Google has just announced a set of new partnerships with over a dozen niche daily deal providers, which will now be integrated into the Google Offers service, both on the Web and in the Google Shopper mobile applications for iOS and Android. The new Google Offers partners include Dealfind, DoodleDeals, Gilt City, GolfNow, HomeRun, JuiceInTheCity, kgbdeals, Mamapedia, PlumDistrict, PopSugar Shop, ReachDeals, Active.com Schwaggle, TIPPR, and zozi.
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Initially, these deals will be only available to those in the San Francisco Bay area, but this feature will soon arrive to other areas, says Google.
These deal providers aren’t all household names, the way Groupon and LivingSocial are today. However, they do target specific audiences, either by geographic region, type of deal or both. For example, Mamapedia targets Bay Area moms, Schwaggle offers fitness-related deals, zozi goes after adventure seekers, and so on.
Not only will Google Offers users be able to discover, be alerted about and pay for deals (via Google Checkout, of course) via Google Offers/Google Shopper, Google will handle the customer service issues for these deal providers, too. Although Google isn’t saying how many customer support reps it has on hand to do this, Eric Rosenblum, Director of Product Management for Google Offers, says Google’s response time is fast: calls are answered in 5 seconds.
In addition, Google Offers will provide an optional “personalization” quiz that will help Google better customize the types of deals it will sent to you though email and push notifications on Android (and iPhone soon). Says Rosenblum, the quiz is meant to address the “information overload” problem created by signing up for all these deal providers. The deals will still be listed in the Google Offers hub if you want to browse them, but they won’t be in your inbox or pushed to your phone.
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For now, this level of deal personalization involves more of a manual effort, but Google has plans to further integrate Offers with other Google services, including Google+ and Gmail. For example, in the future, you may be able to check a box indicating that Google can use your Google Profile information from Google+ to personalize your Offers. It may also start to push those Offers into Gmail by way of the “Gmail message ads” (the ads below your email messages). The idea is that Google will be able to tie together your activity and your usage of all its services to boost your participation with and enjoyment of its daily deals product.
When it comes to the details of these personalization efforts, Google firmly believes that one size doesn’t fit all, Rosenblum explained. Some people will want offers pushed to their mobile phone, some will be actively looking for deals, some people will just want to be surprised. But using its knowledge of your particular demographic infromation will be key to improving the service. ”I think down the road it’s quite important,” he says, “and Google’s approach is to get smarter.”
But what about personalizing the overwhelming influx from LivingSocial and Groupon? Google has nothing to say on that matter for now, only that it’s open to partnerships both “big and small.”
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