News We Noted: Google to Enter Group Buying Battle

The following is a post from Kevin Olivieri, TIG Global Social Media Analyst.

Is anyone really surprised that Google has entered the group buying race? After Groupon spurned a reported $6B offer from Googlein favor of a 2011 IPO late last year, Google has announced their own group buying product: Google Offers.

If the leaked memos show to be true, Google Offers follows a very similar group buying formula as Groupon:

  • You (businesses) create an offer
  • Google helps write and market your offer
  • Google runs your timed offer
  • You collect your revenue, Google keeps their fee
  • You serve your customers

Unlike startups in the group buying market, Google has the luxury of unparalleled reach, resources and brand recognition. These advantages will make Google considerably more attractive than other competitors to businesses interested in offering daily deals and should easily result in eating away market share from other companies. I also predict Google will take advantage of this product and slowly begin packaging and integrating Google Offers with existing products like the Android OS for mobile phones, Google Checkout for purchasing, or even Google Maps.

The big winner here are the consumers as another company is providing them with discounts on everything from restaurants to spas to vacations, and more. For businesses, it’s extremely important to know and understand the risks and rewards involved with deals of the day before committing to a daily deal.

Group buying had a hallmark year in 2010, recording record profits and uncanny buzz from their unique stylistic approach. Groupon lead the pack, followed in tail by Living Social and countless clones, both domestically and internationally. 2011 will be an interesting year for the group buying industry. As niche daily deal sites continue to flood the market, consumers will continue to search for the best possible deals, and now Google Offers promises to compete worldwide. The major question left to reveal – will Facebook get involved?

Do you think Facebook will get involved? Will Groupon regret not accepting Google’s offer last year or will they be fine on their own? How loyal will Groupon’s users be? How will Google handle the sign-up process? Opt-In or Opt-Out? Sound off in the comments section and let us know your thoughts!

Interested in ramping up your online marketing strategy? Learn more about the full suite of TIG Global interactive marketing tools, send us an email, or give us a call at 301-841-4700.

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