Google to Launch Groupon Competitor

Google wants a part of the crowded e-couponing game. After Google’s bid for Groupon fell through, the king of search has unveiled Google Offers, an e-couponing service very similar to its competitor’s concept. It seems like a trend nowadays—think Facebook encroaching on Foursquare’s territory in geo-location.

Although no one is giving Google awards for originality, there are some possible benefits. LivingSocial and Groupon take a hefty chunk of the discount that restaurant offers. Google would be able to, by the added competition and resources, rein in those costs.  It is yet to be seen if Google improves on the formulas of other companies and counteract the flaws.

As studies have shown, restaurants get the short end of the stick when they use e-coupons without restriction. It will surely bring traffic, but not the kind of traffic that builds a business. That is because customers obsessed with discounts forget that the whole point of dining is the food and service, and not the price. The weakness of e-coupons is not the idea of e-coupons but the people and behavior it attracts. And it takes the whole business off message for what is essentially a gamble. As you may guess, I am still not a fan, Google or no Google.

For a good comprehensive look into the intricacies of how Google may change and not change e-coupons, check out this article: