Google’s Daily Deals + Google’s Mobile Payments + Location Tracking
This Easter weekend, I watched Groupons that I redeemed at retailers and restaurants, logged by the merchant in 3 different ways: 1. Paper lists (ugh) 2. iPod touch app that the nice waiter would not let me see. 3. Jedi mind redemption trick (they looked at my iPhone display and just nodded).
As our friends at Google ready their competitor to Groupon and its cavalcade of imitators, one must consider some of the interesting synergies and opportunities that a larger organization like Google can create that a Groupon-type startup needs to broaden out to cover. The world’s recent discovery over Android location tracking for their ad network is an obvious competitive advantage. I don’t know what all the excitement is about, did you NOT think they were going to do that? So Google can target nicely and hey, they own the OS that is on most smartphones in the demos where daily deals show most traction.
Second, and more interesting, is what Google is doing with Citi on mobile payments and mobile wallet using NFC. If Google can turn Android phones into the deal sign-up, deal purchase and deal redemption tool, they have something. Assuming Google can scale deal users to Grouponian customer file size (and who would bet against that?), it’s ultimately going to be a battle pitched at the retail till. The service that makes it easiest to process, track and get paid for participating merchants will drive the greatest merchant participation. Merchant participation is what drives the daily deal to the forefront of our family’s breakfast conversation.
“Did you see, [Insert daily deal site] has [Item, service that you would not have bought otherwise] for [Insanely low price]?”
“I already got one, why don’t you buy one too? I love that place and we pass by it all the time.”