Ok, I have a confession to make.
I’m a bit of a shopaholic.
Then again, what girl isn’t?
As of recent, I’ve been hiding my shopping sprees from my partner via online retailing (God sent!), and recently, I’d come across this website called Scoopon.com, where they feature deals from different service industries, e.g. haircuts, personal training classes etc.
It was there that I found a deal that was too hard to miss – 70% an hour’s worth of facial and massages (Yeah, so I like to be pampered once in a while….).
Intrigued (but sceptical), I checked out what this website was about. It follows a concept called internet ‘group buying,’ a very intriguing way of ecommerce.
How it works is that when there is a daily deal, members are alerted of the offer. If they’re interested, they click the agreement to buy, BUT they will only get the deal (and pay for it) if the required minimum number of people is reached. For example, the massage and facial offer needed a minimum of 30 people to buy it before I could get the deal, otherwise I would miss out. So what do I do? Tell all my family and friends of course, so then I would get the bargain!
So my friends and I signed up (still sceptical), and before we know it about 50 other people around Melbourne had clicked on the deal also, and within 2 minutes our voucher and invoice was sent to our emails! The vouchers last for a year and there are varieties of different deals a day, from pedicures to life drawing classes. The last deal which featured a 59% discount at an all you can eat restaurant, had over 4000 clicks! That’s an extra 4000+ customers that the restaurant will be serving within the next year! Well known companies such as Bridgestone auto services and Contour gyms have used these mediums as a way to reach out to new customers.
This internet group buying concept started off in the US, where Andrew Mason decided to take advantage of the bargain hunting hype on the internet, and hence formed ‘Groupon.com’ After just 17 months, Groupon.com is now valued at US $1.5billion. Pretty impressive huh?
These deals usually end within 24 hours, so it encourages people to use the most convenient and viral way to spread the word quicker – Facebook, Twitter and email – the perfect way for today’s obsession with social networking. Not only that, but most of these group buying sites reward you when joining their social networking sites, such as further discounts on future deals.
Most of these sites popularity are primarily due to social networking. JumpOnIt.com has 450,000 followers on Facebook since April this year.
These websites are like advertising. Whether or not a single person buys a deal from a certain company, the company is still getting featured in a newsletter that is sent to thousands of people – at a much cheaper rate than other forms of communications. These sites only feature one deal per day, allowing them to concentrate all marketing resources towards distributing the one deal for that company.
Companies themselves have been doing discount deals for centuries, from in store promotions to snail mail coupons, but this is a different way of getting people through the door. It reaches a much wider customer base and is viral – the likelihood that people will spread the word of a good bargain on the internet is much higher.
Furthermore, it will give companies the chance to sell themselves to customers who use the coupons to try the service for the first time, with the potential to gain regular business from them.
So for those who love a great bargain, I’d suggest that you try these sites!!
Article Sources: (In sequence)
Scoopon, 2010, Melbourne, viewed: 12 September 2010
Boehart, K, 2010 ‘A deal on a haircut? That’s what friends are for,’ the Mossberg Solution, Wall street Journal, 23 March, viewed: 12 September 2010
Scoopon, 2010, ‘Bisq bar and grill all you can eat’, Melbourne, viewed: 12 September 2010
Coburn, L, 2010, ‘Groupon Ceo Andrew Mason talks growth, clones and why Groupon isn’t a coupon site,’ TNW Location, 24 March, Viewed: 13 September
Steiner, C, 2010, ‘Meet the fastest growing company ever,’ Forbes Magazine, 30 August, viewed: 13 September
JumpOnIt, 2010, Melbourne, viewed: 12 September 2010
Spreets, 2010, Melbourne, viewed: 12 September 2010
Rolfe, J, 2010, ‘Discount coupon websites offer savings over sixty per cent on items,’ The daily telegraph, 30 August, viewed: 12 September