Google adds coupons to Maps

Google has come up with a new way of adding value to its local maps services by allowing businesses to add printable coupons to the service which are redeemable by the customers when they buy a product.

The service could provide businesses with another way of attracting and retaining new customers by offering new promotions almost in real-time as well as making Google maps a more attractive local search service. This is the first time that one of the mapping engines has come up with such a service.

For example, the proverbial pizza parlour that comes up in a Google maps search of local businesses could offer a two for one discount on Pepperoni pizzas one week and a free cola the next.

Google says that the coupons are available through Google Maps at no charge to either businesses or consumers. Businesses simply need to log into the Local Business Center at Google Maps to enter in coupon information. In addition, businesses can easily add or update their local business listings on Google Maps from the Local Business Centre. Once coupon information is entered, the coupon is displayed on Google Maps within hours.

To kick off the service in the US, Google has partnered with direct marketing company Valpak, to provide coupons from current Valpak advertisers on Google Maps. The system is currently only available in the US.

Google UK says it has no comment to make on any plans to introduce the service in Britain.

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