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Friday, 23 May 2008

Startup Idea #62: Networks for group purchase

I have been picking up this idea from various blogs that the next step for social networks (and a possible revenue model) is to organise group economic behaviour such as purchases. See:
With gasoline prices eating holes in the wallets of the world’s most vulnerable consumers – young people and single women – EnergyTechStocks.com anticipates that each of these social networking sites will be utilized in what will coalesce over time into a gigantic national (or even international) Internet-based carpooling network.imagine what could happen if the targeting gets a helluva lot better & we start using the same social sharing / viral distribution techniques to discover cool stuff on the open web... ... and then buy it together at substantial group discounts, like a pack of electronic wolves bringing down a very big & tasty e-caribou

What would be much more in keeping with the peer ethos would be to enable friends to get together to buy cooperatively. General Motors really, really wants to spend more ad $$$ online because the young car buyer is getting so hard to reach in other media. Say 1,000 Facebook users, all of whom wanted a new car, agreed on a specific model so they could bulk order and get a discount?

So, if the above observations are true, then what are the startup opportunities? How about:
  • easy-to-use apps to coordinate behavior. the apps would use implicit data to establish whether a person will be keen to group purchase a particular item;
  • marketplace to coordinate the buyers and seller
The most interesting however is that such group behavior enables different strategies to be built.