Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nov. 3 launched its first Google Offers for Android mobile application and inked its first national offer from outdoor retailer REI.
Google rolled outOffers in a bid to capture some of the e-commerce revenue enjoyed by daily deals giants Groupon and LivingSocial. Offers rolled out in Portland, Ore. in April and is now in roughly 20 cities, with over 20 more regions soon to get the daily deals treatment.
Offers is the premier incentive for Google's Wallet mobile payment service, which rolled out in New York and San Francisco in September. Wallet lets users tap and pay for goods at select retailers.
One of the allures of such as service is that users don't need their physical wallet to purchase products, but Offers is geared to steer more consumers toward Wallet-enabled Android phones such as the Samsung Nexus S.
Offers has been available for access via the desktop since its launch, though Google curiously hasn't had a mobile app to let users procure and redeem offers until now. Users may find, buy and redeem deals with the app, which competes with the Groupon Now mobile app, from their Android handsets.
The app, free now for phones based on Android 2.1 and later version in the Android Market, will also alert users about offers that match users' interests. Users may then purchase offers in a few clicks.
Meanwhile, Offers is now national with REI, which sells all kinds of gear for mountain climbing, white water rafting, skiing and snowboarding. The REI deal called for Offers users to pay $15 for $25 worth of action gear. Nearly 46,000 Offers users bought the deal Nov. 3, making it a huge success.
"The REI deal marks an important achievement for us in the growth of Google Offers by creating a truly national platform where businesses can connect with new customers whether they're in San Francisco, Dallas, New York or Boston," explained Eric Rosenblum, director of product management for Google Offers.
Google has its work cut out for its trying to get all of the puzzle pieces together for Offers and Wallet.
Challenging Offers is the problem of "deal fatigue," the growing trend that consumers are tired and frustrated from being pitched so many deals from incumbents Groupon and LivingSocial that they can't use.
Wallet has other issues. It's only available via the Nexus S from Sprint and only for roughly two dozen retailers across the country. It's also battling Isis and PayPal, among others in mobile payments.