Google Offers Getting Out Of Pre-Paid Voucher Business
Google Offers is shifting from pre-paid vouchers to digital coupons exclusively. Previously, there was a mix of both. As a practical matter that means there will no longer be deals purchased up front that could expire without redemption. Instead, all deals will be incentives to buy online or visit a store, redeemable at the time of purchase.
According to AllThingsD Google is pledging to refund the value of pre-paid but unused vouchers. (I have several unused, expired vouchers but haven’t received any such refund offer.)
Google Offers are currently distributed in multiple ways: through the Google Offers app, through Google Wallet (for Android and iOS), as online display ads and on the Google Maps app.
The daily deal market continues to exist but is limping along by comparison to the boom period of 2010 – 2011. And Groupon continues to diversify its business away from total reliance on pre-paid deals. It now sees itself broadly as a local commerce enabler with a range of marketing, payment and CRM products.
By the same token coupons are a perennial hit with consumers and have the documented capacity to influence purchase behavior more than any other form of advertising or marketing.