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 (www.dellswarm.com) in Singapore where 1 user starts by joining a swarm (for a specific featured product) to enjoy a price lower than Dell.com’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 (www.groupon.com) 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 www.meituan.com 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 (www.voucherwow.com) started in Singapore recently
Voucherous (www.voucherous.com) – A Singapore site coming soon
Gigonzone (www.gigonzone.com) – HK site that seems to be focusing on F&B
www.gobuya.com – 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.