Shopping Cart – let the bundling begin!

at March 13th, 2014

Groupon recently spent a year building a shopping cart feature for the website. This feature was first a/b tested on Groupon’s web platform to determine whether users would benefit from its functionality. After starting at 1% and scaling the a/b test to 100%, it was clear in the first month of full functionality that the addition of the shopping cart substantially increased purchases, bookings, and revenue for Groupon.

Seeing this success on the web inspired us to develop this functionality on the mobile platform; we took up the initiative and recently released this shopping cart feature within the iOS, Android, and Touch platforms. Future plans include adding functionality for other categories and looking at ways the shopping cart can help improve relevance for customers.

Some History
In its infancy, Groupon offered crowdsourced deals where if a certain number of customers bought into a deal, the coupon would be unlocked. A typical Groupon user in 2010 would receive a daily email deal for a featured local deal. If interested, they would go directly to this deal page to make this purchase, possibly browse around, but then ultimately abandon the site.

The checkout funnel process was relatively simple then and worked well. A user would click the “Buy” button, be directed to a checkout page to fill in their information. Once the user clicked “Complete Order”, they would be redirected to the receipt page and the purchase was complete.

Buy Button → Complete Order → Confirmation → Continue Shopping?

This worked well until the inception of Groupon Goods morphed the Groupon brand from a daily deals site to a budding e-commerce platform. With the move to a true marketplace, consumers regularly buy multiple Goods deals at once, and the process of checking out deals multiple times added major friction to the checkout process.

Not your mom’s shopping cart
Unlike the shopping cart experience on other traditional e-commerce sites, which allows for features such as holding items for later (wish list) and serves mostly items without an expiration date, the Groupon cart must scale to deal with versioning across platforms and to accommodate a variety of deal types.

The length of a typical Groupon deal is roughly 5-7 days long. Groupon can and does re-feature popular deals frequently, but there is no predictable timeline for when a deal is reactivated. As a result, Groupon’s shopping cart has to be proactive to rid expired deals from a user’s cart in order to decrease the amount of friction at checkout.

Let’s take an example of a user buying headphones on Groupon Goods. The user adds the deal to his/her cart. These headphones are a bit expensive for an everyday purchase, so the user wants to mull over the potential purchase. A week later, the user decides to buy these headphones, but the deal has already expired. The cart automatically removed the deal and informed the user of this action, but in turn shows the user other headphone deals currently available on the Groupon site.

Horizontal cart
Currently, the shopping cart is supported for Groupon Goods only. Since shopping carts are most frequently geared for e-commerce sites, it made sense to initially test the proof-of-concept on our Goods category. However, the idea is to potentially expand the shopping cart to all Groupon categories.

The innovation of Groupon’s shopping cart comes from its potential to provide a better shopping experience than on any other site today. Nowhere on the Internet can a person presently build an experience at a one-stop shop. This bundled experience helps customers get the most out of Groupon’s marketplace. What used to take visits to three different sites can be accomplished in just a few clicks in a single transaction. In the near future, I will be able to go to Groupon Getaways to plan and add a trip to Hawaii to my cart. I can then look for exciting local restaurant deals in Hawaii while on my trip and add them to my cart. Finally, I can add that bathing suit from Groupon Goods to my cart and purchase all these items together through one checkout flow.

Next Steps
We have rolled out the shopping cart feature to our web and iPhone/Android platforms. In the coming months, the shopping cart will be available on tablets to bring the experience full circle for our consumers. In the quest to unify all Groupon platforms together, the shopping cart is our attempt to unify checkout as a universal experience, no matter what type of Groupon deal a user buys.

While Groupon may explore these paths in the future, the current edition of a shopping cart widens the purchase funnel to further incentivize users to want to purchase more from Groupon and ultimately “Check Groupon First.”

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84 thoughts on “Shopping Cart – let the bundling begin!

