Google announced this morning that businesses will be able to add coupons to their listings on Google Local for free. The service is available for businesses in US, UK, Canada, China and Japan. Businesses can enter coupon offerings, expiration dates and participating locations through the Google Local site and Google will send them a confirmation and PIN number by snail mail. The system is being seeded with coupons from direct marketing company Valpak.
Apparently users will print the coupons on paper. It would be nice if there was a mobile tie in like Cellfire offers. The primary problem with Cellfire is the relatively limited coupons available, presumably this won’t be an issue with Google.
An Adsense tie in appears to be the next move on the way, with ads being sold that point to coupons. All of these are very logical ways for Google to leverage Google Local, almost predictable. I guess when you’re the market leader you don’t have to make what you do too exciting, it just has to keep on working. I know I use Google Local all the time, so this I don’t mean to sound like I don’t welcome this. It will be interesting to see if Yahoo or Ask follow suit and feel any imperative to do something really interesting.