Strategic partnerships are the key to growth within the hyperlocal deal industry, explained Nitin Mangtani, product chief at Google Offers, on the first day of the Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco. “I’m a big believer that when you bring the ecosystem together, you create something that is very beautiful,” Mangtani said.
One way that Mangtani and his team at Google have begun to streamline the merchant acquisition process is by introducing Google Offers Marketplace, which allows companies in the deal space to partner with Google for offer distribution. “We can work together to complement each other’s skills,” explained Mangtani. Google Offers Marketplace is currently working with more than 30 partners, including popular deal companies like Gilt City and Zozi, to bring more offers to consumers and drive business to local companies. “We rely on our partners to build relationships with merchants and to be able to source these offers.”
Offers run through the Google Offers Marketplace look like traditional Google Offers, and consumers can purchase these deals just as they would any other offer from a Google property. “On mobile, it’s exactly the same experience,” Mangtani said. While discounting and promotions are key for businesses running limited-time offers, Mangtani says the percentage-off that a business offers doesn’t fully determine how well a promotion will do. “When I look at which offers perform well, it’s not the offers where the discount is the highest. It’s the offers where the merchant was the best,” Mangtani said.
Looking forward, Mangtani said that Google is continuing to focus on helping consumers connect with local businesses seamlessly. Mobile and social are at tipping points, both driving local commerce in ways that were virtually unimaginable one decade ago. “Even though the majority of commerce happens in store or locally, the research starts online,” Mangtani said. “People are using their mobile devices or other avenues to research the businesses near them.”
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.