Groupon Pays Customers to Grocery Shop With Snap App

Groupon is hoping to move beyond spas and restaurant reservations with the introduction of Snap, a grocery shopping app for iPhone and Android that pays users cash back on supermarket purchases.

Snap offers cash back on groceries by using either brand-specific coupons, like $1 cash back on Country Crock spread, or more general offers, such as $0.50 cash back on apples. Users can make in-app grocery lists and redeem the offers at any grocery store in the U.S. or Canada by simply snapping a picture of their receipt and uploading it to the app. When accounts reach $20, Groupon sends customers a check.

While Snap isn’t the first couponing app on the market, Groupon is hoping that the scale behind Snap will set it apart from competitors. “[More than] 90 million people have the Groupon app on their phone,” says Sean Smyth, vice president of business development for Groupon, “and we’ve expanded the Groupon platform to work with companies like Kimberly Clarke, Unilever, and ConAgra. People know us for things like restaurants or spas; now Groupon includes packaged consumer goods.”

Though the deals that Snap users currently see in the app are mostly the same coupons they could clip from a newspaper, Groupon has plans to eventually use customers’ purchasing histories for better-targeted offers, a move Smyth hopes will make the app “more efficient for the manufacturer and more interesting for the consumer.”

Users can also earn money for referring friends and family through Facebook, collecting $1 for each friend who opens and account and redeems an offer.

Though no initial numbers have been provided, Smyth says response to the app has been “phenomenal.” iTunes has even named Snap one of its best new lifestyle apps.

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