Group Buying: A Hot Trend That’s Here to Stay 4

Over the past 1-2 years group buying has absolutely taken off. While Groupon started the mainstream trend, many other companies such as LivingSocial and BuyWithMe, have sprung up across the country and in specific regions and/or cities.

While a decade ago group buying was often limited to farm stands and fresh produce, these sites have the potential to change consumer behavior and is a major win for individually owned businesses – which now have an easy avenue to attract hundreds or thousands of new customers. Depending on what restaurants offer deals, people going out for dinner will modify their plans to obtain a 50 percent discount on their meals – especially considering some very nice restaurants are participating in group buying. The same goes with other types of businesses.

For consumers, group buying is an avenue to try some place new for half the price (most of the time). Or, if it’s a personal favorite, they can get a discount next time they are at the store.

Just recently the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston offered $6 for admission (down from $12) on Groupon. Over 9,000 people purchased this deal, which brought in nearly $55,000 dollars within a couple days. Then there are activities people wouldn’t usually try, but major savings pushed them over the edge. Example number one: a recent Groupon deal for skydiving ($149 down from $235) netted $357,000.

These sites have also been very careful to add in social elements so that buyers can broadcast their purchases on Facebook and Twitter, to share the deal with friends and colleagues. Furthermore, sites offer referral bonuses, so that people are enticed to bring in new group members.

These group buying often consist of meals, spa treatments, hotel packages, golf outings, museum tickets, and more, and as group buying continues to make its way mainstream, Groupon and other group buying companies will be forces to provide more specific regional offers. For example, Boston offers will soon need to be divided between downtown Boston, the north shore, south shore, Metro West, and Worcester area.  This is because the audience for these offers is growing, and demands (both from consumers and businesses) will become even more specified and group buying evolves.

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4 thoughts on “Group Buying: A Hot Trend That’s Here to Stay

  • Bill

    Most group buying sites follow very similar business models. But they don’t offer the things I need most.

    There is a website that allows buyers to create their own deals and form their own buying groups. As the buying groups grow larger, they naturally attracts sellers. Buyers don’t have to wait for sellers to offer deals.

  • Mike

    With the way the recession is, I believe group buying is the way to go! Just like everything else change is needed and this is exactly what we need in todays society. We have always had the concept but took it to a whole new level with going online, and its becoming an epidemic. Personally one of my favorite sites is its a newer site that you can reap benefits from, so it has all the potential to help everyone involved!