Google Offers in South Africa – What to Expect

Many of you have possibly heard of Google Offers, a group buying division of Google, which, along with Facebook Deals, has had very little written about them after their the initial mention a few months back. The reason for this is mainly that Google Offers is still outside South Africa, and in fact only in a few cities in the US.
After a failed attempt to purchase Groupon (perhaps Groupon should have accepted this offer), Google went their own way and decided to tackle the daily deals arena themselves. After all, Google has massive reach and the ability to enter the market globally at lightning speed, faster than Groupon. Right?
Well, so one would think, and there are many reasons why they should, yet thus far they still haven’t. Why not? Some more about Google’s group buying service.
– Google has enormous reach worldwide, in both the number of people that visit its various sites and search engine, and in that it also has major clients who use it daily.
– There is a rumour of firms being able to construct their own deals online without Google having to do anything, and hence a lower commission percentage charged. So far, however, Google has hired sales people to bring in deals, and I haven’t seen this part yet
– Google Offers pays businesses part of their portion upfront (we hear 80%) and part after 60 or 90 days. This is regardless of how many coupons are redeemed. That is mighty fair, considering what is going on in South Africa. Read more about group buying payment schemes on this post too.
– Customers and merchants have the knowledge that this isn’t another group buying site about to go bust.
– Payment, support, etc should all work well (although who knows – the Google Offers team is rumoured to be under 30 people strong at the time of writing
– Google will eventually “distribute” deals to consumers through many other channels in addition to email, including search ads, display ads, Android phones, Google Wallet and “Places” pages.
Google Offers South Africa
– The service is new and only in a few cities in the US. Other group buying sites such as ( are already in a few continents and numerous countries.
– If it becomes self-service, adding your own deal not only takes time, but admin and also makes it possible for poor deals to enter the system, no matter what the constraints
One merchant canvassed by Google Offers understood that using them would increase search engine rankings, but it seems this is untrue and doesn’t bode by Google’s mantra at all.
In the beginning, if Google Offers is to become a big force in the deals space, Google is going to have to hire thousands of salespeople. According to Google’s Eric Rosenblum, the Google Offers top dog, Google intends to deal with the “salespeople problem” by making the Offers product as much of a self-serve solution as AdWords. As mentioned above, the company’s hope is that merchants will eventually do most of the work, and the company won’t need so many salespeople.
Why doesn’t Google just stick to getting the deals sold on other sites by charging for PPC campaigns? Perhaps a Google group buying aggregator site like AllDeals or Yadda would bring in only slightly less revenue for a lesser investment? Is Google just barking up yet another tree here?