Groupon Testing A Deal Search Feature In Chicago And New York

During today’s analyst conference call for Groupon’s third-quarter earnings, CEO Andrew Mason mentioned a new feature that’s being tested in a couple of cities. Now, if you look at the deal listings in New York and Chicago, you’ll see a box allowing you to search for specific types of deals, i.e. “pizza” or “lunch.”

Adding site search capabilities might not seem like a huge step forward, but Mason said it’s another way that Groupon can expand beyond its email newsletter. That’s important, he said, because it allows Groupon to sell more deals — as he noted, “You can only put so many deals in an email.” The company has already been trying to move beyond email with services like Groupon Now, but one of the most important channels for this “pull” approach (as opposed to pushing emails to subscribers) is the Groupon website itself.

Groupon already allows you to browse its deals by category, but when you get into really large volumes, the best way to navigate is search. Mason said there are currently “thousands” of deals available on the Chicago and New York sites, and he plans to increase the selection. He also said that increasing the number of deals helps Groupon increase its presence on social networks.

By discussing the feature during the call, Mason suggested that there are still plenty of opportunities for Groupon to grow, despite its lackluster earnings (which he blamed on the company’s performance in Europe).