Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Group buying ?????

What is group buying?
Group buying originated in the United States but has taken Australia by storm with a plethora of new group buying websites emerging. Group guying websites enable consumers to search for discounted products and services in their local area. The deal sites often vary in their concepts. Some sites require a certain number of participants for the deal to go through, while others reward customers based on how many others they persuade to participate. Qoop, for example, makes their deals cheaper when more customers purchase the deal. Ultimately, group-buying deal sites make a certain amount of money by charging businesses a commission, businesses are guaranteed a certain number of customers, and customers get deep discounts.

Pros of group buying
a)     Group buying sites have developed a large database of customers. Jump On It, for example, recorded 410,000 unique users in December, according to Nielsen. Such impressive figures guarantee your business exposure to great new customers and drive sales.
b)     In the first quarter of 2011, 6,000 deals were published across group buying sites in Australia. A large chunk of these will have been offered by businesses that wouldn’t normally be visible to such a large base of potential customers. As great as your website is, it’s unlikely that it has the breadth of a group buying site. Not only do you get a larger quantity of your target customer, you also expose your business to new markets that you normally overlook.
c)      Group buying sites can also help your business earn extra revenue. For example, if you offer cooking classes, it won’t cost you extra to have a few more people join in for a slightly reduced price.
d)     Group buying websites are the perfect tool for businesses to use if they want to get rid of excess stock. Rather than bear the cost and inconvenience of letting underused stock clutter up your business, group buying sites enable you to offer those products to the masses at a reduced price whilst reaping the rewards of increased awareness.

Cons of group buying
a)     Group buying sites make it difficult for businesses to build customer loyalty because many customers are in it just for the deal. Customers do not have any intention to come back or to purchase more than the coupon is worth so there is no added value for the business in the long run.
b)     For many businesses it becomes very difficult, once consumers get use to the habit of receiving a steep discount with any product and service, to offer items at regular price.
c)      The overuse of promotional deals puts companies on a downward spiral toward erosion of operating margins that eats into profits. Mom-and-pop shops, who dominate the group-buying scene already, have fairly small profit margins, so a broad shift downward in the perceived value of their products could cause many of them serious problems.
d)     Group buying sites can be costly for businesses. On average, group buying sites take a 30% revenue cut from each deal, making the margins impossibly slim for some start-ups.

In Australia, the top 10 group buying sites include:
  • Scoopon
  • Spreets
  • Cudo
  • Groupon
  • Jump on it
  • Living social
  • Qoop
  • Our deal
  • Ouffer
  • Deals I Love                                                                           

Monday, 8 August 2011

Photographs -A dying trend ?

Photographs are not only used to capture memories, they are evidence of how well our lives are going, how good we look, places we have been and people that are in our lives. However, with the advancement of technology, photo albums seem to be a thing of the past. Gone were the day’s people had to buy film to place in their cameras and go to the camera shop to get their negatives developed. More and more people are taking photographs on their smart phones and uploading it onto virtual photo albums, social media platforms such as Facebook and blogs and storing it onto their hard drives.   Photo albums have been replaced with digital photo albums, and photo frames displayed around the house are being replaced by modern day artwork.  

I remember when I was much younger, I used to love taking photographs with a Fujifilm camera that was really big and heavy. I even got a newspaper route just to get enough money to buy extra rolls of film.  I used to love the thrill and excitement of taking my film to the camera store to get them developed because you never really knew what your photo would look like. Once I got my photographs, I would either make a really nice collage, put my favourite one in a photo frame and display it in my room or make a scrap book and organise all my photo’s according to the occasion. I look at my kids now and they all have digital cameras. Don’t get me wrong I have one too and I do think that they are fantastic but I think the main problem is it has eliminated to experience around the photographs. Digital camera’s allow you to take millions of photos, you can delete the ones you aren’t happy with, but more than likely you will never develop those photos because you are either faced with the dilemma of which ones to develop or the fact that you can just view them whenever you want on your laptop or television. In reality how many of us have taken photo’s stored it and never looked back.

This weekend I was cleaning out the garage and I came across so many photographs that I never got around to sorting. It became a really fun family project. We went out to the store and got a couple of albums and together we sat around the dining table putting them into albums reminiscing about the good ole days and laughing are heads off. One of my daughters also discovered this group buying website called Qoop that is offering a fantastic deal on a 40 page hardcover photo book for only $29. My family and I each bought a book. It’s so simple. After we purchased the deal we sent Mini Box (the company that advertised the deal) 40 photos, picked a design for the cover of the photo album and they will deliver the photo album to your doorstep.   It is also the perfect gift to give to your friends, family or loved ones.  I highly recommend purchasing it if not I suggest you start developing photographs and personalising your home with them. Photo albums are also the perfect coffee table book !