create your own WordPress group buying website
Groupon is a very successful website that sells coupons which are actually discounted gift certificates the buyers can use at national and local companies. The Groupon business model turned out to be a true revelation when it comes to online sales and promotions. The kinds of group sales that happen at Groupon bring benefit to everyone: the website, the company that sells the product, and the ending customer. This system is pretty easy to understand: Groupon gets in touch with companies, offers to sell coupons that bring discounts for whatever service or product the company sells, people buy those coupons and get the product at a low price. The profit from the product sold gets split between the company and Groupon. Certificates that guarantee up to 90% discount are very attractive for customers; the companies get a great deal of quality internet marketing (a great way to launch a new product), and Groupon gets their share of the profit.
Ever thought about creating your own Groupon clone, also known as group buying websites? It sounds like a great deal, when you think about it, and if you want to start your own business that is going to PAY OFF, this really might be a good choice. There are many of them all over the web, and the number keeps growing as we speak. All those people surely mean business; they wouldn’t be doing it for nothing, right?
what is a group buying website?
Now, what exactly is a group buying website? Well basically, this is how it works: you create your website, you place products from various companies up, and once they are sold, you get a nice percentage. That was a basic, simple explanation, but the real deal really is as simple as it sounds. It used to be hard to do this unless you are some kind of a programming wonder, but nowadays there are a lot of themes and plugins that can help you create your own Groupon clone which makes everything a lot simpler. This way of selling products isn’t only good for you as the website owner; it is also great for the companies whose products you are going to sell, because it will bring many new customers to them, and a lot of great advertising. It is also great for the customers themselves, I mean, who doesn’t like getting a great product by a low price? It’s a win-win combination for everyone, that’s probably why it works so well, and so many people start their own selling sites of this type.
To start a group buying site is no science fiction. There are themes available, specifically created for such websites, and besides that, a wide range of great plugins you can use. Some of them are free, some of them need to be paid for, but let’s be realistic here, a little investment can lead to creating an awesome business you can keep running for years and benefit a great deal out of it. Investing in a group buying website is likely to pay off, all you need to do is find the right plugins to help you with the creation of your website, and make it fully functional.
I dug up some of the most remarkable little helpers for creating a group buying website, so let’s run through them and see exactly what they offer.
free WordPress group buying site themes and plugins
Of course I’m going to start with the free ones
Hey, if it’s good, and it’s for free, why not try it out? These great plugins are said to be very helping and useful, so let’s check them out!
This plugin was created by Daily Deal Builder, and it is used for spotlighting all kinds of promotions and selling deals. It is very easy to install and run, and its usage will only make your blog more fun and profitable. A built in deal field is featured, and it makes offering deals and discounts an easy job + it is going to look great for your audience. This way you will be able to monetize your audience closely, and boost your blog to be even more valuable.
If you upgrade, you will get even more options, like inputting your merchant account information and make your own deals which you can further on post, feature, share, basically do whatever you want with them. Running it is very easy, and it will mean a great deal for improving your website. You can download Spotlight at WordPress.org for free.
WP Deals is a WordPress plugin for running your own group buying site created by Tokokoo. With this great plugin you will be able to list the products in a nice and attractive way, and you will be able to customize your whole store’s design for it to look even more professional and compact.
It enables you to run your selling deals and write blog posts from the same WordPress website. WP Deals is fully customizable, allowing you to use your own WordPress theme, and still be able to change a lot of things about the layout, like uploading your own logo, changing color schemes etc. Assigning categories to your deals is also quick and easy with this plugin, as well as adding tags. You will be able to check the performance of your published deals within the admin panel and see all the details about any sale.
When it comes to payment gateway, PayPal payment standard gateway is supported, with the possibility of adding other payment easily base on your preference, and a promise of more payment gateways to arrive soon. Download WP Deals here at WordPress.org.
premium WordPress group buying plugins and themes
Now, let’s talk about the ones you need to open up your wallet for:
WPoupon is a WordPress theme that represents a very quick and functional way of starting your own Groupon clone without spending a fortune. This theme is basically a full package of features and options for the creation of such a website on a WordPress platform. You will be able to feature your hot daily deals with the time left to buy displayed. All of your active deals will be also displayed on the front page with “ending soon” deals separately listed. You can also announce the upcoming deals in a separate section, and there is an email capture button added. Location based deals can be also created and displayed.
Accepting orders by email will be very easy with this theme, and there is also a “send us a gift” feature added. Deal tipping is included, and you will be able to display customer deal URLs.
It is extremely easy to add new deals and configure all the options, and most importantly, this theme is plugin friendly so you can freely add any plugin by your choice. Facebook and Twitter login is enabled for your customers which makes things very easy for everyone. WPoupon is priced at $99.95, for a demo and more information about this theme go to their website.
