Groupon eyes massive rollout of new 'Gnome' iPad-based POS system

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2015
Flash deals company Groupon on Monday unveiled Gnome, an iPad-based point-of-sale console with deep integration into Groupon's own infrastructure that the company hopes will spur uptake among merchants that regularly run promotions through the service.




Many of Gnome's features are designed to make it easier for merchants to administer Groupon campaigns. Those with Groupon's app installed on their phone, for instance, will automatically be recognized as they enter the store, allowing them to redeem their purchase without a printed receipt or pulling out their handset.

Additionally, the system can function as a standalone POS, able to log transactions with cash or via credit or debit cards. This mode -- which functions much like rival Square's Square Register product -- gives merchants the ability to issue printed or emailed receipts, calculate tax, and manage inventory.

Furthering comparisons to Square, Groupon will also provide payment processing services through Gnome. The company will charge 1.8 percent plus 15 cents per transaction -- in addition to the $10-per-month Gnome fee -- for that service.



"When it's complete, Gnome will serve as an operating system for merchants to run their entire operation and enable them to create real-time promotions that bring customers into their business when they need them the most," Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky said in a release. "Gnome is an important step towards our long-term mission of creating a world where merchants are constantly connected to the Groupon local commerce platform."

Groupon says they expect Gnome to roll out to "tens of thousands" of merchants this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    There are several of the iPad POS system providers on the web I notice - a top quality touch screen and a network connection - it really is ideal for it.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,207member
    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients who come for the discount and do not stay as regular paying customers.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients.

     

    They attract people that don't want to pay full price. If there is something we want to do, my wife checks for a Groupon first. No point in paying full price if you don't have too. I cannot comment if Groupons attract Attorneys or not. ;)

  • Reply 4 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,207member
    They attract people that don't want to pay full price. If there is something we want to do, my wife checks for a Groupon first. No point in paying full price if you don't have too. I cannot comment if Groupons attract Attorneys or not. ;)

    ;) Yes, I meant "bottom feeder" in the economic sense, not as an assault on anyone's character.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients who come for the discount and do not stay as regular paying customers.

    I've used a few Groupons. From my experience I'd say that wouldn't be an unreasonable generalization. However, my limited Groupon use — all of which was the result of some cheap friends talking me into it — has lead to finding new establishments. In that sense I can see how it could be as more useful than spending money purely on advertising to attract new customers.

    They attract people that don't want to pay full price. If there is something we want to do, my wife checks for a Groupon first. No point in paying full price if you don't have too. I cannot comment if Groupons attract Attorneys or not. ;)

    That too me a second to get.
  • Reply 6 of 28
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    For just POS, are these extremely priced iPads necessary?  

    I feel, why cant they go with Android as you really dont need any other application (sometimes people wont really use who sits at POS terminal) to be running (not always though, bur rarely)!

  • Reply 7 of 28
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,564member
    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses...

    Every one I have seen has been money-losing. You can call it a marketing expense if you want, but it still doesn't change the fact that you provide a service for effectively zero gain. I'm not quite sure why any business would want to integrate themselves more into GroupOn's "system." Maybe some companies have figured out ways to really make it work, but not sure what industry they are in...
  • Reply 8 of 28
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients who come for the discount and do not stay as regular paying customers.

    You're correct! Generally, Groupon users are also known to not be generous tippers either (10-15% of the pre sales tax amount using calculators as oppose to 18-20%+ rounded up on the entire amount of the bill). Generally, Groupon users will only return if they have a Groupon. These are frequently break even transactions.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

     

     

    .... No point in paying full price if you don't have too....


    Why tip at all?

  • Reply 9 of 28
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    ... Those with Groupon's app installed on their phone, for instance, will automatically be recognized as they enter the store, allowing them to redeem their purchase without a printed receipt or pulling out their handset...

     

    This is a good reason to delete the App from your iPhone.

  • Reply 10 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients who come for the discount and do not stay as regular paying customers.

    You are absolutely right on with your assessment. My wife has her own business as a hairdresser. The couple of times she ran Groupons, the clients never rebooked for future service. Also, they did not tip well, if at all. This combined with the lost income from the Groupon turned her off to these sorts of promotions. She did much better giving returning customers discounts if they referred friends and family. 

     

    I don't doubt there are many people who use deals like Groupon to find new things, and will stay with the ones they like. However, that sure wasn't our experience when dealing with Groupon.

  • Reply 11 of 28
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 821member
    My biggest problem with Groupon is how it skews Foursquare and Yelp reviews.

    Especially smaller businesses struggle to handle the large influx of Groupon users, who then leave a bunch of 1 star reviews, making some really good restaurants, etc. look bad. Of course, the small business should have known better, but a lot of them get fooled by Groupon's really good salespeople. And their business suffers massively because of it.

    Besides, I am amazed how entitled the Groupon users sound on review sites (I doubt all Groupon users are like that. However, Groupon users who only go around leaving negative reviews are indeed entitled POSes).
  • Reply 12 of 28
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 821member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

     

    For just POS, are these extremely priced iPads necessary?  

    I feel, why cant they go with Android as you really dont need any other application (sometimes people wont really use who sits at POS terminal) to be running (not always though, bur rarely)!


     

    Many reasons:

     

    1) An iPad looks better.

    2) The few $100s extra an iPad costs will be more than made up in the lower development costs.

    3) They are easier to maintain.

    4) A developer can develop an app for the iPad, and storeowners can continue updating (so they aren't exposed to security holes) and the apps are almost certainly gonna continue working, since Apple is really good with BC in iOS.

     

    But really, #2 it is. The money saved in developing and maintaining an iOS app as opposed to an Android app will be far greater than the few 100 (if even, you can get older/refurbished iPads for ~$200, and Apple gives bulk discounts too) you save on the hardware.

