In late 2011, Google acquired Zave Networks, a company that specialized in digitizing coupons and loyalty rewards programs and today, it is launching its first Google-branded product based on this acquisition: Zavers by Google. Zavers, Google writes, is “a digital coupon solution that enables retailers and manufacturers to reward loyal customers with coupons that are relevant to them — increasing basket size and redemption rates.”
It’s worth noting that Google never shut down the original Zave Networks service, so today’s launch really just brings Zavers fully under the Google umbrella. Just this month, Zavers added New York’s D’Agostino to its partner network and when the company acquired Incentive Targeting last November, most pundits assumed it did so to work on Google Wallet, but the team actually joined the Zavers by Google group. Other Zavers partners include A&P, The Food Emporium, Price Chopper, Superfresh and Pathmark. The service is only available in the U.S. for now.
With Zavers, Google says, retailers and manufacturers can get real-time data about coupon redemption and other analytics that can help them “manage distribution, tailor campaigns, and optimize budgets for maximum ROI.” Google notes that this service can help retailers “target the right coupons to the right customers” and increase the transaction speed at the register. Zavers, Google says, can also help manufacturers prevent fraud and its “powerful targeting tools” based on “customer preference and shopping habits” can help them ensure that their coupons reach the right audience.
Users can find Zavers discounts on retailers websites and then save them to their accounts. When they check out, coupon redemption happens in real time and savings are automatically deducted without the need to scan coupons (and hold up the line), though users need to link the account to their rewards cards or phone numbers.
A service like this also gives Google a stronger foothold in the retail world and could help it to expand services like Google Wallet in the long run. Google Wallet users can already instantly redeem their Zavers coupons at checkout, for example.
Zavers, founded in 2006, is based in Kansas City, Kans. The company’s goal is to transform the experience of developing, using and measuring incentives for the manufacturers who create them, the retailers who redeem them, consumers who use them and for partners who want to expand the use of incentives beyond the limitations of traditional delivery vehicles.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...