  1. Hi Groupon! I found this article very informative but I'm wondering if the cart is supposed to be already available for all users? I see a lot of people already have this feature, but my app does not have it. I have an iPhone 5, and I have tried updating, deleting and re downloading the app, and nothing seems to be working. Thank you!

    by Nicole on March 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm
  2. Hi, I'm having the same issue with the shopping cart feature as Nicole. My Groupon app does not have the dad to cart feature. How do I get it? I have an iPhone 5s. My app is up to date and I have tried deleting and downloading the app again. Please help.

    by Vanessa on June 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm
  3. Hi, I was wondering the same thing about the cart. My app is up to date and I recently upgraded phones from a Galaxy s3 to a Galaxy s5 and I've never had the cart. I do see that some other people have this feature so I'm wondering when it will be available for me? I love shopping on Group on and I make a couple purchases a day sometimes but I'm tired of paying a shipping fee every purchase. Please fix this! Thanks.

    by Mallory on June 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm
  4. What happened to the shopping cart feature??

    by Charlene on June 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm
  5. Hi I am having the same problem as posted above. I have an iphone5 and do not have the new shopping cart feature !!!

    by Leighanne on June 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm
  6. I have lots some deals because i can not get the deal added to my cart. How can I add deals to my cart. thank you debbie

    by debbie bowerman on July 23, 2014 at 12:47 am
  7. I have the same questions as above. Is it possible that someone will answer any time soon?

    by Jessica McCall on October 5, 2014 at 11:53 am
  8. I had the shopping cart option on my iPhone 4s, but for some reason after the most recent updates it disappeared. Where did it go? And how do I get it back?

    by Jaina on November 4, 2014 at 9:25 am
  9. The shopping cart has not been functioning on my iPhone 5s and my fiancée iphone 5 for the past month. We are on the most updated version of groupon and iOS. Any insights as to what is going on?

    by Matt on November 4, 2014 at 10:13 am
  10. Strange not to have had an Add to Cart button from day one. If I want to buy 5 different deals your current system requires me to make five separate transactions. Irritating waste of time plus a sure way to get your credit card blocked for what will appear like multiple fraudulent transactions. IMRAN

    by Imran Anwar on November 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm
  11. I don't have a cart feature on my phone and the one in my tablet doesn't work. I can't access it. I have re-installed it and nothing. Please fix. Thanks

    by Jennifer Johnson on November 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm
  12. Hi, I have the Galaxy s5 and my friend has the Galaxy s4. He has the shopping cart feature, but I do not. Why is this?

    by Brian on November 11, 2014 at 10:18 am
  13. Hello I was able to use the shopping cart on a previous purchase. And now it is no longer available. I had a huge purchase and had to individual purchase everything seperate. Is this no longer going to be available?? Please advise

    by Rebecca on November 17, 2014 at 10:48 am
  14. I don't have the cart on my groupon app anymore and I'd like to buy multiple items without the shipping and handling fee How can I do this?

    by Edna Ramírez on November 17, 2014 at 11:19 am
  15. How can I shop and put all my stuff in the shopping cart and pay them all one time instead of paying one item at a time.

    by Paa Yaw on November 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm
  16. The Shopping cart feature does not work on web browser or iPhone. When is this going to be fixed? I currently want to purchase a few items but I don't want to pay for shipping for each item! I'm sure I'm going to miss out on the items I want because it looks like this issue with the shopping cart has been going on for a while :(

    by Michelle Sherif on November 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm
  17. I have the same problem with the shoppo cart. I have I phone 6 and I'm missing the shopping cart option although others have it.. Please advise how to get it!!

    by Magighaly on November 28, 2014 at 10:47 am
  18. I cannot add items to my cart. Is this feature not available? I have tried going to buy and nothing happens. I have completed order and it does just that so I had to cancel order. I want to buy multiple items but do no want to pay the shipping fee on each item as the total allows for free shipping. Help!!

    by Edith Davidson on December 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm
  19. I agree with everyone else my boyfriend and I have the same phones Galaxy 5 he has the add to cart option but I don't. I have deleted the app. Added it back everything. Nothing seems to work. I really could use this option seeing that I want to buy more then 1 item at a time.

    by Ranique on December 2, 2014 at 11:19 pm
  20. To all commenters, thanks so much for your interest in Groupon and your feedback! On our mobile apps, Shopping Cart functionality continues to go through iterations to ensure a five-star experience our customers have come to expect. Until we meet that very high bar, not all customers may see the feature. We hope you'll visit the desktop website instead or continue shopping on our mobile apps where we are making improvements to the purchase experience in every release.

