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The New Trend of “Crowd Purchasing” in Ecommerce

Emerging coupon websites like Groupon are exploding due to their “crowd purchasing” programs that allow groups of Internet users to purchase products and services from local retailers. For online sites store selling items in bulk at discount prices, this idea makes perfect sense. Groupon is profitable in the fact that there is indeed power in numbers as it boils down to setting prices that are acceptable to all parties.

Around the holidays, shoppers would be more inclined to purchase additional gifts given a discount for multiple buys. This is the entire premise behind crowd purchasing. Most Internet shoppers are using this technique to save on shipping costs. Therefore, online retailers looking to increase amounts of each order and sell more products should consider offering a bulk-purchase savings when a shopper buys more than one SKU.

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These types of deals are slowly appearing in the marketplace. Advertisers use the following call-to-action phrases to entice customers to purchase more:

  • “Buy more and save”
  • “Get 2 for just XX more”
  • “Spend XX amount of dollars and receive this”

As you may notice, the words “bulk,” “volume,” and “discount” are rarely used. For example, one advertiser used the phrase “Mix & Match to Save Big” instead of “Volume Discount.” The first variant is much more appealing than the boring second version.

Also, when advertising savings, there are three ways to present the product. First, “two percent cash back” on a credit card is much more appealing than “saving 2 percent” when purchasing an additional item. This is known as the percentage discount. The second type is the savings amount such as, “Save XX amount when you spend $10 or more.” Finally, the amount paid is most appealing. For instance, “get another for just $2.79.”

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Discounting products based on quantity involves some amount of strategy. Once the numbers have been calculated, this needs to be advertised on ecommerce site pages in a way that customers will understand without impeding on single-item shopping. The ultimate goal is to offer alternative products to those wishing to purchase more thus giving them less of a reason to visit comparison shopping sites.

There are many tricks of the trade that have developed over several years of retail sales which can also be applied to online merchandise. With new crowd purchasing and “step-up” type programs where shoppers get more for spending a little more, this is revolutionizing the way we do business.

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