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Google Offers  (Source: Mashable)
Groupon in Google's crosshairs

Google is set to launch a new service of users called Google Offers. The new service will be in direct competition with Groupon reports Mashable. Mashable was given some documents by a source that outline Google’s plans and what the service will look like.

Google Offers is a group buying service and the description from the leaked documents describes it as, "Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email."

The service at its core will be an offering that emails coupons for the user's local area to them on a daily basis. The sample coupons show things like 50 percent discounts on food at a local restaurants.

Google Offers will be paid for using Google Checkout and will integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Buzz, and will have other email sharing options along with those main sharing options. Apparently, the search is on for participants in local markets and odds are the early advertisers on the service will be major chain restaurants and locally owned businesses.

Google told Mashable, "Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid 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."

Mashable also reports that it has leaned Google will pay the business 80% of what the offer made within three days of the offer ending and hold the other 20% for 60 days to cover any refunds.

Google also made big headlines this week when CEO Eric Schmidt announced he was stepping down as CEO and would be replaced by Larry Page.

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RE: Believe it or Not...
By StealthX32 on 1/21/2011 6:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
I agree, Google has taken 2nd best behind many in these submarkets. All you've listed is free services so far, supported by advertisements. The adoption rate is not really dependent on tangibles, just where people go. Of the paid services out there, Google Checkout is a good example (being one of the few non-free services they offer). Google has been able to gain traction relatively easily vs Paypal in the online transaction market, mostly because they're not douchebags that refuse to protect their clientele.

GroupOn expects a $15B valuation upon IPO, based solely on the opinion that they can become the market leader. However, this market isn't free products...far from it, and competition isn't solely based on your end product, costs factor into it as well. For example, right now for a $50 off $100 deal, GroupOn will typically take HALF of the revenue for that deal. So $25 to GroupOn, $25 to the retailer. While it was "hot" in the past year or so, in my opinion, retailers aren't going to pay this in the future. They'll look to cheaper alternatives, and Google has the ability to reduce margins to zero if they wanted to, just to gain market share.

$15B valuation selling gift certificates? Get real.

RE: Believe it or Not...
By xsilver on 1/22/2011 9:46:18 AM , Rating: 2
exactly - small business initially might have been novel on this idea but to ask them to repeatedly come back when groupon wants 50% smells like some sort of amyway ploy.

I was hearing that a lot of business's were finding it hard to break even on these deals because of "deal jumper" customers that would never pay full price after trying the service/products. Then there are the ones that were only weeks/days from bankruptcy anyways so they wont be back.

Heaps of competitors besides google recently has diluted the market as well.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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