Google on Friday introduced Zavers, a service that lets retailers and manufacturers reward their customers with relevant coupons. Zavers by Google coupons are applied to purchases without the need to show and scan paper or digital coupons; redemption occurs “in real time.”
This is possible as Google is betting Zavers users will find manufacturer discounts on their favorite retailer websites and then save the digital coupons to their accounts. If they stay logged in, they can then just shop for those products and check out as usual, and the savings will be automatically deducted at checkout when shoppers provide their rewards cards or phone numbers.
This means no scanning or sorting is required when you browse online. What about in-person shopping? Well, Google has naturally integrated Zavers with Google Wallet, so you won’t have to look for your coupon when you’re in store either: just tap your phone at checkout. It looks like that will be the only way to use Zavers in person though; Google is largely focusing on online shoppers, though that will likely change if Google Wallet starts to catch on.
That’s the consumer side. As you may expect in today’s day and age of coupon frenzy, manufacturers only pay when a product is moved off the shelf. The actual unique business pitch from Google is this: “So dog owners don’t get cat food coupons and parents of teenagers don’t get diaper coupons.”
That’s the “relevant coupons” part, but what about the real-time data? Google says Zavers lets manufacturers measure coupon redemptions by analyzing consumer preferences “so they can manage distribution, tailor campaigns, and optimize budgets for maximum ROI.” Zavers also offers access to “an extensive network of manufacturer coupons,” but Google didn’t provide any figures to show the size.
If you’re surprised by the name, don’t worry: we are too. Zavers comes from Google’s September 2011 acquisition of Zave Networks, which specialized in digitizing coupons and loyalty rewards programs. It’s odd that Google didn’t rebrand the product, but then again, the company may still do so if the service outlasts the crazy coupon circus.
Image credit: Robert Linder