Groupon has launched a pilot program of Groupon Now, the instant mobile version of its popular daily deals site in Chicago, where the company is headquartered.
Competitor LivingSocial offers a similar service, Instant Deals, in the Washington area.
The service, which can be accessed through a mobile app or the Groupon Now Web site, plugs into users’ locations and tells them what deals are going on nearby. It’s expected to launch in more cities soon.
The service could help local businesses, which may schedule a promotion at any time. If service is slow on a given day, a restaurant owner can schedule an impromptu deal to fill tables.
The mobile app for Groupon Now appears to work in much the same way as Groupon’s current app: Tapping the “Buy” button grabs you the deal and sends you an electronic barcode for the business to scan. A timer on the deal description lets you know how long you have to redeem the offer.
The daily deals site is expanding quickly, having recently announced a partnership with LiveNation for deals on live events.
Will you try the new service when it comes to your city?