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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2555 - June 01, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 5

Google Launches Groupon Clone Google Offers

By Ina Steiner
June 01, 2011

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As we reported in April, Google is launching a group-buying service similar to Groupon, and today is officially launching Google Offers in beta testing in Portland, Oregon. It will expand the service starting with New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.

Google Offers works with local merchants including restaurants, spas and dentists, who create heavily discounted offers. Customers pre-pay and receive a voucher, and Google Offers sends the businesses the money a few days after the offer runs.

The innovator in group-buying, Groupon, launched in November 2008, and its CEO Andrew Mason told AuctionBytes in an interview last year that he placed emphasis on local commerce because "so many of the things we spend money on are inherently social, like going to the theater with friends."

Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter help spread the word of local offers, and Mason said the integration of social networking and viral marketing with ecommerce was part of a new trend called "social commerce."

The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog reported last year that Google had offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, an offer that Groupon declined.

You can sign up for Google Offers here, and businesses can learn more here.

Update: With Groupon, if enough buyers sign up for a deal, the deal is consummated, otherwise it expires; it appears from the video introduction to Google Offers that it does not place this restriction on deals. (Link)

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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