Monday, January 24, 2011

Google Offers to compete with Groupon, LivingSocial

Posted By on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Will you take up Google on its offer?
  • Will you take up Google on its offer?

Get out your virtual coupon shears. Mashable writes that Google is test-marketing a competing service to Groupon, the online daily deal site for shopping and restaurants.

Google Offers will be the same concept, a local business offering a 24-hour coupon to Web users. News of the services comes only a month after Groupon reportedly refused Google's own offer of a buyout.

Google Offers would join a crowded field of sites of established daily coupon sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. The set-up is apparently the same. A daily deal is offered. If enough people purchase the deal before the set time of expiration, then the coupon is activated and you get $20 of Blanc Burgers for $10.

Mashable broke the story at the end of last week, and Google confirmed that it's testing an online coupon service:

Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a prepaid offers/vouchers program. This initiative is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new products, such as the recent Offer Ads beta, that connect businesses with customers in new ways. We do not have more details to share at this time, but will keep you posted."
While I'm not sure that Google can fundamentally alter the online-coupon landscape, perhaps it can leverage the existing relationships with local advertisers to turn more local restaurants on to the idea of offering a daily deal. And if that's the case, then the real winners of this deal are the diners of Kansas City.

[Image via Mashable]

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