From the sound of it, Google is getting ready to make a huge impact in the deals space. The company famously tried to purchase Groupon a couple years ago, and when Groupon turned the offer down, Google decided to simply create its own competitor. Eventually Google launched Google Offers.
Now, Greg Sterling at Marketing Land reports that Google is testing a new loyalty program called Google Offers With Rewards, that users can sign up for with their credit cards and get…rewards. He names 12 businesses in the Bay area, who are participating in Google's trial, and shows some screen caps. One example, from Sonoma Chicken Coop, allows the user to make two purchases at the venue and get an $8 cash reward.
Sterling reports that to take advantage of the program, users would need to register a credit cards (Master Card is specifically being used in the trial, but it would be expanded to other cards, he says), and that there is an analytical element that would give merchants (and Google) more data about users, which could potentially be used in other kinds of Google ads down the line.
Groupon launched its Groupon Rewards loyalty in September, which lets consumers get special deals when they go to local businesses multiple times. The same basic concept. The main difference is that Groupon doesn't have all of the different means to get deals and offers in front of people the way Google does.
Bing, Google's main competitor in the search market, launched a punchcard loyalty program for its advertisers in September as well, along with its Deals hub.
The full list of cities where Google currently offers Google Offers includes: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, NYC, Oakland/East Bay, Oaklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, St. Paul, Tampa and Washington D.C.
Google Offers has been expanding a lot. I'm sure even Cleveland Steamer will be able to take advantage one day.