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Google Introduces Mobile Coupons

How bout that timing. Just 4 days before the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, Google announces it will be extending its coupon offering to mobile. See PR:http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/11/get-mobile-coupons-through-local-search.html. Probably a little too late for most businesses to hear about it and more importantly, act on it for BF, but a great gesture anyhow. In today’s economy, coupons have become more important than ever to consumers. SMBs have found it a great tool to encourage cost conscious customers to try their product or service.

There are a few key players trying to make mobile couponing takeoff, but the challenge was that they never had the relationship with a large number of businesses and (more importantly), exposure to a large number of consumers and search activity. Obviously Google fits this requirement well. They are a little behind the features that competitors have (better storage and accessibility options, but those will certainly come with a little work. They’ve been in the online coupon business for years, but only recently have they started their push to get businesses actively using Google Maps to claim and update their listings. Rumors are that around 10% of businesses have done so. Obviously, mobile coupons only really apply to services that people really need and want while on the go (Restaurants, Shopping, Bars, Movie Theaters) not the traditional online searches such as Dentists, Doctors, Plumbers, Carpet Cleaners. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to extend those businesses coupons to mobile, I wouldn’t expect much to come of it from a mobile interface.

To get started, you must first claim your listing at the Local Business Center (Google.com/LocalBusinessCenter) and when setting up your coupon, extend it to mobile. NOTE: If you already have an active coupon and want it accessible via mobile, then you must login and update your coupon. Get it done just in time to reach those holiday shoppers!

Categories: Mobile
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