Groupon deals used to be limited in terms of when they could be used, but lately, the site has focused on offering deals that can be redeemed at any time. That undermines businesses' ability to use Groupon to boost traffic during off-peak periods, write Karan Girotra, Simone Marinesi and Serguei Netessine. "Unless Groupon restores the restrictions, the prospects for its long-term survival are dim, as the bigger, better-known merchants themselves can fairly easily offer structured discounts directly," they argue.

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