Groupon is about to face it’s biggest challenge yet – the 800-lb gorilla named Google Offers. Google Offers launched in Portland, Oregon today, June 1st. Woohoo! We’re even ahead of NYC and San Francisco.
The first offer is for 70% off at Floyd’s Coffee Shop. That’s not bad at all, but we don’t usually go to coffee shops, so we’ll skip this one. I’ll keep an eye out for a good deal on things we use, like baby products. 🙂
I also like that you can just buy the coupon without having to worry about the minimal number like Groupon. On Groupon, a certain number of customers must buy the coupon before “the deal is on”.
As some of you may know, Google made an offer to buy Groupon for $5.3 billion dollars at the end of 2010. Groupon rejected that offer and it looks like Google is going at it from the ground up. I think Groupon should have jumped on that deal, taken the money and run. The main advantage Groupon had was that it was the first coupon site to hit the market and it got a good head start on every site out there. The problem with their business model is the low barrier of entry.
Any company can set up a coupon website and simply being first doesn’t give Groupon an insurmountable advantage. Small competitors may have a hard time getting attention over Groupon, but I don’t think Google will have that problem. Google started out as a search engine behind Yahoo and other companies, but superior technology enabled them to dominate the internet. Once Google became ubiquitous, the company took the internet email business away from Yahoo as well.
We’ll see if Google can beat another company. Google will integrate Google Offers with Google Wallet so you can pay with your smart phone and show the shop keeper the coupon on it. I’m sure they will eventually integrate Google maps, email, and search as well.
Google Offers will be available in NYC and San Francisco later this summer.
What do you think about Google Offers? Would you use it when it come to your city? I like Google and will keep an eye on the deals. I have never purchase any coupon from Groupon yet. The coupons I’ve seen are all for superfluous items like limo rides and detox kit.
I finally found a deal from Google Offers, read about it on the July 2011 cash flow post. 🙂