Groupon reaches new merchants thanks to web data collection

How did Groupon create a rich lead generation database? In a word: Apify.


Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) is the world’s most popular marketplace to find deals for activities, travel, goods, and services offered by local merchants in hundreds of cities around the globe. Groupon, originally meant as "group" + "coupon”, was founded on the idea that the collective bargaining power of a large number of people can get them better deals than they could get individually.

In March 2023, Dušan Šenkypl from Pale Fire Capital became Groupon’s new interim CEO and set an ambitious goal to rapidly expand business by reaching new merchants and thus offer more deals to consumers. Recognizing the potential of web data to find new and enrich existing leads, Šenkypl turned to Apify to leverage its expertise in web data collection.

Groupon is using web data collection for smart lead generation at scale
Groupon is using web data collection for smart lead generation at scale

The challenge

Groupon was looking for a way to update information about existing merchants, as well as find new ones to ask them to join the network. Such information can be found on search engines, travel sites, online maps, and various other websites.

The web data-based lead generation and enrichment pipeline had to provide accurate and up-to-date data about tens of thousands of businesses and seamlessly integrate into Groupon’s existing Salesforce CRM platform.

The solution

Apify operates a cloud platform that provides serverless computation, data storage, proxies, open-source SDKs, and hundreds of ready-made web scraping Actors built by community developers. Apify’s Enterprise solutions team helped Groupon set up various Actors to extract the required data and run it at scale in the cloud.

To ensure the data fits into Groupon’s specific Salesforce implementation, Apify built a new Actor to filter, organize, and match the business data. Thanks to the modularity of the Apify platform, this custom solution was prepared in a very short time, helping Groupon reach new merchants faster than with other solutions.

The outcome

Groupon's sales team now has a rich database filled with potential leads right at their fingertips. The automation of the entire data journey—from extraction to integration—transformed into significant time savings, heightened efficiency, and, ultimately, a stronger position within the e-commerce space.

"We selected Apify because of their vast experience with web data collection. The project has been delivered on a short schedule, and our sales teams are now empowered with fresh, unique leads that drive targeted campaigns and strategic outreach."

— Filip Popovic, SVP Transformation & Product & HR at Groupon

Technical details

The solution was composed of the following parts:

1. Configuring existing Actors

The data extraction process commenced with a custom-designed Actor, New Leads Runner, delivered by Apify, to fine-tune Groupon's search criteria and ensure that the data sourced from other Actors is as relevant and targeted as possible

2. Mining business information

After precise input preparation, Apify could pinpoint and collate business information aligning with Groupon's focus areas. This phase was not just about gathering data legally and ethically but doing so in a way that adhered to Groupon's stringent quality standards.

3. Ensuring data quality

Data duplication can be a significant issue when handling vast amounts of information. Thanks to Apify's Merge, Dedup, and Transform Datasets Actor, we could ensure each business entry was unique by eliminating duplicates and containing the most relevant information by merging attributes from various sources.

4. Integrating data with Salesforce

Once the lead generation pipeline was producing clean data, the next step was to integrate it into Groupon’s existing CRM. With another custom-built Actor - Salesforce Uploader - Groupon could transfer their newfound leads into their Salesforce. The uploader also cross-references the new data with existing entries to ensure that only new businesses are added.

Who are Groupon and Apify?

Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) is a global e-commerce marketplace based in Chicago that connects subscribers with local merchants.

Apify is a full-stack web scraping and browser automation platform. In addition to its vast range of pre-built data extraction tools, Apify offers enterprise solutions with its team of experts who know how to handle the challenges of collecting data from arbitrary websites at scale.

Theo Vasilis
Theo Vasilis
Writer, Python dabbler, and crafter of web scraping tutorials. Loves to inform, inspire, and illuminate. Interested in human and machine learning alike.

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