    by Riz Rahim on December 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm
  21. I have six items I want to purchase. I will NOT purchase each item individually and pay seperate shipping for each one! I shop weekly on Groupon and I refuse to be ripped off. I will go to another site that has an "add to cart" option. Removing that option has to be costing you thousands +...

    by Casey on December 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm
  22. I have a LG G2.I had the option to add items to my cart. One day it disappeared. I seldom use a desk top but this has discouraged me from ordering from Groupon. I don't want to pay shipping on every item if I dont have to or have several charges from the same company. I hope Groupon works to get this fixed.

    by Chanel on January 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm
  23. I left an item in my shopping Carr and can't get back to complete the purchase. How do I do that?

    by Kathy cookson on January 5, 2015 at 12:18 pm
  24. I buy a lot of things in groupon but I don't see the shopping cart . I unninstall the app 2 times and re install again bit still it does not appear . And I buy so often . My sister has the same phone as me and she has it so if you guys can let me know how it can make it appear . It will be so helpful thanks

    by vanessa on January 15, 2015 at 9:19 pm
  25. For some people that debuted their shopping cart feature in March (nearly a year ago!) you guys have a ways to go. The shopping cart simply doesn't accept multiple items. Uh, that is very elementary for any e-commerce website. Online shopping carts were high tech in the nineties, it really shouldn't be a big deal in 2015. Get your head out of your butts Groupon!

    by Nick on January 29, 2015 at 5:34 am
  26. My app doesn't show the "add to cart" button anymore. How do I get that back?

    by Marlaine on February 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm
  27. I use to have the iphone and it had the shopping cart now I have a galaxy 5 and I don't have the shopping cart can you please help how do I get a shopping cart

    by Ricardo Salgado on February 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm
  28. When will the shopping cart feature be available for iPad? I am a frequent Groupon shopper and use my iPad much more than an iPhone, and I find it extremely inconvenient to have to switch between devices only for Groupon. Thanks.

    by Marissa on February 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm
  29. I do not have the option to add to a shopping cart when using the app or the website. I use to order from Groupon all the time but knowing some users are able to combine purchases in order to avoid shipping cost leaves me feeling cheated. Plus there are plenty of discount sites that offer free shipping.

    by Shannon Richardson on February 8, 2015 at 9:58 am
  30. Same problem, cannot add to my order. I hope I'm not going to pay for shipping for each, individual , order. It won't even let me view my order so I can see what went through and how many were ordered. I don't even know what my total is! I need help with this. Please contact me with some answers. Joanne

    by Joanne on February 9, 2015 at 10:16 pm
  31. I tried uninstalling the app, restarting my phone and reinstalling the app and I'm unable to get the shopping cart. I have a few items I'd like to order but it's unfair to me as a consumer to pay $3.99 for shipping per item. It's unacceptable to ask some consumers to bear with uou and pay extra money while others have the capability of adding items to a shopping cart. I logged into a desk top and the feature was unavailable. Would this be linked to my log in? Are you all testing this issue?

    by Chanel on February 13, 2015 at 9:25 pm
  32. Tried ordering a bundle from Groupon using the shopping cart but looks like its still buggy. Each time it comes back and says that the transaction could not be processed. tried with multiple accounts addrresses and credit cards but in vain. ridiculous customer service too as no response from them and no phone number to call..

    by Shantanu on February 28, 2015 at 12:35 am
  33. How do I add the cart feature to my groupon app? It's not allowing me to purchase multiple items.

    by Vivian on March 22, 2015 at 6:45 am
  34. I've just had the most terrible and boring online shopping experience. Had to order same type of goods 5 times having to go back, find it,paying delivery all the way it's just frustrating. Where is the Shopping Cart?!

