Google Re-Aims Zavers Coupon Program Beyond Groceries

Google Commerce last week introduced Zavers by Google, a coupon/transaction marketing management and loyalty rewards service that it purchased last November. Using Zavers, shoppers find offers on their websites and save them to their Zavers account. The offers are then automatically redeemed in real time when shoppers present their reward cards, mobile wallets or type-in their phone numbers.

The company is based in Kansas City and was founded in 2006. Under its original management, Zavers raised $4 Million and was aimed at providing targeted coupons for a number of grocery chains, including A&P, The Food Emporium, Price Chopper, Superfresh and Pathmar. D’Agostinos has now been added to this list.

Grocery relationships are potentially very important in the new transaction marketing space, given the volume of grocery offers. But grocery chains also represent the last frontier. They have been notably reluctant to upgrade their point of sales infrastructure to handle offers, track spending etc.

Under Google’s management, Zavers has been integrated with Incentive Targeting, a software platform that Google bought last year to help create behaviorally-targeted promotions. Zavers now appears to be more broadly aimed at retailers in general, as well as brands. In fact, it makes it debut this week at The National Retail Federation/Shop.org conference in New York.

The broader approach to retailers potentially puts Zavers on a collision path with transaction marketing companies oriented towards financial institutitions, such as Cardlytics, Cartera, Edo Interactive and MasterCard’s TruAxis – something that would have seemed far-fetched just last year.

It also is better positioned to complement Google Wallet, an ambitious Google Commerce undertaking that has had a slow start but continues to pursue a path to enable consumers to store and redeem coupons and deals, while managing bill pay and other spending.

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