Buying Groups

Key Features for Group Buying Platforms in 2024

Updated   |  5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Buying as a group provides members more purchasing power and therefore better deals from the vendor or from local deals.
  • To form a group buying platform, you'll need to determine what roles buying groups and vendors will have and what will make up those roles.
  • It's essential that users can easily identify how to participate in a group and the benefits they get from doing so.
  • To be successful with this type of business model, you'll need group buying software that can intelligently adapt to each user.
 
A group buying designated community leader purchases a minimum number of items.

What Is a Buying Group?

Essentially, the group buying business model (or purchasing group) is a defined group or set of people (whether defined by a role, organization, etc.) that receive some sort of benefit for purchasing goods from a supplier together. Generally, these benefits offer great deals in the form of heavily discounted products, services, or shipping.

Buying groups are especially helpful for small businesses or organizations. Buying in groups gives small organizations more buying power, much like a large enterprise has, when it comes to receiving discounted items from suppliers. One-on-one B2B relationships have their benefits, but they often don't offer the same deals, flash sales, and discounts as community group buying.

That's why a buying group eCommerce solution to let your clients or partners buy in groups can be one of the best ways to expand your business or marketplace. To begin our Buyers Group eCommerce Resource Guide, we'll go over the unique applications of these groups in eCommerce and what you'll need from group buying platforms.

Essentials for a Buying Group Platform

To efficiently leverage buying group capability for your eCommerce platform, it's crucial to have the right systems in place. To know what features you'll need to implement, you'll first need to decide on these key factors:

  • How you'll segment your user base and identify unique groups.
  • If you'll have specific groups for vendors, buyers, and organizations; and if so, what those will be.
  • Whether you'll create unique roles for vendors with high reviews; and if so, what those roles will be.
  • Upgrading your supply chain management to improve split shipping.

Once you establish these and start implementing the basics of your buying group eCommerce platform, you'll want to make sure that:

  • Group buying users can easily identify how they can participate in a the group.
  • There's a verification process for group buying users who want to engage with a group.

These are all crucial steps to being successful with your buyers group implementation. Now that you have the basics, we can dive into the additional features and benefits you'll want to consider.

How to Make Group Buying Sites More Engaging for Users

To increase user engagement on group platforms, you'll need to make sure that your group buying software can intelligently interact with your users and that you're providing information about the benefits of joining a buyers group or starting one for their organization.

Intelligently interacting with eCommerce groups or individual users on your buying platform means having tracking, machine learning, and analytics enabled on your group buying site.

Then, you can use these tools and their reports to understand buyer behavior and answer questions such as: Did this item only sell while it was on sale? Were the presented "Frequently Purchased With" products useful to them? Did they seem interested in the sponsored items?

Additionally, you'll want to consider your marketing activities, and how you're presenting your buyers group features to users. For example, do they know about buyers groups and tiered memberships available on your group buy platform? And are they incentivized to complete the procedures to gain access to those features and benefits?

If not, you may want to reconsider your marketing strategy—especially if it's a local marketing strategy. These are crucial factors to increasing engagement with your group platform and eCommerce groups. If people think it's not worth their time, they won't do it.

Pro Tip

You don't have to be an expert at buying group eCommerce to get started—that's what an experienced development team is for. We can answer your questions and help enhance your community group buying sites every step of the way.

Advanced Buying Group Features

With the numerous needs of your business, buyers, and sellers, there are some more advanced features to consider for your group buying marketplace, such as:

  • Access restriction for specific product listings based on user roles.
  • Intelligent displays of unique catalogs, wish lists, and more based on the group that's logged in.
  • A way for associated users to collaborate on group purchases and create their own supply chain.
  • Ways for users to engage with and join a group buying site or niche.

These features are important for advancing your buying group eCommerce platform. For example, intelligent displays of catalogs and product listings are important because organizations may have their own specific pricing and information that is available to them.

When planning out your buying group platform, it's best to think in terms of a 5–10-year plan, not just your immediate needs. That way, you can ensure that whatever architecture and infrastructure you put in place now can scale with your business and continue to be an asset in the future.

 

We Can Provide a Long-Term Solution

Our expert team of developers at Clarity has extensive experience developing community group buying platforms and solving problems for buying groups. We can help you forge a path of success with a buying group platform that's customizable to your needs.

Get started with a free discovery session, where we'll go over your business's needs and goals and what solution would be the best fit. You don't have to wait any longer to get the system you need—talk to an expert at Clarity today.

Consumers shop in their local communities instead of e-Commerce

FAQ

 

Group buying platforms are a type of eCommerce platform or marketplace where groups or group purchasing organizations buy in groups from vendors on the platform. For some group buying sites, a minimum number of buyers is needed to purchase goods at a reduced price. Users can also engage with and join groups that are open to receiving individual members on the site.

There often needs to be a verification process before they're allowed to join a buying site. Group platforms can also have membership tiers that groups can subscribe to for additional benefits.

