Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Oct. 27 moved to expand its Google Offers purview to include more than restaurants, museum and massages, adding offers for outdoor sports, classes and luxury goods from new daily deals providers.
To do this, Google partnered with 14 deal providers. They include Dealfind, DoodleDeals, Gilt City, GolfNow, HomeRun, Juice in the City, kgbdeals, Mamapedia, Plum District, PopSugar Shop, ReachDeals, Active.com Schwaggle, TIPPR and zozi.
Deals from these players will appear alongside Google's own Offers, and when users click on them, they stay within the Offers framework instead of being whisked away to the deal sites.Google's newish deal aggregator property, The Dealmap, helped with the aggregation, though Google declined to say exactly how.
"Now, with one account you can easily purchase, manage and redeem all your offers in one place," explained Nitin Mangtani, group product manager for Offers.
The caveat is that this aggregate of new deals will launch first in the San Francisco Bay Area, leaving out the 40-plus other markets where Offers plays. Google said it will gradually introduce deals from its partners in the coming months.
Google is also offering existing Offers users a new personalization quiz that lets users tip Offers off to what categories and preferences they like. The company will then send users the tailored offers, based on their location, that match their interest in one email. Users may always update their preferences.
Offers launched in Portland, Ore., last April, offering people in that city local discount deals of 50 percent or more to restaurants, bars and other stores. Offers closely hews to the formula popularized by Groupon, which rocketed to stardom in 2010 and spurned a $6 billion acquisition bid from Google in December.
Groupon, which competes with LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe and others, went on to raise $950 million from investors and has met with bankers to discuss an initial public offering
Indeed, the Offers launch came at a time when Groupon was attracting strong IPO interest. While Groupon's IPO star has faded somewhat due to curious accounting and the fact that its growth has slowed, Offers has slowly crept into other cities, from San Francisco and New York City in July, to Baltimore, San Diego and San Jose, Calif., earlier this week.
Offers is also facing new competition from Microsoft Bing, whose own Deals Website aggregates discounts from Groupon, LivingSocial, Nordstrom, Target and many others.
One thing is abundantly clear: All of these local deals providers are at risk of succumbing to deal fatigue. That requires more selective, targeted offers, the problem Google's personalization quiz is trying to solve.