If you had signed up to receive more information on Google Offers and live in New York City, Oakland, or San Francisco, you should have noticed an email or two from them in the last day. The early beta in Oregon must be doing well, as there seems to be other cities ready to launch as well.
When you go inside the Offers page for location, the new locations are there, as well as the ones about to be added (Austin, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Washington, D.C.).
Google Offers work very similar to Groupon and the rest of the socially networked coupon sites. The discount appears to be 50 percent – though one of the three for NYC (the city is set up in three areas right now - Downtown, Uptown and Midtown) is 52 percent, where an offer of a dozen cupcakes normally $21 is being sold for $10.
The Offers clock runs down the validity time - a great touch to make the coupon seem fleeting and demand your immediate attention. There were three offers in New York and the one for potatoes from Pomme Frites was a clear winner, with nearly 900 sold by the time I saw the ad. Get $10 worth for $5 with a limit of one per person - the offer in Oakland allows for two purchases per person.
The coupon is visually pleasing, the fries tempting the impulse buy, as the clock speedily ticks down...
Guess there are a lot of Irish in NYC buying up the potatoes. The other two offers - one for chocolate and wine, the other for cupcakes - had just over a hundred and not yet 50, respectively.
There are still a couple of tweaks needed - the offer in the email has a redeem date of a year (see below) but the individual offer makes that redundant.
Good start by Google, which will surely be inundated with requests.
This adds to the power of the local listing. Interestingly, there is no tie-in to the Google Places page and Toni's Mini's even has a Groupon nod in a review listed from June 16 - "I really thank groupons for helping me discover this amazing cupcake shop! I live so close by as well, so I am happy it's in the neighborhood!"
If you aren't putting the Offer on the Places page, I would think references to competitors may not highlight this new service. But it's a good first day effort.