In a new push to woo travelers and other consumers, Groupon began placing outdoor kiosks at tourist attractions and other popular areas for pedestrians.
The local, or geo-targeted, deals sold at the kiosks will include Groupon Now (which must be redeemed that day), Feature deals and Groupon Getaways with Expedia.
The rollout of kiosks, which begins today in Chicago at places such as Navy Pier, Water Tower Place, Soldier Field and Michigan Avenue, will be expanded to other big cities throughout 2012, a Groupon spokesman says.
Here's a Groupon concept image of the kiosks:
There is an initial plan for 100 kiosks and the rollout is expected to take up to 90 days.
This is Chicago-based Groupon's first kiosk and offline deployment, although online travel agencies, such as Travelocity and Expedia, have tried such bricks and mortar presences in locales such as Las Vegas and Hawaii.
Groupon's kiosk rollout comes through a partnership with smartDigital, a Chicago company offering kiosks and software.
smartDigital says its kiosks "retain behavioral data and report targeted consumer results and predictive analytics."
Groupon says consumers will be able to pay for Groupons at the kiosks using credit cards or their existing Groupon accounts.
Groupon has consistently stated that travel is one of the pillars of its strategy and the rollout of outdoor kiosks at tourist attractions and other areas frequented by tourists is further evidence of the flash sales company's travel ambitions.