Friday, May 21, 2010

Collective Buying - Web 2.0 style

Collective buying is not a new concept – People have been grouping together to make bulk purchases since the dawn of time. Increasing the purchase quantity allows buyers to bargain and negotiate for higher discounts and better prices.

The idea is that as more and more people group together to buy something, the lower it drives the per unit purchase price

The problem was finding enough people within your social circle that wanted to buy the same thing.

With the Internet and the advent of social media, that problem no longer exists. People who don’t know each other can now band together for a common goal: Buying something they want at the lowest possible price, at a discount quantum that they will never ever be able to get individually.

It’s a win-win situation: Customers get great discounts while merchants are guaranteed a minimum purchase quantity

The concept is simple – Showcase an item on a website with an amazing discount (think 50% and upwards) that only comes in force when a minimum number of purchases are made. Put in a countdown timer and the fun begins.

Anyone who comes to the site can make a purchase but they won’t be guaranteed of the offer until the minimum quantum is met before time runs out. If the offer is not activated, the customer’s credit card is simply not charged and another offer is displayed.

Dell started out mid last year with Dell Swarm ( in Singapore where 1 user starts by joining a swarm (for a specific featured product) to enjoy a price lower than’s best discounted price. As more and more users join the swarm to buy, the price reduces. The swarm closes after 72 hours or when 15 users have joined (which results in the lowest possible price for the product).

Then came along Groupon ( where the deals weren’t specific to any brand/product. However, these offers were only specific to users staying in cities in the U.S and Canada.

Then Chinese spawn follow suit. Suffice to say, the site looks almost exactly the same as Groupon

Now, it seems some enterprising individuals have seen a similar opportunity in Hong Kong and Singapore with similar sites starting up and more coming along:

Voucherwow ( started in Singapore recently

Voucherous ( – A Singapore site coming soon

Gigonzone ( – HK site that seems to be focusing on F&B – HK site coming soon

I’m sure there would be many other new sites coming out soon offering discounts across various verticals. What would be interesting though, would be to see how businesses would leverage on the social aspects of collective consumption and incorporate this within their online campaigns.

Posted via email from The Digital Marketer


Chloe Tsai said...

Dear The Digital Marketer,

This is Chloe from 享樂 As a social buying club, we are a new e-shopping platform working with quality merchants on exceptional offers (up to 90% off) for members. Unlike GoBuya and Gigonzone, we mainly focus on middle to upper class merchants for members who are quality consicous working professionals. We are launching very soon and I'd like to send you our press release, hopefully you will be one of the first to write about us :)

May I know your email address for easy communication?

Thank you so much. Hope to hear from you soon.

B. Rgds
Tel: 9375 8701

The Digital Marketer said...

Hi Chloe,

You can reach me at