Google tweaks Offers strategy, becomes deals aggregator

Until now, Google Offers had only featured special offers and coupons the company got by directly dealing with merchants

Google, which had until now sought coupons and special offers directly from merchants for its Offers service, will now also aggregate and market offerings from other online daily deal providers.

Google will continue to secure deals directly from merchants, but has decided it also needs to complement Offers with coupons from other deal brokers. The partners it has chosen focus on special areas, like outdoor products, so that overlap is minimized.

Now, Google Offers will have a bigger and more varied assortment of deals available to consumers, said Nitin Mangtani, group product manager of Google Offers.

Beyond aggregating deals from multiple brokers, Google Offers will also let consumers pay for those deals in its site and will also provide customer support assistance, he said.

"We're giving consumers a richer experience," he said in a phone interview.

Participating brokers pay Google a commission for deals the search company sells. These brokers can continue marketing their offers via their own websites, but expect to get additional exposure, distribution and sales from their Google partnership.

Deal broker partners include Dealfind, DoodleDeals, Gilt City, GolfNow, HomeRun, JuiceInTheCity, kgbdeals, Mamapedia, PlumDistrict, PopSugar Shop, ReachDeals, Active.com Schwaggle, TIPPR, and zozi.

However, the two biggest players in this market, Groupon and LivingSocial, aren't partnering with Google on this at this point.

Google is also adding a personalization "quiz" to Offers that consumers can fill out to have the service tailor the deals presented to them based on their preferences.

The expanded offers and personalization feature will be available first to Offers users in San Francisco and will be rolled out "soon" to the other 16 U.S. cities where the service is currently available.

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