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Expert group buying tips for business

With group buying becoming a phenomenon across Australia, OurDeal has six simple tips for businesses to make the most of the opportunities it presents.

According to OurDeal CEO Julian Holman, group buying should be seen as another rich resource in a business owners toolkit, “which, if used properly, can be an integral part of a company’s sustainable marketing strategy.”

“At OurDeal we work closely with merchants to create deals that not only people want but also deliver real value to the business.  Relevancy, timing and planning are crucial to the success and execution of a deal and this is an approach we believe in and work with,” Holman added.

With this in mind, OurDeal has the following tips for creating deals that are eye-catching and deliver long-term business value.

1.  Do the basics right
Managed correctly, group buying creates opportunities for companies to bring in new customers and build future relationships but it’s vital you don’t forget the basics.  First impressions count and you must take steps to ensure you have the capacity to handle the influx of customers and that your staff are suitably briefed to manage the extra demand in a fashion reflective of your brand character and reputation.

2.  Ensure the deal matches your brand
Just as we are all different as individuals, each business has different brand values. This is why it is important to work with a group buying site that understands the nature of your brand and what makes your business tick. Do your research, be prepared and ask questions; how do they talk about themselves? Do they have a good reputation with merchants? Which other brands will you sit alongside? Consider which brands they are working with and whether they will lend any credibility to you business.

3.  Consider your wider marketing
In the same way a marketing plan supports wider business plans, take the time to ensure the deal you offer helps you grow your business. Group buying is not a flash in the pan and should be seen as a longer-term marketing tool to drive customer acquisition and sales. It could be used as a regular way to advertise your company’s services online and drive footfall into your business as an alternative to traditional advertising methods.

4.  The importance of customer service
Increased attention on your business means customer service is under the spotlight. This means it is more important than ever to ensure you provide excellent customer service. Do you have enough staff? How will you manage the extra demand without sacrificing customer service?

5.  Your brand is important – ensure you protect it
It seems obvious, but before you consider group buying, you should make sure it supports your business objectives. Make sure you are prepared for the changes that new customers bring. For example if you own a tennis club, a deal may bring an influx of amateurs to your court so think about how you can cater for these new customers. Maybe you could offer lessons, provide a dedicated space to play in or allocate times. There are often solutions, but planning is essential in order to balance the equation between new customer needs and existing customer expectations.

6. Make the most of opportunities that arise

Introducing you to new customers will also open up a wealth of opportunities for your business that did not exist before. Your new tennis club might now have new players, but maybe they need to purchase equipment to play? Do you have this available? Is it tailored to your new customer’s needs, when they need it? Can you drive a loyalty scheme that brings people back?

What do you think?

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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