Group Buying is about to get a whole lot harder

We are about to see the genesis of Social Commerce. Underpinned by the familiar elements of Group Buying but driven by technology that will improve the relevance of offers to each individual and enhance sharing and reinforcement from the member’s own social circle.

Right now the barriers to entry are low for Group Buying, at Cudo we spent only $100k to get our Group Buying platform up and running, peanuts considering the opportunity available at the time. We have since spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars evolving the platform to become more intelligent, capable of optimising the offers presented to each member and we will continue to invest until we have a true Social Commerce engine.

A consequence of Cudo investing so heavily to evolve the experience  is the growing expectation of Group Buy-savvy consumers who are already weary of poorly matched offers landing in their inbox each day. We are seeing the beginnings of consolidation in the market, something I speculated on back in July.

But rather than that consolidation immediately resulting in a reduction in the number of competitors, we are seeing quasi “personal” Group Buying businesses emerge with niche vertical offerings and hyper local positioning instead. If successful they will steadily invest in the technology required to expand and compete, or become acquisition targets for the struggling mid tier clones instead.

Either way, there is a technology arms race ahead out of which Members and Merchants are set to gain!

I still think it will be fascinating to watch!


Cudo hits $1M in Revenue in 48 hours with Outrigger Resort offer

Cudo set another new benchmark for the competitive group buying category today when exactly six months after launching it announced achieving $1 Million revenue in just 48 hours with an accommodation offer for the Outrigger Koh Samui Resort in Thailand.

The Outrigger deal went on to make $1.5M in sales overall, making it the highest grossing group buying deal in Australia to date. The high value deal offered consumers five nights at the new Outrigger Koh Samui Resort for $792, 74% less than the regular price of $3,000.

The Outrigger resort opened its doors on 1st February 2010 and ran the Cudo deal as a way to build recognition and demand quickly –through its above the line advertising across the Channel Nine network, ninemsn and its extensive member base. Cudo’s unique marketing offering has proven a huge success for the resort, with more than 10,000 room nights sold in less than four days – with no cash marketing outlay required.

Commenting on the success of their partnership with Cudo, Pieter van der Hoeven, Director of Sales & Marketing – Asia Pacific for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts said: “ has delivered spectacular results for the Outrigger Koh Samui Resort and Spa, which only opened on February 1. The results from the short-term Cudo campaign have
dramatically exceeded Outrigger’s expectations.”

“The benefits to the property will be long-term, especially when our Australian guests return home and tell their family and friends about the services and facilities at the resort and the many attractions of Koh Samui.”

This is a record single-deal revenue for Cudo, Australia’s number one group buying site, which attracted more than 900,000 unique visitors in January. However, Cudo CEO Billy Tucker says this is a mark of things to come as the category’s value and breadth continues to increase.

Billy Tucker said, “While group buying deals have traditionally sat at a lower price point, the success of this offer confirms that if there’s a good saving to made, regardless of cost, the Cudo audience will buy it”

“This offer demonstrates that our members are very savvy indeed and more than willing to spend in the $1,000 range on an amazing offer. This was re-enforced when we sold almost 700 Silky Oaks Lodge offers at $969. Cudo brought accommodation to the Group Buying category and has continued to excel with great offers on these high end escapes. Previous outstanding Cudo deals include Voyages, Kingfisher Bay and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Cudo offers a huge opportunity for premium businesses wanting to attract new clientele.”

“Cudo attracts the very best partner businesses and as a result we have the best members. It’s a winning formula that enables us to provide a wide variety of offers which in turn keeps our member-base interested and growing. Aussies have come to expect more from Cudo and we continue to deliver it.”