Google Beefs Up Its Groupon Killer by Adding More Than a Dozen Partners

Google is aggressively expanding into the daily deals space by partnering with 14 daily deals providers. And — no surprise here — Groupon isn’t one of them.

Eric Rosenblum, Google’s director of product management for Google Offers, said the deals business is all about getting relevant offers. “In order to do that, you need a lot of good deals. Even if you have one good one every day, it won’t satisfy everyone,” he said.

Google Offers launched its first city in June, having to start from scratch after Groupon rejected its $6 billion buyout offer. Today, it is already in 17 U.S. markets, including four launched this week.

In those markets, the goal to date has been to offer one deal a day, sold by its own sales force. Now, through partnerships, it will be able to offer consumers more than a dozen deals daily.

The participating deal providers: Dealfind, DoodleDeals, HomeRun, Juice in the City, PopSugar Shop, ReachDeals, Tippr, Kgbdeals, Gilt City, Active.com, GolfNow, Mamapedia, Zozi and Plum District.

The additional offers will first be offered in San Francisco, and will be rolled out more widely in the coming weeks.

Aggregation is not new; however, no one has cracked the code yet on personalization and targeting — not even Amazon. Men still are being offered Brazilian bikini waxes; women get pitched discounts to the barbershop.

Rosenblum believes that by having a wider selection of offers, and by asking people what their preferences are, Google Offers will be able to offer a more tailored experience.

When consumers sign up, a quiz asks them about the types of deals they want, and where they work, live and hang out. That information, which is optional to share, will be used to deliver multiple offers that match the shopper’s interests, all in one email.

In a blog post, Google says, “If you’re not the outdoorsy type and you don’t love spa treatments, then we won’t send you deals for zipline adventures or hot stone massages.”

“People do feel overwhelmed by information,” Rosenblum said. “They want to have the best deals for them and most relevant deals for them — it’s very user-centric.”

Google will also handle the payments and redemption process, so users don’t have to remember which provider they purchased a deal from. Some of the technology being used was acquired through its purchase of the DealMap. Rosenblum would not disclose the terms of the partnerships.

Despite its late entrance, Google has done fairly well so far. Over the past two weeks, the search provider has launched in eight cities. “Google is feeling quite bullish about this, and we are expanding quickly,” Rosenblum said. “We are now doubling down and picking our partners. Our deal density goes up by 10x in all of the cities.”

More recently, Groupon has been asking people for personal information so that it, too, can provide tailored offers. In some of its bigger markets, it’s typical for Groupon to have a handful of offers every day.

In a pop-up bubble on deals, Groupon sarcastically says, “This Time It’s Personal: To see exciting sequels to today’s deal, start adding your Deal Types and Places near you!”

The Groupon pop-up inquires about how far the deal is from the shopper’s home, and asks the user to answer a simple question. On an offer for auto detailing, it asks, “Want deals like this one? If so, click that you love that new-car smell.”


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