The new buzz in e-commerce, group buying, should be a familiar household term at this point in time. In Asia, this group shopping is growing in popularity at an immense rate. It has become a lifestyle – a main method for Hong Kong residents to purchase everything from household items, gifts, activities, dining, and services at a discount they could never obtain otherwise. Most Asian countries are communitarian, so the Groupon model seems fit for most of their markets.
This popularity of group buying in Hong Kong has even spread to include grocery items. Price-sensitive citizens are able to purchase products and services they would normally never be able to buy. The area is becoming so clogged with daily-deal sites, that new sites are forming in attempt to aggregate sites from around the region. Once a trend, this method of buying is now becoming a norm, a lifestyle.
Group buying websites elicit deep discounts on lifestyle services ranging from restaurants, family outings, travel deals, and salons in dedicated cities everywhere. People are desiring to experiment with new restaurants and activities, and they can now do so with little commitment. Local merchants, on the other hand, are now able to reach out to a larger base of clientele and are seeing huge spikes in their profits. In fact, it is estimated that more than 5 out of 10 businesses are seeking to be featured on one of the many deal websites. Most businesses are beginning to include this type of advertising in their business plans.
Because this trend of group buying is becoming the norm in Hong Kong, we are left to wonder if consumers will buy anything unless it comes at a discounted price. People who are too busy to hunt down discounts or visit physical stores for gifts, are helping this way of shopping escalate in popularity. Online shopping has risen in Asia, most likely due to these hundreds of deal websites. Additionally, most of these Hong Kong websites focus on attracting consumers aged from 18 to 34, 77% of them being femaie. Unlike the US, the dining and beauty experiences are better-received in the Asian marketplaces.
In summation, the practice of group buying has been in place in the Asian culture for 50 to 60 years already. So, it is not a far off prediction that the Hong Kong and other markets will openly accept this way of shopping for years to come. Online portals will have to be sure to offer exclusive and premium products and services to maintain their customer base.