Google Offers’ public beta signup phase launched Thursday, while the service itself will start in Portland, Oregon, said Google, and expands through time in East Bay, Manhattan and San Francisco.
During signup, Google Offers asks people from other places to register with an email address and zip code, and assures up to 50 percent discounts to shoppers and targeted customers to businesses.
This latest move is Google’s answer after Groupon snubbed its US$6 billion offer in December, and so the search giant announced Google Offers in January.
Adding difficulty is the multitude of other companies inside the local-deal arena, and looking at the trade site Daily Deal Media shows how stiff competition is in this industry.
Curiously, Google Places tested its near field communications (NFC) program in various cities, including Portland, providing NFC chips to businesses for interacting with NFC-supported devices belonging to shoppers who want to make purchases or make deals through the wave of their own smartphone.
Crowded as the daily deal industry is, Google still has the largest user base, and may be able to pull it off with some tricks involved.