announced today that, just in time for holiday shopping, they are enabling local retailers to display coupons for in-store use on mobile devices of Google-searching users.Google has
Any business using Google Local Business Center can upload mobile coupon offers, and any user searching on Google.com using a mobile device can find the coupons on the businesses' Place Pages - a feature that also debuted relatively recently. Altogether, the direction the company is taking seems better for users and for local businesses, as well.
Printable coupons have long been available on Google Maps, but - let's face it - more and more consumers have abandoned the desktop/printer paradigm for a more mobile/digital approach to search, on-the-go directions and local business research.
Product manager Alex Gawley wrote on the Google Mobile blog, "With more of you going mobile to search for this information, it makes sense for coupons to go mobile too... We hope you find these mobile coupons useful and that they help you save money, trees (fewer printed coupons), and your hands (from paper cuts) when you're on the go."
Place Pages for the desktop have also been revamped to ensure that mobile and printed coupons will share a common look and feel, regardless of the device, the OS or the browser in which they originated.
It will be interesting to hear and read post-holiday metrics and success (or "opportunity for improvement") stories about these new mobile coupons. While we certainly hope the setup will allow users to quickly and conveniently engage with the world around them - and we likewise hope local retailers can reach out to customers wherever they are - we wonder how quickly the coupons will take off and how much users will be inclined to use them.
Would you redeem a mobile coupon you found through Google search, and under what circumstances or conditions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.