With the Google + Groupon deal off the table, it’s just been announced that Google’s releasing its own coupon competitor, Google Offers. Groupon has been rapidly growing and making headlines this past year so it was only a matter of time before Google joined the group-buying fray and appealed to local business advertisers.
However, group buying and location-based services are still in the beginnings of development and are definitely not deemed mainstream yet. By throwing in a bit of game mechanics like reaching a target number of votes to score a deal, or being awarded for the number of check-ins, a wider audience is targeted outside the tech geek circle, including moms. However, the real value lies in, well, value. Sites like Groupon and Living Social are valuable as coupons, but more so as experiences. People might not go bungee jumping or macaroon making until the experience is set before them with a decent price tag.
We’re expecting to see group buying sites and check-ins become much more personalized with applications like Geoloqi, where automatic check-ins and functions like your grocery list popping up as you enter the market are set in place. If group buying and location-based services become staple tools for the everyday person running errands, retailers can tap into a real-time database where sharing your location and what you buy becomes mainstream. If it becomes useful enough, people will adopt it, influencing long-term mainstream consumer behavior.