    by Linda on March 22, 2015 at 3:39 pm
  35. my shopping cart disappeared a yesr ago. how do I get it back

    by Carol finger on March 31, 2015 at 9:47 am
  36. I cannot find the shopping cart on my home computer. I also want to purchase 3 or 4 deals and do not wish to pay a delivery fee on each item. Would like your update. Regards

    by Dianne Versteegen on April 30, 2015 at 3:35 am
  37. I also could not find the shopping cart and made multiple purchases in the past with individual shipping fees. It adds up quickly. I would like to make additional purchases, but will not continue to pay shipping when you advertise no shipping, but then take advantage of the customers who pay extra to get the products we want. Please contact me to make this right.

    by Jeanine Lee on May 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm
  38. You have to be losing millions by not having an add to cart function. In this day and age people are savvy and don't want to be ripped off. Having to make individual purchases is utterly ridiculous and a time waster. Not to mention no one is going to make continual random purchases with a shipping charge for each. Update your system or move over for something bigger and better.

    by Barbara Stamatelos on May 21, 2015 at 9:25 pm
  39. Total bummer not to have an " add to shopping cart" button... I have an I phone 6, and I must say- you are losing a lot of business from me due to the fact that I can't bundle my purchases. I love groupon- but this definitely limits me to how much I spend-- not to mention, by the time I end up NOT purchasing the item, because I can't bundle, I end up telling myself I don't need it anyways- forget about it, and later on find something similar at a store where I DONT have to pay for shipping. >.<

    by Amanda on May 29, 2015 at 12:46 am
  40. I see basically the same questions none of these ppl have the cart on their phones or computers but I don't see any responses on how to get it. How do you get the cart added to your group on?

    by Pamela Triplett on June 14, 2015 at 12:24 pm
  41. How do you get the cart?

    by Pamela Triplett on June 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm
  42. Having same problem. Now I know why I never bought anything from u guys.. Add to cart would be great if everyone could get it.

    by Darlene on June 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm
  43. It is June 16, 2015...where is the shopping cart feature?

    by Sara on June 17, 2015 at 2:25 am
  44. This is ridiculous. I do not have the "add to cart" option on either the app or my desktop. What gives?? I'm sick of making Individual purchases. Please fix, Groupon, or I WILL go back to Amazon. And I don't want to do that.

    by K on July 24, 2015 at 10:57 pm
  45. Still no cart. I'm not paying multiple delivery charges.

    by Dave on September 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm
  46. Don't have a shopping cart function on my iPhone coupon app and for my desktop computer I have a shopping cart but I cannot check out my item and to pay

    by Pei on November 9, 2015 at 10:11 am
  47. I am using the website and am trying to use the shopping cart feature so that I can make multiple low priced purchases without incurring multiple shipping charges. I cannot locate this..... What happened? Where is it? Thank you. Jennifer Davis

    by Jennifer Davis on November 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm
  48. HI. How can I add to basket more items than just one please, the same identical problem as others.. I'd like to buy more things at once but this is putting me off and in the end I don't buy anything. Thank you Ivana

    by Ivana Sykorova on November 19, 2015 at 6:01 am
  49. Yes. Also cart option not working. Would like to take advantage of orders over $35 for free shipping. One item that I wanted to purchase, shipping was as much as item. Need to bundle and ship.

    by Rod on November 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm
  50. I was wondering about a shopping cart, and as I read all of these complaints, I realized why there's no cart... Groupon doesn't actually sell or ship anything. Everyone's trying to bundle multiple purchases that are coming from multiple vendors. Each vendor pays for shipping, so a bundle option just won't work with this business model.

    by Tony Ellis on November 27, 2015 at 1:07 am
  51. If Groupon can't fix the 'add to cart' function, you have to reduce the handling fee, I bought more than 5 items and I Paid about 4 dollars 'handling fee' for each item in one day........one of the item is only $5 but the handling fee is about $4. I doubt why I didn't see an 'add to cart'? So I searched and found the same comments here. Do something! Groupon!

    by Sally on November 28, 2015 at 10:10 pm
  52. I just upgrade my iPhone to 6s plus. When I upload your groupon app. It doesn't have shopping cart.

    by FCG on November 28, 2015 at 11:15 pm
  53. Crazy that there is still no shopping cart on the mobile app. Refuse to pay shipping at this rate.

