The phenomenon known as â€˜group buyingâ€™ is not all that new, but is quickly gaining popularity – not only among deal-hungry consumers, but among businesses looking for a lot of instantaneous exposure.
For those of you who havenâ€™t heard, group buying is a deal between companies and a group of consumers. Â The company cuts the consumers a really good deal, in exchange for:
- the sheer volume of business from the group of consumers
- the exposure, both through the consumers themselves and the word-of-mouth buzz if the experience was good
The method for setting up such a deal is through a broker of the service itself. Â These companies operate by signing companies up to offer a deal to their subscribers, and then taking a cut of the deal to make a profit. Â Enter the core of the group buying phenomenon: the group buying website.
Group buying websites (such as Groupon, featured in my post earlier this week) were started in big, social media savvy cities with a city-wide scope. Â Since then, they have spread to nearly every urban centre in North America and Europe.Â Not only that, the trend shows no sign of slowing down or becoming yesterday’s fad.Â In fact, the coupon conoisseur has a range of options, with many cities represented by multiple deal-brokering group buying websites.
Here are a few players in what has become a very saturated market.Â Deal lovers should have more than their fill of discounts after signing up for a few of these services:
- Citydeal (operated in Europe; subsequently bought out by Groupon)
The group buying concept has proven to be so popular with consumers that there is even a website where you can sell your unused coupons – CoupRecoup.com claims to be the Craigslist of Groupons, so consumers can buy coupons that are sold out, or that they didn’tÂ purchase before the deadline.
Group buying sites are here to stay – particularly with the young, newly-affluent professional urban crowd.Â Part of the success of the concept is the willingness of businesses to offer deals in exchange for large-scale exposure.Â Knowing that the population segments they are going to reach are actively looking for interesting venues, these businesses offer great deals that they hope will generate regular customers, as well as a lot of word-of-mouth advertising.Â Young urbanites in turn love the selection of hip, new places to choose from, and purchase coupons.Â As more and more of this demographic continues to sign up, the draw for young or little-known businesses becomes even greater, and selling a coupon becomes a more integral part of their advertising strategy – and so on, and so forth.
In short, if you’re a city-dweller looking for fun – look no further than group-bought coupons; if you’re a small business owner looking for cheap exposure, group coupons should be part of your marketing strategy.