The search giant today launched an app called Inbox that could force retailers to change their e-mail marketing strategies.
Consumers can save offers they find online to redeem in stores at a later date.
Store retailers will soon be able to help bridge the divide between the web and stores through a new functionality Google Inc. is adding to its fledgling mobile payment tool, Google Wallet. A “save to wallet” feature will let Google Wallet users save offers they find online to their wallets and redeem them when they visit stores. Depending on how store checkout is set up, the Google Wallet user can redeem the offer by either showing or scanning the discount on her smartphone screen at the point of sale, or by tapping the phone at a Near Field Communication terminal at checkout. NFC is a wireless technology that enables two-way communication between devices.
A sample offer displayed on Google’s web site for developers features a quick-response code—a two-dimensional bar code that typically appears as a black-and-white square—that a consumer can scan with his smartphone camera to link to a $2 off offer at a sandwich shop. He can then save that offer in his Google Wallet. Saving the offer also generates an e-mail with instructions on how to redeem it. The offer is stored in his Google Wallet app and he will receive a reminder before the offer expires, Google says.
Google Wallet’s tap-to-pay feature is available only on five NFC-enabled mobile phone models, but Google says offers can also be redeemed through the Google Wallet app from phones that don’t have NFC capabilities.