 

A Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) is an entity that leverages collective buying power to secure discounts and favorable terms on goods and services for its members. This type of social commerce is often known as group buying>/i>

Typically, GPOs unite businesses, healthcare providers, or other organizations with similar procurement needs to achieve economies of scale with group buys, resulting in cost savings. By aggregating the purchasing volume of multiple members, GPOs negotiate bulk discounts with suppliers that sell products, leading to lower prices, improved terms, and often enhanced product or service quality.

This collaborative approach enables smaller entities to access competitive pricing and benefits traditionally available to larger enterprises. Group buying organizations can operate in various industries, including healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing, facilitating efficient and cost-effective procurement processes for their member organizations.

 

Group buying is what a buyers group or group purchasing organization (GPO) does; in other words, group buying means buying as a group to get discounted prices for goods. In order to purchase goods at the lower cost, they may need to purchase a minimum number of each item.

Typically, in B2B eCommerce, group buying is done by a group of businesses that are purchasing from another business. In B2C eCommerce, consumers get together to group buy from a business.

 

Buying groups consist of businesses in a particular industry that join together for mutual benefit through greater purchasing power. Basically any industry can follow the group buying model and many already have a group that relevant businesses can join.

For example, there are pharmacy buying groups, builders buying groups, merchant buying groups, retail buying groups, and so on. Whatever your industry, you can likely find a group buying site to join—or you can form one yourself for group purchases and find your own new customers. Talk to an expert at Clarity to learn how.

 

Industrial online group buying is a collective of businesses, typically within the same industry, that join together to leverage their combined purchasing power to obtain better prices and terms from suppliers. By pooling their procurement needs, the members of the group can negotiate bulk discounts, better payment terms, and more favorable delivery schedules than they could achieve individually.

Such groups are particularly useful for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may not have the volume of orders necessary to negotiate favorable terms on their own. Industrial buying groups help members reduce costs and improve competitiveness.

 

When a business use group buying, they become part of a group that negotiates deals with vendors. While they may purchase goods as one entity, each business or member of the group still operates independently of the group. In other words, yes, your business is still independent after you join a group.

Other group members don't become stakeholders (unless you negotiate a special deal); the buyers' group's only function is to allow each member to receive goods at a reduced price. What you do with those goods and how you run your business is up to you, despite being a part of the grouop buying collective.

 

The group buying model enables consumers to use the collective buying model for bulk purchasing, benefiting from discounts. These sites partner with vendors to secure lower prices based on volume. When a user selects a product, they can join or create a group. Once the group reaches a predetermined size, the deal is activated, and all members receive the product at a discounted price.

This model benefits consumers through savings, while vendors increase sales through volume. It’s a win-win approach that relies on collective purchasing power to unlock discounts that would not be available to individual buyers.

 

Yes, group buy platforms can significantly benefit local businesses and deliver economic benefits. By aggregating consumer demand, group buying sites work to create opportunities for small businesses to reach a wider audience and increase sales. They help businesses attract new customers and enhance brand visibility within the community.

Using group buying sites can lead to cost savings through bulk purchasing and lower prices, allowing businesses to offer discounted prices without compromising profitability. This fosters customer loyalty and encourages repeat business. It may also offer services for local sites to engage in local marketing.

Group buy platforms provide valuable data insights about consumer preferences, enabling businesses to tailor their offerings. Overall, these platforms empower local businesses to thrive in a competitive market while fostering a sense of community engagement with local communities.

 

Yes, group buying platforms can be integrated with a regular eCommerce website to enhance its functionality. Through integration, the eCommerce site can offer customers the option to adopt the group buying model for bulk discounts. This can be achieved using plugins, extensions, or custom development to add group buying features to the existing site.

Group buying platforms should be able to manage group creation, track members, and handle transactions when the required group size is reached. This hybrid approach combines traditional single-purchase eCommerce with the collective buying power of group purchasing, potentially increasing sales and customer engagement.

 

There are many types of businesses that are interested in a group buying option. Group buying platforms are utilized by a diverse range of individuals seeking cost-effective purchasing options and a sense of community engagement. By utilizing group buying software, these platforms attract price-conscious consumers who are eager to obtain discounts through bulk purchases, pooling their buying power with others. Bargain hunters, including students and frugal households, frequent these platforms to access deals on products and services that might otherwise be financially out of reach.

Furthermore, small businesses and entrepreneurs employ group buying to secure wholesale rates on supplies, thus optimizing their operational expenses. Event organizers use these platforms to coordinate group bookings for activities, accommodations, and tickets, ensuring better affordability for attendees. Also, organizations—such as non-profits or corporate teams—leverage group buying sites to acquire resources in a budget-friendly manner.

The social commerce aspect of a group buying site also appeals to consumers looking for shared experiences, as seen with travel enthusiasts and hobbyist groups. Through collective purchasing, participants in group buying sites foster a sense of camaraderie and achieve mutual goals, whether that's obtaining a discount on a luxury item or supporting a local business through the group buying site.

In essence, group buying platforms serve as a hub for a broad spectrum of individuals united by their desire for economical transactions and communal interactions.

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Author
 
Autumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures who stays up to date on the latest trends in eCommerce, software development, and related topics to provide readers with the latest and greatest. She strives to help people like you realize the full potential for their eCommerce business.