Social Pooling Explodes

@Tim | Social

Everyone loves getting a deal, but everyone loves to talk about it even more…its human nature.  Over the past 6 months, Groupon is on a massive traffic surge and along the way lined its coffers with significant revenue growth and a smooth $30 million in VC.  Groupon has single handedlytransformed couponing by successfully leveraging the power of the social graph, not trying to reinvent it.

I’m not sure if I’ve coined the term, “Social Pooling,” but I’ve often found myself using the term to describe Groupon’s thriving new business model.  Social Pooling:  “A business model which relies on social networking technologies to pool the resources (money, time, social capital) of multiple parties together to reach a common goal.”

I believe the following aspects of the Groupon’s “Social Pooling” platform are the essential ingredients to their success this year and beyond:

Exclusivity:  in order to see the Groupon deals, visitors must login via email

Massive Discounts:  by utilizing the broadcasting power of social networking, discounts on goods and services can be significant (the last service I bought was 77% off)

Showing Off:  most people LOVE getting a great deal and typically tell several friends about a great find…its only natural to broadcast your success into your social networks

Staying in the Loop:  since signing up for Groupon back in June, I find myself clicking through to their daily email nearly everyday

Local Yokel:  By tapping into the local social/search fabric, Groupon can make it dirt simple for any local business to get into the action serving up timely savings to the savvy shopper

While its anyone’s guess as to where Groupon will be by next Holiday season, its safe to assume they will most likely continue to take the local search/social scene by storm, while beginning to serve up the offering on smartphones in real-time via geo-location.  As Groupon continues to grow, the better leverage they will have with local merchants and the better you can expect the discounts to become.  By now, there is probably a line-out-the-door for pending Groupon deals and I could see the opportunity to fine tune the process a bit more depending on the user’s preferences.  Imagine a world in which Groupon can learn from your user profile and begin serving up relevant deals to your social network’s specifications.   At the end of the day, Groupon dusted off one of the oldest forms of marketing in American culture, couponing.  Soon enough, the days of clipping coupons out of the newspapers may be a thing of the past, as Groupon will continue to usher in social e-commerce.

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