Monday, 25 April 2011

Google Expands Offers with Groupon Like Features

Yipit reported yesterday that Google is rolling out an expansion of their Offers program with Groupon like features in the test markets of NY, San Francisco, Oakland and Portland.  Users may sign up and if you want to be notified of future launches you can leave your email with Google on this form. When you do sign up in one of the targeted cities you receive a email that notes:

Once Google Offers is available in NYC Downtown we’ll send you regular emails letting you in on amazing offers in your area.

The rollout of the Groupon Like Offers Beta, first reported as in development in January, allows user to subscribe to receive email notices to “Get 50% off or more at places you’ll love”. Yipit notes that Google Offers seems to be taking a very similar approach to existing daily deal sites:
  • 50% off or more. Google states that they “partner with some of the best local businesses in your area to bring you great deals at 50% off or more.” The lower bound of 50% off is one of the key underpinnings of Groupon and LivingSocial’s offerings. Google clearly wants its users to perceive these offers very differently from regular coupons.
  • Email distribution. Google will be distributing these offers via email. Google states that they’ll “send you regular emails letting you in on amazing offers in your area.”
  • Opt-in. Google is not auto-subscribing their users to this program. They are asking user to sign-up for Google Offers via the Google Offers landing page.
Offers, Google’s rebranded Coupon product, has been seeing a slow but steady emergence from the dark shadows of neglect. This new beta test comes on the heels of their nationwide expansion of the their Check-in Offers test in Latitude.

Exactly who and how companies participate in the latter two is a bit of a mystery. After the Check-in expansion was announced I emailed Google the following to see if they were willing to share any additional information:

Can you give me any more details about  rollout of the Latitude incentivized upgrade offers? Free or paid? Plan for wider access? Success in Austin?

Google’s response:

I just heard back from my colleague who works on Latitude, and she says that all the info we can share about check-in offers can be found on our recent blog post here:

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