Seeking to better exploit local business relationships, Chicago Tribune Media Group on Friday became the latest publisher to partner with Groupon. The recently launched ChicagoShopping.com will integrate the social deal powerhouse, which just walked away from a Google buyout worth a reported $6 billion. Powered by Groupon, ChicagoShopping.com will now feature one new local deal each weekday on its home page.
"By registering at ChicagoShopping.com, you'll have the option to sign up to receive the exclusive Groupon offer in addition to the feature Groupon highlights on their website each day," said Belinda Englman, general manager of ChicagoShopping.com. "It's the ultimate opportunity for Chicagoland deal-seekers."
Meanwhile, "for our advertisers, ChicagoShopping.com is yet another solution within Tribune Media Group's portfolio to expand their reach in the local market," Englman added. "Apart from providing our advertisers with a new vehicle to extend their current advertising offerings, ChicagoShopping.com also represents a unique opportunity for Chicagoland's small businesses to reach relevant audiences at the hyperlocal level."
In addition to ChicagoShopping.com's Deal of the Day powered by Groupon, ChicagoShopping.com lets users personalize their shopping experience. When users sign in, ChicagoShopping.com will attempt to find deals that fit their particular interests.
The site also features relevant editorial content focused on shopping tips and advice.
Across a network of sites, Chicago Tribune Media Group presently claims to reach 4.8 million adults each week in the greater Chicago area.
Adding to the frenzy surrounding local services and ecommerce, Amazon just took a $175 million stake in Groupon rival LivingSocial, while eBay confirmed the acquisition of local shopping search engine Milo.com for a reported $75 million.
"Of course the question we're all asking is whether social buying is the next big play in our 2.0 world or is it tulipesque hysteria," Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, said in a blog post earlier this month.
Along with myriad copycats, GroupOn offers deep discounts on local deals on everything from spas and skydiving lessons to hotels and restaurants. Discounts range from 50% to 70% of the normal prices. If enough people buy into the offers, everyone gets the deal.
According to Hitwise, Groupon commands 79% of U.S. visits to the group-buying category, while LivingSocial comes in a distant second with 8% of the market.