Would social commerce influence your buying decision for large ticket items?

lessons from our LAB

October 10, 2010

Would social commerce influence your buying decision for large ticket items?

Our Digital Scientists are made up of tech-loving, results-oriented, passionate, digital marketing nerds who have an unnatural obsession with all things digital. Most likely seen glued to a screen and spewing new digital marketing trends.

Social coupon websites offering deals on everything from haunted houses to laser hair removal have made uncovering new products and or services we've possibly never heard of before and at the same time getting an amazing deal very engaging. Personally I have found myself excited when I "won" a social deal on Groupon which is quite funny since I paid for that win. For those not familiar with social coupons or group deals let me provide a brief explanation. Social coupons incorporate elements of social media with time-sensitive coupon deals that can save consumers on gym memberships, massages, restaurants, and more.

Most of the popular social group coupon sites offer daily deals that are based on getting a certain number of people together to commit to a price in a specific amount of time. Once everyone has committed, the deal goes through, credit cards are charged, and coupon vouchers are issued. It’s a group buying deal that leverages the power of the community to give people an offer they can’t get anywhere else. Makes sense?

Leading the social coupon trend are Groupon, Buy With Me and Living Social; however, there are now 500+ Group Buy couponing sites. Hitwise reported in April that the volume of visits to sites in the space had grown by “72 times year-over-year.”

Recently I came across an article on CNNGo that pointed out TaoBao posted a group deal for Mercedes Benz–made Smart cars, which retail for as much as $23,000, at 20 percent off. Less than four hours later, 205 customers had put down a deposit—Smart expected to sell that many in 21 days.

This got me wondering if larger ticket items, such as cars, furniture, boats, etc., will start showing up in group buying offers. Of course, the larger ticket items would need to be available in quantity so a house would most likely not work but there are many larger ticket items (those over $1,000) that, in theory, could work.

Imagine that the future of group coupons could become user generated. Let's say you decided you wanted to buy a 2011 355i Convertible BMW (MSRP $53,125). If you could get 10 other friends that wanted to buy it as well, do you think you could influence the car price if you walked into North Scottsdale BMW and presented the offer to purchase 10 new convertibles? I would imagine yes. Now obviously that idea was not exactly the same idea that group coupon sites like Groupon are offering but you get the concept.

What are your thoughts? Would you consider buying a big ticket item if the deal was that good? What concerns would or do you have?

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