    by Kari on November 29, 2015 at 12:56 am
  54. Love the site but I won't be ordering anything unless you add the shopping cart function. Why offer items at such low prices but make me pay a shipping charge for each individual item I order? Amazon, here I come unless Groupon makes some changes. Thank you!!

    by Karen Fontanilla on November 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm
  55. I wish I could see amswers to all these comments! When I first got the app it made me purchase each thing with no shopping cart option, then one day it appeared and I was soooo happy! 3 weeks ago I upgraded my phone to the 6s plus and now the shopping cart is gone. Im not gonna pay an extra 3.99 for shipping just to get a different scent of poo pourie on the SAME deal! If I get 2 of the same scent I can do it in one transaction and pay no additional shipping OR if I want another scent it's a totally separate order. This is super annoying! Please tell me how to get the shopping cart back! ASAP. Thanks, Linna Rowell

    by Linna Rowell on November 29, 2015 at 9:30 pm
  56. bleh no wishlist or shopping cart makes shopping for more than one items completely and utterly unpalatable. #fail

    by henri on November 30, 2015 at 4:09 am
  57. Doesn't matter even if you have the Cart and spend time shopping and adding items it ALWAYS says your cart is,empty....mind numbing...I give up!

    by Michelle on November 30, 2015 at 11:52 am
  58. Mind numbing....I have a cart...I put things I want to buy in it....my cart remains empty... I give up...moving on to a site that wants my business

    by Michelle on November 30, 2015 at 11:54 am
  59. Has no one gotten any answers??? I am having the same issue as everyone above. I refuse to pay multiple shipping fees on the same item (in different colors) when all of my items could be shipped at once. Anyone hear anything???

    by Heidi on November 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm
  60. Hey groupon, I tried to buy a voucher, i put my card number and everything i need to.. after that when i had to make an account i couldnt open the site anymore. The only thing appears is:"Oops! Internal Error Something went wrong with the page you requested. Try refreshing. If that doesn't work, click the button below to browse all of our amazing deals." And nothing change.. Thank you!

    by Aleksandra on December 4, 2015 at 1:27 am
  61. What the fudge?? Where is the add to cart button. This is crazy and so unfair that we need to pay separate shipping and handling for each item individually. How annoying. Very disappointed Groupon. You may b loosing a big customer here. Fed up of paying all this extra money.

    by rey on December 8, 2015 at 11:26 pm
  62. Why give me a shopping cart if I cannot put anything in it? Why have a box in the shopping cart that says I don't have anything in there and then I click the 'go shopping' button and it still doesn't work. I want to buy a bunch of stuff but don't want to pay ridiculous amounts for shipping...

    by K P on December 14, 2015 at 10:14 pm
  63. Hello, i want to buy multiple items at once to decrease shipping charges, but i cannot buy more than one at a time...this is the whole purpose of a shopping cart....having to pay shipping charges for each item is off-putting and making me feel like id rather shop else where for the same thing instead. My advice would be to fix this, the site would gain a lot more buyers this way.

    by Hannah on December 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm
  64. I'm currently paralyzed in a rehab after being mugged and only have a tablet to shop with. The facility was nice enough to let me use their pc to utilize your cart feature but that was a one time deal to help me out. It requires a staff member to stay at same desk due to medical files in PC programming. My point here is what good does a great price of..say, $5.00 sterling earrings do when the s&h is $5.00 per pair??? In as much as I'd love to continue shopping your site and its great deals,unless you want to donate a replace a laptop that I was mugged & left for dead to get...you need to make the shopping cart available or buying items from you won't be worth the cost.

    by Jojo on January 23, 2016 at 2:40 am
  65. I am using the iPhone 5 Groupon app. I put an item in my cart, but no longer want to buy it. How do I delete it from my cart?

    by Roxy on January 27, 2016 at 6:44 am
  66. How do you remove items from your cart??

    by Tranish on February 21, 2016 at 8:08 pm
  67. How do I remove items from shopping cart.

