Collective buying is one of the hottest new trends to hit social media since social networking! It is by far the fastest growing eCommerce segment and will continue at even faster growth rates in 2014. A lot of new ventures are being set up within this new space, whilst also a lot of businesses are taking advantage of implementing collective buying or daily deal business models as promotional add-ons.
What about Daily Deal / Collective Buying Software?
But, one question remains, how do you get started and what software or technology do you need to get up and running in the shortest possible timeframe? The fact is that there are numerous collective buying software / daily deal software providers out there, ranging from cheap offshore companies offering “clone scripts” that have no support or are overly buggy to respectable ventures building scalable and dynamic platforms. So, how to choose one?
Below is a list of 3 of the most popular providers of collective buying software / daily deal software which has been rated from a list of about 15 different providers. The ratings are based on overall software performance, scalability, customer support and overall functionality.
Coupsta offers a scalable system that gives small businesses and entrepreneurs the ability to manage deals, side deals, email programs, advertisements, cities, client / merchant portal automation and a whole bunch of other features similar to Groupon and Living social.
The thing I like about Coupsta is that you can completely customize your deals site to meet your own unique design and not just slap on a reusable template/skin. Additionally, they provide you with full control over your data including the option to access the source code, this can be critical if you are serious about building a deals site which you have complete control whilst expecting fast growth and flexibility.
Having access to the source code is important if you want to later on customize the platform to suite your changing needs and also if you want to be free to hire your own developers and designers without being locked into using the software providers services (which may give the provider freedom to charge what ever they want)
In addition, the system is relatively affordable and provides a clean and efficient user interface without clusters of features whilst offering a fairly diverse list of functionality that can be extended beyond the standard features. They also offer a number of plugins and have outsourcing development and design services.
The company was founded by ex Groupon and Living social executives and offers a platform tailored to large companies or publishers who are looking for ways to monetize their audience. They also provide services to publishers and media outlets who need more than just a website rather requiring a whole heap of other services. The system has various features including managing deals, user management and has most of the necessities to get started with a daily deal software package including the added benefit of outsourcing your entire sales and marketing department.
If you require other additional services, they have a range of different services that align with the daily deal software they have on offer.They have quite a diverse list of additional services that are great if you need an outsourced partner that can collaborate on certain work.
The thing I like about Refingly is that you can outsource everything you need to run a deals site if you have the money. You do not need to hire sales or marketing people, they have experienced on demand staff with years of experience specifically in the deals market. If you can fork out between $20,000 – $30,000 set up fee and another few thousand a month this option is very ideal, in addition to getting access to the source code and controlling your data as you grow.
They provide a range of features required to set up a fully functional daily deal program. You can manage your deals in various locations, multiple deals and process payments. Unlike the other providers they offer the software as a service meaning that you do not purchase the software outright.
The platform has various features from setting up deals, selecting locations, side deals, location setting, scheduling offers, managing subscribers, selecting flash deals to promote and more.
This is a viable solution as long as you are fine with paying a commission fee.
How to make the Decision?
1. Commission vs One Time based pricing: Commission pricing or fixed pricing will depend on your requirements for you daily deal software, so you need to weigh the pro’s and con’s of each pricing structure
2. Do you get source code: The source code refers to the actual code that was used to write the deals platform. This is very valuable in the long run as you grow your business you want to make sure you have complete control over your data and that you can easily hire your own designer or developer as an option
3. Do they offer customization?: I find this pretty important as you never know where you take your business now or in the future, you would want some customization support that allows you to potentially tailor the daily deal software to changing market conditions.
4. Do they offer ongoing releases. Sometimes going for the cheapest solution may not always be the best solution, there are a ton of cheap “deal/clone scripts” which usually means under developed or lack of ongoing service