Following a relatively successful launch in Portland last month Google is now rolling out Google Offers in two more markets: San Francisco and New York. Google has also updated its Shopper Android app to include deals.
The app is generally focused on products but now contains tabs that allow users to access the featured daily deal “Today’s Offer” or “Nearby Offers,” which are essentially coupons that offering incentives to visit a nearby business (e.g., “50% off a starter”). However they don’t require an up-front purchase.
Daily deals and coupons are distinct but both involve saving money at local businesses. The latter are generally modest deals and have typically been created by the businesses themselves through Google Places. Daily Deals tend to be more dramatic discounts (though not always) that require a purchase before they can be “redeemed” offline.
There’s also a “My Offers” tab that features all your saved deals, whether purchased daily deals or “Nearby Offers.” This is also where any other online deals that you’ve saved (e.g., Offer Ads) will appear.
My Offers will also be integrated into Google Wallet according to the company:
When you come across an offer you like you can save it for later. Your saved and purchased offers appear on this tab and you can see which offers are close to expiring. To take advantage of an offer, just navigate to ‘My Offers,’ select the one you’d like, and click ‘Redeem’. In the future you’ll also be able to access and redeem your saved offers using Google Wallet.
The new Shopper app integration more directly pits Google against Yelp, Groupon, LivingSocial, Foursquare and to a somewhat lesser degree Facebook (among others), which all have mobile deals distribution. For its part, Foursquare has just greatly expanded the number of deals it’s offering through several partnerships.
It’s widely believed that Google is taking a smaller cut of daily deals than competitors such as Groupon or LivingSocial, which have historically taken up to 50 percent of the face value of a deal.
It goes without saying that deals segment is incredibly crowded with as many as 350 – 400 companies operating, according to some estimates. A recent survey of roughly 320 small businesses by CityVoter found that nearly half (46 percent) of local-merchant respondents were getting three or more calls per month from deal vendors.
Groupon, the category leader, is on track to do as much as $2.5 billion in topline revenue this year and the entire US daily deals market may be worth in excess of $4 billion in 2011.
The video below offers testimonials from business owners in San Francisco and New York about their interest in participating in Google Offers.