Groupon is a popular website catering to deal-seekers that has taken off considerably since the site's inception in 2008. The basic premise is simple: a daily deal out of Groupon's many services is offered in a certain market; a steakhouse in Chicago, say. This deal comes, for example, in the format of a $50 gift certificate for the restaurant but discount-priced at only $25. If enough buyers agree to purchase the deal, it becomes "live" and their credit cards are charged. If not enough people buy the deal it won't go live and no one will be charged. (The goal amount and progress are posted on the page, making for some compulsive watching.) This ensures that enough people purchase the discounted deal so it becomes worthwhile for both the client business and Groupon as a middleman, and adds an element of excitement to the buying process, as well. Vouchers can be for anything: restaurants, spas, museum tours, classes, etc. And the discounts usually hover right in the 50-percent-off range.
Recently, Google offered to buy Groupon for a reported $6 billion, hoping to capitalize on the increasingly large and demanding market of these voucher pre-sales. Groupon declined, and Google responded by beginning to create its very own version, called Google Offers.
This is great news for small- and medium-sized business owners because it offers Groupon's proven strategy and approach combined with Google's powerhouse search engine. According to information Google Offers has already released about the process, no up-front money will be required and business owners will get their revenue (minus Google's fee) a mere three days after the offer has ended.
As with any competitive situation, Google Offers and Groupon are sure to duke it out by adding more and more beneficial features and exposure for business owners. With this additional method of tapping into the discounted deals market, small business owners can stretch their advertising dollars, build brand recognition and lure new customers in with less effort than ever before.