Google joins the group-buying game on the heels of Groupon rejection

Since Google’s offer to buy Groupon was spurned, it seems the search giant has now taken the decision to start its own group buying venture. When it comes to Silicon Valley it seems to be a case of “if you can’t buy them, then join them”.

US social media analysis site Mashable on Friday reportedly received a “fact sheet” from a source at Google, revealing “Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email”. The service will apparently be powered by the existing Google Checkout.

Google is supposedly actively contacting businesses to get them on board with Offers. There is apparently a writing team creating the write-up for offers. The company responded to Mashable saying:

“Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program. This initiative is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new products, such as the recent Offer Ads beta, that connect businesses with customers in new ways. We do not have more details to share at this time, but will keep you posted.”

This new service comes hot on the heels of Google’s latest attempt to purchase Groupon for the weighty sum of US$6-million, which was rejected. It seems this new service will work in the same way as Groupon. Users receive an e-mail with a local deal-of-the-day. They then have the opportunity to buy that deal within a specific time limit (possibly 24hrs).

What this means for Groupon is uncertain. According to a separate Mashable report there is no need for the group buying giant to worry just yet.

“Groupon also has a huge head start, thanks to its massive sales force, home-grown name recognition and US$1+ billion in funding. CEO Andrew Mason and his team have proven that they can outperform the competition, despite having a technology that can be easily copied.”

Whether Google can make a success out of this venture and compete with Groupon remains to be seen. But we’re betting that the real winners will be cash-strapped consumers.



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