The Next Step in Group Buying: The Merchant’s Guide Launch


Group buying is an exciting channel for both businesses selling products and services, and consumers buying at a significant discount. In the past two years however, there has been an overcrowding in the market that has led many consumers with the feeling of being overwhelmed by emails and underwhelmed by deals.

The same thing, it seems, has happened to the group-buying industry as a whole. After the initial rush of both brands and consumers to jump onboard the group-buying bandwagon, the novelty has subsided and both parties are realising that they now have to put real measures in place to make this work.

In order to help businesses deliver a group buying experience that is positive for both consumers and the business, last week ADMA and AIMIA released the merchant’s guide to group buying, which “is another important step in improving standards in group buying that will ultimately benefit consumers”. Said ADMA’s CEO, Jodie Sangster.

The guide has been designed around specific considerations for businesses and marketers including how to:

  • Structure your product or service offering for a deal that fits well within your business capacity and sales and marketing strategy
  • Understand the terms of the merchant agreement with a group buying provider
  • Prepare for the redemption or fulfilment of the offer
  • Deal with customer complaints related to the offer


  • Tips for acquiring repeat business from group buying customers
  • Key legal issues and obligations to be aware of

The guide complements the Australian Group Buying Code of Conduct  which was released in November 2011.

Here is an overview of some top tips from the guide for marketers:

  • Be clear on your offer. Ensure best fit for your business, sales and marketing strategies
  • Only take on what you can handle!
  • Make sure you are prepared before the deal goes live. Do your homework
  • Anticipate demand by doing your research – ask you GBP for results of previous promotions and case studies
  • Brief your staff on what to expect. Test them on typical questions they may be asked
  • After the deal goes live, make the most of your new customers
  • Treat your new customers like royalty
  • Collect information and data
  • Always consider ways to upsell and cross sell to coupon holders
  • Make sure you quickly resolve customer complaints. Your business is the front line
  • Know your legal obligations. In particular you need to be aware of your requirements under Australian Consumer Law

Key facts* about Group Buying:

  • Group buying industry is expected to grow 30% in 2012
  • Good operators can receive up to 80% repeat business
  • 85% of merchants will most likely run another group buiying campaign

* Source Telsyte, Australian Online Group Buying Merchant Study 2011, September 2011 +

Click here for the full merchant’s guide to group buying.

For more top tips:

–          The ACCC has many resources and publications for businesses on its website:

–          Australian Consumer Law recent changes:

–          Also check out applicable state or territory governments consumer website e.g.

Group buying platforms which are members of ADMA and AIMIA have agreed to adopt the Australian Group Buying Code of Conduct. The code is backed by a transparent and open complaint handling procedure for GBPs, and includes a formal complaint management process which is overseen by the ADMA Code Authority


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