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ICT Competence: Intermediate

English Language Skills: Basic

Webshop Level: Well developed

Action type: Simple actions that can be implemented immediately, but require an investment

Invest in Group-Buying sites

Online group buying is a trend that appears in online marketing and takes advantages of social media influence.1 However, in order to be feasible, your online store should include useful products of high-quality that attract shoppers’ interest. Your site will allow the customers to form groups based on their interest and then suggest relevant products accompanied by a significant offer.2

Steps to Market with Group-Buying sites3

  1. Define your offer
    It is quite common for some business to promote offers that seem ideal, mostly because of the high discount. However, when customers express interest they may discover that the offer implies details that are not clearly defined at first, and this might be unpleasant. So, make sure that your offers are desirable and transparent.
  2. Find the Best Group Buying Website in your Area
    It is really important and indicative of your business to find the most suitable promotion website.
  3. Contact the Group Buying Website of your Choice
    Some sites will only ask you to complete a form, whilst others might even ask for a phone call to make sure that your business is appropriate for their website.

Want to learn how to feature your products on group-buying sites? Click here to read more!

Group-buying Strategies

Groupon, Living Social and Bloomspot are some of the most popular group-buying websites. Hence, the following table reveals influential strategies that are currently employed:4

WebsiteStrategiesKey notes
  • Expansion through hostile takeover
  • Reward program and vendor lock-in with over-one-year contract
  • Outbid everyone else on paid acquisition
  • Increase loyalty and involvement
Living Social
  • Providing a wide range of products
  • Launching high-end events
  • Target many segments
  • Differentiate itself with premium products
  • Cooperating with merchants
  • Loyalty points for every deal
  • Ensure profit for merchants
  • Earn points to purchase deals later


Positive and Negative Part of the Solution


Group shopping can help you make higher profits than the traditional marketing, or even improve your search engine marketing efforts.


The basic problem is that online group buying sites usually offer discounts to customers without knowing their interest on a particular product. Cookies must be placed.

Time required to implement a solution and when possible associated cost

It requires at least three days of research to find the website that is most suitable and two days for implementation.

Estimated Exploitation

Online group shopping is one mode of e-business, which can help you develop a customer base quickly to integrate off-line or other type of resources. This promotes your business, as well as gaining loyal customers as well.

Informative Text (Sources)

  1. Erdogmus, I.E. & Cicek, M. (2011), Online Group Buying: What Is There For The Consumers?, 7th International Strategic Management Conference, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, SciVerse ScienceDirect, pp. 308-316.
  2. Desai and G. R. Kulkarni (2014), Necessity of customer inputs for online group shopping using Support Vector Machines, Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Reliability, Infocom Technologies and Optimization, Noida, pp. 1-6.
  3. Retzepi, N. (2011), Group Buying Website Businesses: Model Analysis and Evaluation of Greek Cases, School of Science and Technology, International Hellenic University, retrieved from
  4. Dang, L. (2013), E-Commerce Strategies of Group Buying Websites, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, retrieved from

Additional Resources

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Group Buying Sites
  2. The future of Social Shopping
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of group buying?

Cross Border remark

It is claimed that there is an upward trend for social shopping. Especially, when combined with group shopping, businesses can get an astounding experience that can potentially appeal to millions of customers worldwide.