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!