n. A consumer discount that only applies if a minimum number of people sign up for the deal.
The recession has bred a new type of coupon: the group coupon. In recent months, several Web sites have launched in the District and nationwide giving customers discounts on restaurant meals, sporting events, spa treatments, golf outings — pretty much any expenditure that many people give up during economic downturns. The catch is that the coupon only applies if a certain number of people use it.
There's power in numbers. Nobody understands that better than the 20,000-plus members of Groupon.com — a new online group coupon service — in the District. The basic idea is that Groupon.com features one great deal each day — such as 50 percent off a one-night stay at a local hotel — which will happen only if enough people sign up for it. (The number varies by day and deal.) In other words, consumers don't get charged unless critical mass is achieved.
Online consumers can shop at RealStores.com , the online shopping portal providing access and visibility to hundreds of stores using MerchandiZer(TM), HipHip's e-commerce solution package. RealStores.com offers cooperative merchant programs, group coupons, banner swapping and more.