Google Offers, Google’s competition for Groupon, recently just launched its first beta-test in Portland, Oregon. Speculation about the project has been high for quite some time now, and hopefully the beta testing will offer a few more clues as to the nature of what will be offered. In addition to Portland, other starting sites will include San Francisco, Oakland, New York’s uptown, downtown and midtown. None of the other areas have begun a sign up for the beta, so Portland remains the only one.
While nobody knows all the specifics about Google Offers, the core concept is pretty basic. They are going to offer similar deals to LivingSocial and Groupon, with discounts 50% or more off of products and services. The only clue as to how Google Offers will be different though is in their tagline that highlighted that it will include “more of the places you’ll love”. Hopefully Google will attempt to offer deals for products and services to a wider range of consumers. In addition, speculations are that Google will be able to offer higher discounts than Groupon for the first little while. This may be because of their overall prestige and power, or just based on the fact that they may be willing to eat some costs initially to gain users.
After attempts to buy Groupon for 6 billion last year, Google was turned down by the coupon giant. Rumors are cautiously saying that that Groupon could launch with an initial IPO of 25 billion. It should be interesting to see how Google offers can compete in a market presently dominated by Groupon and LivingSocial. Needless to say Google did not get where they are without some business savvy, so the features that differentiate them from the other two sites are highly anticipated as well.
What do you think; does Google Offers stand a chance?