The move puts the Chicago-based startup into closer competition with online retail giant Amazon and online auction service eBay — both of which have communities of online vendors who may now take advantage of Groupon’s services to sell their items.
Groupon’s new service allows UK consumers to purchase product deal codes, which they then enter into an online vendor’s website when making the transaction. It’s a pretty clean way for the startup to remain focused on selling deals instead of technology to push those deals — not unlike its core business of selling daily deals from local restaurants, hotels and other local merchants.
Thus far, the company has been extremely successful in its efforts to sell online product deals. In once instance, Groupon sold $2 million worth of mattresses to UK consumers in a single day, according to a memo from CEO Andrew Mason that was obtained by Bloomberg.
Groupon, which filed an initial public offering in June 2011 to raise an estimated $750 million, has delayed its IPO plans due to stock market volatility.