Google Coupons see Large Decline in Major Markets Amongst SMB’s

There is the old marketing rule of thumb (written of course by marketers) that the time to grab market share is in a down market. The other marketing rule of the thumb is that coupon use goes up in down markets. According to a recent NY Times article In Lean Times, Online Coupons Are Catching On.

Neither adage could be proven by Google Coupon’s lack luster performance compared to last year. Compared to last March, Google Coupons use is down by 31%. Given that the ValPak numbers are roughly the same , one can surmise that self provisioning of coupons by SMB’s in the Local Business Center is the reason for the decline. Given Coupons low visibility and lack of value this is a rational response. Google Coupons is the greatest Google Local idea that has never received the exposure or positioning that they so desperately need. 

Total Coupons for search “City”
Nov. ’07
Total for “City
+ Valpak” Nov. ’07
Total Coupons for search “City”
Mar. ’08
Total for “City
+ Valpak” Mar. ’08
Total Coupons for search “City”
Jan. ’09
Total for “City
+ Valpak” Jan. ’09
New York City 536 410 631 268 527 332
San Francisco 580 200 605 162 463 149
Chicago. 519 165 694 139 325 81
Olean, NY 12 1 8 0 14 0
Totals 1647 776 1938 569 1329 562

On a related and somewhat ironic note Greg Sterling at Local Mobile noted that  Top Google Android Engineer Goes to Coupons Inc., where is hiring 40 new employees before the end of February.

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Google Coupons see Large Decline in Major Markets Amongst SMB's by

7 thoughts on “Google Coupons see Large Decline in Major Markets Amongst SMB’s”

  1. I agree – its surprising that Google doesn’t promote these better. I typically have my clients create the coupon there, capture a screen shot of it and post it on their website with a link to the printable coupon on the Google profile.

    Still this does not address the problem though.

  2. Don’s comments are very astute and a great idea. Meanwhile Google has simply dropped the ball on this topic. Its interesting how is growing in a terrible economy. What could be more revealing.

    I often do the grocery shopping for my household. Speak with the cashiers, its amazing how much more coupon usage there is than when the economy was stronger. Then I look at the local supermarket food ads. At least in this market the competitors are aggressively marketing that they double savings on coupons up to $1.00 a coupon. They clearly didn’t do that before.

    The coupon business is really taking off. Google has missed the boat to date.

  3. Its unfortunate that Google did not promote their Coupons program more, and that they are missing out on this large opportunity that clearly wont be here to stay. As soon as the market is back up, coupon use will go down, and Google will have lost its opportunity to really promote Google Coupons and gain market share in that industry. I think that most people that use coupons, really keep it local and are relying on the direct mailers that companies send out

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