Groupon stands behind the daily deal, rolls out new merchant app, web tools

Today's announcement comes at a rocky time for the Chicago-based company, which was once the darling of the formerly red-hot daily deals space.

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As part of its ongoing effort to appeal to small businesses (and maintain relevancy), Groupon is launching a new set of mobile tools aimed at making it easier for users to build and manage a daily deals campaign.

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The offerings fall under the Groupon Merchant brand and include revamped mobile and web tools, with features such as a self-service Deal Builder platform, and a redesigned tablet app hat lets businesses track and manage ongoing marketing campaigns.

"The new Groupon Merchant tablet app works in tandem with existing web and mobile tools so merchants can track and manage their Groupon campaigns across all of their devices," the company said. "Businesses can use the app to redeem Groupons, monitor campaign performance, share positive feedback via social media and respond to customer service inquiries."

Today's announcement comes at a rocky time for the Chicago-based company, which was once the darling of the formerly red-hot daily deals space.

There was long speculation that the daily deals craze would eventually die out, with many analysts deeming the model unsustainable because of its contentious relationship with merchants. A stream of peaks and valleys at Groupon has proven this mostly true.

Groupon went from courting acquisition opportunities from the likes of Google to suffering in the spotlight since declaring a $750 million initial public offering in 2011.

In September the company said it needed to lay off approximately 1,100 workers in an attempt to restructure and streamline its operations. Groupon was also forced to cease operations in several markets internationally.

To make matters worse, IBM filed a complaint against Groupon earlier this month for allegedly infringing patents used within its online domains.

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