    by Mercedes Fuertes on March 8, 2016 at 8:33 am
  68. I just cancelled an order because I had other orders & I refuse to pay all that shipping cost. I've read many concerns regarding this matter from customers but haven't read any results from Groupon refrains this bad situation. I've come to the believe Groupon has no intentions of resolving this situation because Groupon benefits on the shipping fee. Other companies or sites would have resolved the add on shopping carts so they don't lose customers. That's a shame!

    by Sheila on March 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm
  69. I could have had half my Christmas shopping done today (the day I first visited Groupon) but the no shopping cart to the shopping cart non-existent feature caused me to find this page and then decide bye bye Groupon.

    by Renee on March 22, 2016 at 8:23 am
  70. I do not have the shopping cart feature at all and I have the galaxy s6

    by Hannah on April 4, 2016 at 4:55 am
  71. April 9th 2016. You STILL have yo make multiple purchases and pay separate shipping. A rip off. No way to combine and get to a single shipping charge, nor qualify for free shipping at $35

    by Deb on April 10, 2016 at 7:06 am
  72. How do you view items in your cart to remove some unwanted items

    by Debbie Kennedy on May 25, 2016 at 2:43 am
  73. pls respond to the multiple message re your cart error

    by amanda on June 23, 2016 at 5:44 am
  74. Groupon none-shopping cart feature is the worst concept I've ever seen. It has made me say good by Groupon because I can"t just fill up my cart and buy the items I want. Who ever thought of this should t have a job. This is costing Groupon a ton of sales and frustrated customers to boot. Who ever thought of only allow one item allowed during check-out is a idiot. Shame on Groupon!!!

    by John P Ward on August 23, 2016 at 11:47 am
  75. How can I remove items from my stuff after received them? Every thing else is great on my I Phone app. Love this site

    by Linda M Ridley on September 13, 2016 at 4:36 am
  76. Last night the feature was there, I click buy and it is added to cart then I simply go back to shopping. I go to sleep and wake up next morning and that exact feature is gone. How?

    by VLong on September 21, 2016 at 6:59 am
  77. Why am I getting charged multiple shipping fees for products from the same manufacturer? I want to purchase items from one manufacture and pay for one shipping fee. This doesn't make sense Groupon, a complete ripoff.

    by Johnny P on November 27, 2016 at 3:06 pm
  78. How do you remove items from your shopping cart

    by Brianna on December 5, 2016 at 9:24 pm
  79. I had to buy multiple products and I didn't want to pay for delivery fee for each of this products. But unfortunately there is no shopping cart option on Groupon. I don't know why they have mentioned it here but on Groupon.de there is no such option. So I ended buying just one item. Loss for Groupon!

    by Komal on December 11, 2016 at 7:04 am
  80. Groupon still tempts me to look at their items but I never buy because they STILL do not have a shopping cart feature going on 3 years and they refuse to give decent customer service. Groupon does NOT get my money anymore!

    by Ciara on December 18, 2016 at 12:06 am
  81. cart won't open up. keeps showing script running(with circle going round continuously). How do i get into the cart to update selections/deletions?

    by Kenny Robinson on January 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm
  82. I have been Groupon customer for many years. Also unable to use shopping cart features on my Kindle Fire 5th generation, nor my Huawei Honor 5x. My technical background says this has to do with flash, but many browsers don't support flash. To my shock, how long this has been an issue. Shame on Groupon for not escalating this (as I'm sure there is profit from multiple shipping), and bigger shame on the developers! Shouldn't this be correctable after years with same problem? I'll figure it out on my own, or users like myself will take steps to correct. Come on Groupon! A Bookout

    by Adriana Bookout on March 28, 2017 at 10:55 am
  83. Been shopping with you several years and always had the shopping cart feature once it was added. Now I can't seem to use that feature no matter how hard I try. This is a recent problem in the last few months.

    by Angel DeSquare on June 3, 2017 at 1:58 pm
  84. I have just spent 30 minutes in an online chat with somebody at Groupon only to discover it is IMPOSSIBLE to buy more than one item (different products) and that to buy 8 items (which is what I want) I will have to place 8 separate orders and pay for each order separately. Is this REALLY correct - I have almost lost the will to live!!

    by Marian Clarke on July 11, 2017 at 1:12 pm

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