make the group planning process exciting by enabling easy input from all members. The group feature directs users to form groups and share experiences within the app; if people like the shared experience, users can then book the experience directly through the GrouponGO app. Members can easily demonstrate their feelings by swiping left (dislike), right (like), or down (to opt out)–similar to Tinder, a familiar user experience. Users who are not good at researching trips can still give input by “liking” some options over others. Expressing “like” is also easier and less awkward when one simply has to press a button instead of typing out a reasoning. The app will use majority vote to automatically determine what experiences have been approved by the majority of the group, and suggest: “Would you like to book this trip for your group?” Because those who dislike or wish to opt out do not have to provide a reason, GrouponGO streamlines communication and reduces emotional pain points (frustration and awkwardness). The social interaction enables users to experience social pleasure (the more their group “likes” an experience, the more expectations they will have during the trip planning process). The voting process also adds behavioral pleasure for users, who will want to continue using the app to see if others share their thoughts and feelings. By stimulating the users with behavioral and social pleasures, GrouponGO manages to sustain their attention.

A new and improved user journey puts the focus back on the journey itself.

Once users book the experience through Groupon, the app will automatically sync events to users’ Google or Apple Calendar. This will allow users to “see all upcoming events,” which heightens expectations for the trip. Finally, GrouponGO aims to sustain users’ attention by enhancing users’ reflective pleasure. GrouponGO’s “Memories” feature will highlight the excitement of trip planning by summarizing the collaborative process. For example: “1 year ago, Nan, Emily, Kate, and you started to plan a trip to New York, NY. Together, you booked 3 museums and 4 restaurants out of the 24 places you looked up…” This feature will emphasize the excitement of group planning. By sharing this video on social media, users can also expect ideopleasure that comes from equating themselves with excitement. GrouponGO promises to fulfill such excitement and leads users to a deeper appreciation of trip planning.

GrouponGO Demo

A Brief Summary

With these new features, GrouponGO transforms the Groupon brand from a tired, overwhelmingly practical tool that people use only out of necessity, to an innovative tool that helps people find fun, trendy experiences together. This then makes Groupon not only a useful tool for planning on a budget, it also makes it fun, stimulating, and engaging to use.