copy Groupon again by offering its own version of Groupon Now, bringing deals
to smartphone-owning consumers based on their preferences and locations.
For example, a
shopper checks in to a store with Google Latitude and gets pinged with a coupon
for that store. Alternatively, a consumer could be walking down the street and
receive discount alerts via their phones. This potential is unbridled and untapped,
even by Groupon.
we're talking about here is the holy grail of search. And Google-relying on
search for the vast majority of its revenue-just took a step closer to finding
it," Boland said.
Offers is just starting while Groupon has a three-year head start, 7,000-plus
feet-on-the-steet salespeople and millions of users. But it's low barrier to
entry makes Groupon's local-deals model easier to compete with than Google in
search or Facebook in social.
is said and done, it is just a coupon service, and there are already over 300
Groupon knockoffs," Gartner analyst Van Baker told eWEEK.
will sign up for several of these and cherry pick the deals that they want. I
can't comment on the likelihood that Google will succeed as there are a lot of
considerations, including how much Google invests in the effort, but Groupon certainly
does not own the social-coupon space."
colleague, Gartner analyst Ray Valdes, said Groupon's brand has an aura of
novelty that could wear off over time. Price-sensitive consumers are usually
not steadfast when it comes to brand loyalty, he noted.
around Groupon underscores that there is "overheated demand for tech
stocks among investors hungry for quick returns in an otherwise dark economic
landscape," Valdes said. "I think Google has fortuitously dodged a
bullet in terms of saving $5 billion or $6 billion that would have been
consumed by the Groupon acquisition."
meanwhile, can sit back and watch Offers grow, or not grow if too many rivals
dilute the market. The giant can still savor its $30 billion a year in online
advertising from search, mobile and display, and take comfort in its $36
billion in cash reserves.