Group buying (redux)

dug // 11 April 2011

I know it’s a little embarrassing, but what’s the point of having ideas if they have to stay locked up in a drawer…

Here’s a group buying concept I produced back in 2008. The big idea was to build a platform that supported traditional (crowd-sourced and user organised) buying clubs with the buying power of the large corporation.

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In this example, Vodafone buys prints, paper, copiers etc and exposes the purchasing via web services. Members are invited to create or join the buying clubs and as all work together, everyone gets a better deal.

It’s worth noting at this point that the original concept was all about positive outcomes for all market participants. This is very much NOT about screwing a small retailer or attacking a big one. The idea is for the system to balance the needs and values of all participants, because of this, transparency is a prerequisite to effectively deploying the service.

This is a different model to Groupon and one I still think addresses some the scalability issues of traditional group buying systems while giving the successful network creator a competitive edge.

Anyone can make a Groupon competitor, but it’s a lot harder to tie customer and company bidding and buying together. For the company that gets this right I think this could be a great addition to the competitive toolkit.

(I’ve removed the soundtrack as it had some great copyright music which I can’t afford to publish on the open web but the idea is fairly self-explanatory)