Google Plays Catch-Up with Upcoming Groupon Clone

Groupon is the hottest thing on the Internet today. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Google is preparing to launch a Groupon clone of its own now after an unsuccessful attempt to buy the company outright – but maybe it should. After all, the daily deal market is already full of competitors in every possible niche and Google is only a few months late to the party. There was a time where Google was launching innovative products – now it’s just launching clones – and some of them, like Buzz, aren’t even able to make much of a dent in their market.

Google sent the following statement to a few media outlets, confirming that it plans to launch Google Offers soon:

“Google is communicating with small businesses to enlist their support and participation in a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program. This initiative is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new products, such as the recent Offer Ads beta, that connect businesses with customers in new ways. We do not have more details to share at this time, but will keep you posted.”

There is nothing new here, though. This is not a new way for businesses to connect with customers. Thanks to Groupon, LivingSocial and their plethora of clones, businesses have been doing this for years now. Judging from what we know about Google Offers, this will just be a straight up clone of Groupon (down to the pithy write-ups).

There is nothing innovative about Google Offers as far as I can see. It’s just the same old concept, with the same old deals. Makes you wonder if Google is losing its ability to innovate.


Can Google Succeed?

So what are Google’s chances to succeed in this market? On the plus side, Google can quickly hire enough sales personnel to sell these offers and its name should give it enough clout to sign up lots of local businesses. Google could also show a one-time message to all of its Gmail customers to sign up for this with one click and immediately get a few million subscribers – but that could also land the company in hot water.

On the other hand, though, if it only offers deals that are similar to Groupon, will users really want to sign up for yet another deal-of-the-day email?

How long until daily deal fatigue sets in with consumers?

Image credit: Mashable