Groupon API Review & Example

Everyone must have heard of Groupon.com by now, the deal-of-the-day company that launched a couple of years ago, and due to an agressive expansion and pervasive online ad campaign is now worth over a billion dollars.

Joining the service and accessing their Deals via their API is straight forward enough.

1.) Signup to their API to get your API key ->http://www.groupon.com/pages/api

2.) Signup to commission junction who run their Affiliate program, and get your CJ account id -> http://www.cj.com

3.) Consult the Groupon API documentation, and make calls on it retrive the desired Deals (by location or Division as they refer to it).  Prefix the returned Deal URLs with this:

http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-[CJ_ACCOUNT_ID]-10804307?url=Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Replacing the [CJ_ACCOUNT_ID] with your own CJ account id. So a link to a deal using my CJ account id would be something like ->

The API is split into two main sections, one returning the availiable locations (or divisions) that offers are availiable in. And one that returns the deals themselves, passing to it a division from the former, a longditude/latitude or nothing and let the API try and work out your location for itself.

Pros & Cons:
My initial thought was that the responses from the API seem unnecessarily bloated, but after chatting with their technical team there is a partially documented feature with the deal API, adding a show parameter and then comma delimiting the nodes you wish returned will restrict the results to only return those nodes.

e.g. suffixing – show=title,dealUrl,largeImageUrl,pitchHtml – will return the basic information you need, in a much better size for Mobile usage where traffic size is a premium.

Divisions – AKA Locations – Only the North America is supported at the moment, with Deals in the U.K. being handled by AffiliateWindow and served through their own API.

On the whole though it is a nice and simple to use API, it’s just a shame about lack of Inventory outside of the US.

Commission:
For referring existing Groupon users to Deals – between 2% and 5%.
For referring new users to Groupon, between 10% and 15%.
So there is quite an incentive to refer new members, meaning that while current areas (US & Canada, Brazil, western Europe, and Japan) may topout in terms of new signups in the near future, if you have any Apps or sites targeting areas not currently serviced by Groupon (China, India etc) it might be worth integrating Groupon as soon as they do. If  past form is anything to go by then the rewards could be very lucrative.

Here’s a little Flash AS3 demo of the Groupon API in action. The code for which can be downloaded for free below.

N.B. It’s important to remember that when using a service like this some conditions may apply, in this case conforming with the Groupon Branding Guidelines. Whilst it may be easy to ignore them and assume no-one will notice, it is of course just as easy for them to switch off your API key, so save yourself the hassle.

Aden Forshaw

Aden Forshaw is Creative Director and Chief Technical Officer over at Coull.com

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