Google Offers – Google’s Very Own ‘Group Buy’ Deals Site

Google Offers - Groupon Clone

Not long ago Groupon, A daily deals website that offers discounts for group-buy reportedly turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google.

But now it seems like Google has ran with the idea and created a group buy/coupon site of their own called – Google Offers! Tech Blogger, Ben Parr of Mashable broke the story earlier where he even mentioned a source who has sent Mashable a confidential fact sheet straight from the Googleplex about the company’s new group buying service.

What is Google Offers?

The Google offers fact sheet explains that it is a new product by Google that is going to help prospective customers to find great local deals in their area through a daily email newsletter. For retail businesses, its a smart and easy way to find new, high-value customers and bring them right at their door.

What would a Business get out of Google Offers?

Google offers is a ‘prepay’ model, thus there is no initial expense for a Business to run their offer and spread it across all the Google users and subscribers near a specific local area where the business is located. Some of the benefits includes: Free exposure of your business, product & services infront of hundreads and thousands of potential customer in local region, free exposure across Google’s existing ad network, easy to use tools to manage offers, conversions & ROI, quick payments and no out of the pocket expense.

How will Google Offers Work?

As a Business you will first have to create an offer of a product or service that you wish to promote and offer a good discount to attract customers. You can specify the number of people who needs to buy the offer in order for it to be valid.

Google has their own writing team who will write compelling description of your offer and add some nice images of the product/service that you wish to sell and also decide on the best time to run your offer. Once the offer runs, your deal will be sent to all the local subscribers and will also run in Google’s various ad networks. The good thing about Google offers is, even if no one actually buys your offer you still get the eyeballs at absolutely no cost. Since customers will pay you upfront for the deal, you don’t even have any sales/marketing associated cost.

Once your offer Goes live, Google will deduct it’s fees (20%) and send you the rest of the deal revenue (80%) within 3-business days from the day the offer runs for the first time. The customers on the other hand will come to your store with a printed offer coupon or a mobile version which you can scan or directly enter into the Google offers platform to keep track of your sales.

Google’s Advantage over Groupon?

Frankly, None! (~ apart from the $$$ money $$$ part!). Personally I feel that Google has never been really good with social stuff or even with new launches which involves dealing with customers directly (Remember the Nexus One customer Service nightmare?). Since users will be buying coupons directly from Google, this is likely to arise a lot of issues in regards to Payment, Coupon not honored, refunds & other technical difficulties. So unless Google hires a lot of sales rep and support staff dedicated just for Google offers itself, I don’t see how they can actually manage this new thing without a hiccup. But I’m not saying that they can’t succeed, but it won’t be a walk in the park!

Some other areas where Google needs to improve in order to make Google Offers successful are – to establish a close relation with all the small-medium / retail businesses and strike as many deals as possible. Groupon already has a team of over 3000+ employees in 29 countries who are making all these deals.

I also think that Google needs to partner up with Local Payment merchants, if they want to make the service popular outside United States. Google Checkout is nice, but its not very renowned or used widely in places like Asia. On a positive note, I think Google’s advantage would be to use its existing database of advertisers (Google Adwords) and local businesses (Google Local Business Center) which shows up all over Google maps whenever you perform a local search in Google. Finally, I think that Google offers is definitely an interesting product (A copy cat – but so what?), and we can’t wait for it to be launched in Singapore! Good luck Google 😉

What others are saying about Google Offers:

Confirmed: Google Readies “Google Offers” Groupon Clone – Search Engine Land

If you can’t buy ‘em, join ‘em. Google reportedly launching Groupon clone. – The Next Web

Will Google’s Groupon clone swap out algorithms for good writing? – Social Beat

Google Offers Coming Soon – Search Engine Roundtable

Google Set to Deal Groupon Some Competition with ‘Offers’ – Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim

Google Expected To Soon Launch Its Own Daily Deals Service – paidContent

Is This Google’s Groupon Clone? Well The Logo Fits. [Update: Confirmed] – Techcrunch

Some Pre-discussion in Quora: What would happen if Google were to get into the daily deals game?

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