If you haven’t noticed by now, the Group Buying industry is continuing to heat up – and with the local city focus and websites with less-than-premium domain names ringing up business, it’s an online industry that offers cheap entry to the smaller companies and individuals trying to get a piece of the pie.
I’m not here to tell you it’s easy to build or maintain a website, or even cheap, but for some evidence of the claim that the online group-buying business can attract the startup masses, see some of these recent and past highlights.
Group Buying Startups using Hand-registered domains – and being successful
For startups on a budget, the availability of category-killing domain names isn’t plentiful, so companies are turning to hand-registering domain names for their online businesses. It’s alot easier to not get swept up in having-to-own a premium .com, especially when competition in the Group Buying industry is still relatively small.
The number of group buying sites offering local deals as of June, was about 80 websites. Kevin Ham, who owns some of the best domain names in the world, even launched his own group buying startup using GoodNews.com. Now, take a look at the names other companies are using to enter the market with:
CrowdSavings.com registered in July 2009 recently hit 12,000 visitors per month.
There are plenty of group buying websites who plucked their hand registered domain names in the past year, here are just a few.
LocalGroupDeals.com was registered in october 2009.
GetGrouby.com was created in March 2010.
Youvegottagetit.com registered in April 2009.
WordPress Developers busy developing Group Buying Themes and Plug-ins?
Surprisingly, there still doesn’t appear to be any WordPress themes available yet to help webmasters launch their own group buying websites quickly. But plans are in the works, with people already posting projects online to have developers build plug ins and more that mimic sites like LivingSocial.
I found this project, posted on FreeLancer.com:
As most of you know the “Group Buy” craze has caught on like wildfire. Along with the craze comes countless clones of both groupon and livingsocial. Instead of trying to create our own site we want to help others buy providing “Group Buy Script” available for purchase.
Right now we are seeking a programmer who is well versed in WordPress. Ideally we would like for you to develop a WordPress plugin which is simple for someone to enable. The plugin should have all the features of a site like group and live social.
China Group Buying Sites Gaining Steam
An article that appeared in Information Week, quoted people, including one person who happens to be involved in the group buying business.
The manager of Chinese website Fenpier.com, Ye Fei, said that it costs around $737 a month to run one of the sites, with about two-fifths going toward renting a server and the rest to promote and run the Web site. Ye added that manpower requirements are low, especially in the early stages. “As far as I know, there are some group-buying sites that are being run by just one person,” Ye said.
The low entry barriers and relatively simple business model have led to a large number of competing sites. In China alone there are already more than 300. Small sites are able to thrive by focusing on one area. In large cities, successful sites usually have different offers for various neighborhoods.