|Wed June 1 2011 09:50:49|
Google Ad Platform Makes Groupon Clone a Natural Fit
By: Ina Steiner
After Groupon reportedly spurned Google's offer to acquire the group-buying site, Google went to work to build its own such service, and today launched Google Offers in beta in Portland, Oregon. Google Offers advertises limited-time offers on services from local businesses and restaurants - if enough customers sign up for the offer, the deal is consummated: local businesses get the money a few days later, and customers get a voucher for the service they purchased.
eBay used to be the winner when it came to bringing buyers and sellers together, but Google has been increasingly leveraging its advertising platform, which gives it strong relationships with local businesses, and its local and mobile search infrastructure - including Maps - to push into the retail space. And it is doing so with the help of former eBay and PayPal executive Stephanie Tilenius. She and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt announced the launch of Google Offers yesterday at the D9 Conference.
Schmidt doesn't include eBay in his "Gang of Four" - major companies that have "huge platforms and dominate in their spaces that is difficult for others to challenge" - he counts Amazon, Apple and Facebook as well as his own company in the gang. (See this Search Engine Land article for more on Schmidt's talk.)
Google is also challenging eBay's online payment service PayPal, recently adding Google Wallet to its Google Checkout service, but this is not an area of strength for Google, at least yet.
Are you using group-buying services to advertise your business? Would eBay have a shot at introducing a group-buying service? Let us know what you think!