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Groupon, the community coupon site has been one of the big recent success stories thanks to its innovative way of giving consumers great value for money on a range products and services. However close on its tail are the internet goliaths Google and Facebook – they simply don’t want to be beaten.
Cast your minds back to the end of 2010, Google were set to make a huge investment by bidding for Groupon, for around $6 billion. Well it was the deal that never was as Groupon flat out rejected it – something that could potentially have huge repercussions.
In spite of the rejected bid, Google kept up a longstanding tradition of competing with their rivals at their own game; if they cannot buy them out, they’ll simply beat them at their own game – and Groupon were no exception. Only a couple of weeks after their bid was rejected, Google set about creating their own voucher service called ‘Offers’ [See: Google Gazump Groupon with ‘Offers’ Voucher Service].
Well it was finally confirmed yesterday, by Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, that Google were going to launch their competitor to Groupon. Talking at the D9 conference in California, Schmidt explained that ‘Google Offers’ was going to be launched today – starting with daily deals in Portland, before moving into cities like New York and San Francisco by the Summer. As of yet there is no reported launch date for this service across the rest of the world.
According to Mashable, what sets Google Offers apart from Groupon is the integration with the new mobile payment system. It appears that they have the upper hand here with their mobile payment service, Google Wallet. In this case, users of Google Offers can download vouchers onto their Google Wallet and can pay for products and services this way, as opposed to printing off vouchers.
The search giant isn’t the only ones trying to muscle in on Groupon’s share of the daily deals market. Facebook also have plans to launch their own group based local coupon service called Facebook Deals. Last month it was reported that Facebook Deals had already launched, across five pilot cities in the US.
So what sets Facebook Deals apart from Groupon? Well ,as with all of Facebook’s services and features, you can ‘like’, share and recommend certain deals to your friends. Once you have purchased a deal, you can share via your news feed, thus giving Facebook Deals the maximum amount of exposure.
What excites local businesses the most though is that Facebook is armed with nearly 700 million users – not only making it the largest social network on the internet, but it also gives businesses amazing potential to reach out to new customers. Tapping into this could be hugely lucrative, possibly even more so than jumping onboard with the (current) market leader in the group coupon industry.
Whose voucher service will be the most popular? Well that’s a tough one, and it will certainly take some time before we can see how the market plays out. Facebook have already piloted theirs, and today it’s Google’s turn – either way both giants are vouching to out coupon Groupon. Of course, nobody says that users have to restrict themselves to one service, so a lot will depend on the quality of offers being provided by each.