  • Reply 13 of 28
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

     

     

    Many reasons:

     

    1) An iPad looks better.

    2) The few $100s extra an iPad costs will be more than made up in the lower development costs.

    3) They are easier to maintain.

    4) A developer can develop an app for the iPad, and storeowners can continue updating (so they aren't exposed to security holes) and the apps are almost certainly gonna continue working, since Apple is really good with BC in iOS.

     

    But really, #2 it is. The money saved in developing and maintaining an iOS app as opposed to an Android app will be far greater than the few 100 (if even, you can get older/refurbished iPads for ~$200, and Apple gives bulk discounts too) you save on the hardware.


     

    1) An iPad looks better.    :  

    You never see a screen or know that its an ipad when it is concealed with that plastic or metal casing.  Its just a touch screen.  So, it does not matter.

     

    2) The few $100s .... in the lower development costs :  

    Not really!  An HTML5 application would bring more flexibility.  And, many are in development and some are running too!  If so, I have wide range of tablet sizes which would give me real freedom to choose - if I really want a bigger one or smaller one?

     

    3) They are easier to maintain:

    Agreed.  

     

    4) A developer can develop an app for the iPad, and 

    Agreed.

  • Reply 14 of 28
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,425member
    My wife has her own business as a hairdresser. The couple of times she ran Groupons, the clients never rebooked for future service. Also, they did not tip well, if at all. This combined with the lost income from the Groupon turned her off to these sorts of promotions. She did much better giving returning customers discounts if they referred friends and family. 

    Over here a entrepreneur needs to commit to one full year with Groupon. Doesn't matter how low sales are; they simply take their cut from all sales, be those through Groupon or not. I don't know if it's the same in The States, but this alone, to me, makes Groupon a miserable company - on Samsung levels.

    Your wife made a wise decision.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by city View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients who come for the discount and do not stay as regular paying customers.

    You're correct! Generally, Groupon users are also known to not be generous tippers either (10-15% of the pre sales tax amount using calculators as oppose to 18-20%+ rounded up on the entire amount of the bill). Generally, Groupon users will only return if they have a Groupon. These are frequently break even transactions.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

     

     

    .... No point in paying full price if you don't have too....


    Why tip at all?


     

    Sorry, but your insinuation is incorrect. The fact that my wife is getting groupons to museums, gardens, minor league baseball, etc does not actually impact my tipping at all. The only thing that affects my tipping is the quality of service I receive. What you are describing is people being cheap, that should not be confused with being frugal.

  • Reply 16 of 28
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 821member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

     

     

    2) The few $100s .... in the lower development costs :  

    Not really!  An HTML5 application would bring more flexibility.  And, many are in development and some are running too!  If so, I have wide range of tablet sizes which would give me real freedom to choose - if I really want a bigger one or smaller one?

     


    As a storeowner maybe you want different sizes. But that is precisely the point. For Groupon (and all the other people creating POSes), adding 1 additional size would cost so much more than the cost of an iPad simply in testing costs. And this isn't a silly fart app. These are apps which deal with significant chunks of money, so any bugs could lead to issues which could shutdown the company.

     

    Flexibility = Greater development costs. Which is precisely why the creators of these systems prefer the iPad.

     

    And an HTML5 app would lead to much greater development costs for little to no advantage. (I have hardly heard anyone complain that they want a marginally smaller or marginally larger POS system. Like you said, the greatest bulk here comes from the stuff surrounding the tablet anyways).

  • Reply 17 of 28
    schlackschlack Posts: 673member
    really cool to see them take a super cheap iPad and turn it into a POS system. would imagine you could build a much better system with much more flexibility for much cheaper than the existing products.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    davendaven Posts: 472member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    My impression was that Groupons are generally a losing proposition for businesses because they attract bottom-feeder clients who come for the discount and do not stay as regular paying customers.

    How is Groupon different from any other coupon offer? Many people are always looking to pay no more than they need to. I put myself in that classification for many things. For example. I recently needed two batteries for my truck. I found the battery that I wanted and went to the manufacturer's site where they offered it at full retail (as many manufacturers do so as not to undercut their resellers). I then went to an auto parts web site and their price was full retail. I figured I could do better. I checked Amazon and it was cheaper but Amazon isn't an authorized reseller so if the battery had problems in warranty, the warranty would not be honored. I then searched the internet for "discount coupon 'name of auto parts store'". Bingo. Found a coupon where the price matched Amazon's but only if ordered online. No problem as the coupon included free shipping.

     

    Back to Amazon for grins. Amazon, like Google, tracks your every move and viola, the new price was slightly less than before and beat the auto parts online price by very little (a dollar or two) and I placed the order online at the auto parts store. Because the auto parts store also included a $10 in-store credit coupon, I am money ahead by not going to Amazon. I saved about $40/battery and at two batteries the effort was worth it.

     

    Long story short. If you have more money than you know what to do with, go ahead and pay full retail. If not, shop around. Walmart and Amazon are not always the cheapest option and when everyone sells the same widgets there is no need to pay top price.

     

    p.s. Even if Amazon or Walmart was the cheapest price, I still shop at local stores when I can as they generally treat their employees better.

  • Reply 19 of 28
    ipenipen Posts: 410member

    Can they pick a better name?  gnome is the popular Linux UI.  I doubt gnome can run in ipad.

  • Reply 20 of 28
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    For just POS, are these extremely priced iPads necessary?  
    I feel, why cant they go with Android as you really dont need any other application (sometimes people wont really use who sits at POS terminal) to be running (not always though, bur rarely)!

    Let's also hire con artists to work the android registers and use gum to fix that leak on the roof.
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