While it’s obvious Google is interested in buying Groupon for its extensive database of users and local buying data around the world, there are a few other ways Google could put Groupon to work in the future. The real question is which of the two ‘L’ words Google will use Groupon for; local or location? We believe that if Groupon is acquired for the reported 6 Billion that Google has plans in both spaces to utilize their new tool, and here is what that may look like;
What Google Could Do With ‘Local’ – By local, we mean local advertising. Groupon is a huge data bank of local buying habits as well as millions of specific users and their past buying habits. Spending in the online local advertising space is continuing to grow every year, with an anticipated 18% increase in 2011, meaning Groupon’s data could give Google a strong edge over much of the competition. Google would be able to create more targeted ad campaigns for particular cities and regions throughout the world.
What Google Could Do With ‘Location’ – It’s a no-brainer that Google will be entering the LBS (Location Based Service) game at some point in the near future. With the dominance in mobile mapping (Google Maps), it makes sense that Google is hard at work developing some kind of service to compete with the likes of Facebook Places, Foursquare and the many other services popping up. The acquisition of Groupon may be a major step in creating this service, with the Groupon platform as a major part of the reward system.
Groupon integration into a LBS could take a few forms:
1) On days that there is a Groupon at a store, a checkin could get you an extra discount on the purchase
2) Checkins at certain stores give you points, and once a certain amount is reached a Groupon can be purchased (basically a half-off offer)
3) Alert users who have checked in at venues with a Groupon of the deal through the LBS
These are just a few theories of how Groupon could be used within the Google ecosystem. Post below any more ideas or insight you may have into the matter!