When you run a deal site, the center of attention should be on the most important thing – the deals. They will be displayed on the homepage in such a manner so everyone can see how much time is left for grabbing the deal, with product details included, along with sharing buttons and a Buy Now button. A simple click on this button will allow your visitors to buy the deal. Once they do that, an account is automatically created, and a username and password are sent to the email address provided. By default this theme lists only one deal, but you can easily change this and add more deals if you want to. Companies and sellers who want to submit a deal will be able to do so by clicking the “submit a deal” button, which opens up a form for them to fill in. This also automatically creates an account and sends the account details to their email.
The listing page displays three tabs: all deals, live deals and expired deals. The tags are pretty much self-explanatory. Searching for a particular deal is also possible with a nice search form included in the sidebar, and below it, useful widgets can be found: Member Dashboard, categories, subscribe, etc. You can mess around with the sidebar and adjust it to fit your own vision. Daily Deal is priced at $49, click here for more information or here for a live demo.
This is a nice theme and plugin package with a professional design that can be easily customized to fit your needs. It has many built-in features, letting you create and manage your group sales website very easily. A countdown timer will be shown publicly along with the number of sales and the price of the deal. With multiple payment gateways, you will be able to accept PayPal, Authorize.net, or use the Credit Card on-site payment system. Your customers will be able to create their own accounts and edit their profile as they please, with the possibility of keeping track of their purchase history. The theme & plugin can be translated to any language thanks to localization support.
When it comes to theme options and customization, you can change almost anything, and all of the options are sorted into categories for easy editing. You can add as many locations as you want to and monitor the deals for each one of them. Many more integrations are added, such as blog integration, social network sharing integration, Google Maps integration, etc. When it comes to shortcodes, WPGroupBuy offers lot of them for pricing tables, tabs, toggle, column layouts, and many more. The package starts at $99, more information can be found on their website.
The design of this theme was specifically created for deal sites, with big images to attract the attention of your visitors and make them interested in your deals. Your featured deals will be shown with a huge photo on the homepage with full product descriptions, a buy now button and a vintage countdown timer added for everyone to see. A gallery tab lets you post more photos of the featured product.
A sidebar was added so you can present other deals as well, not just the featured ones. You can place them in categories and make things a lot easier for your customers. Your visitors will be able to subscribe to your email and get monthly updates about upcoming hot sales.
There is a blog integration added, and you will be able to display your company details on the homepage as well. It looks clean, straight forward and very attention grabbing – just as a Groupon clone should look like. Dealicious starts at $99, more information can be found here, or click here for the demo.
The Big Deal
The Big Deal is a WordPress theme that lets you create a great selling website with little effort. Your featured deal will be in the spotlight, placed at the very center of your homepage, with a cute, animated image slider and a status panel along with a details area where you can describe the product thoroughly. You will be able to take full control over the deal options including price, maximum, minimum and deal details.
Each of your shoppers will have their individual personal areas, giving them control over their purchases and keeping them informed at all times. They will also be able to share your sales via social networks. Custom message content is a nice possibility, and The Big Deals has several areas ready-made to show your content in a nice way.
This is a WordPress theme developed by SiteMile that transforms your regular blog into a group buying website. The theme is fully featured, and you will need no other additional plugins for creating such a website. You will be able to easily add new deals and assign multiple locations and categories to them, add tags, etc. The blog feature of your WP site will remain untouched, making sure you can continue with blog posts unaffected by the theme.
DealPress supports only PayPal by default, but the developer can custom integrate any other payment gateway. With Facebook and Twitter integration, this theme gives nice sharing options and guarantees a wide audience for your website. There is also the email notifications option for your users to be regularly informed on their sales. DealPress starts at $69.99, more information about this theme at SiteMile’s website.
This is yet another great theme that lets you transform your regular WordPress blog into a group selling site. It features one click installation, making sure you get imported everything you need to start using your Groupon clone site. SendLoop and MailChimp integrations are featured, allowing you to easily collect subscribers to a SendLoop and MailChimp email list.
There is an integrated PayPal gateway making it very easy to take PayPal payments directly on your website. The admin panel is very easy to operate and it allows you to clearly monitor all of your transactions and sales so you are updated on any changes, at all times. The custom admin panel will allow you to customize the theme as you please. The Dealers theme is priced at $45, more information about this theme can be found here, and a live demo here.
Obviously, running a Groupon clone shouldn’t be hard, nor would it be hard to create one. With all these themes and plugins that do the job for you, I guess anyone could do it. What is your experience with Groupon clones? Do you maybe know of some other sweet plugins or themes? Let me know in the comments.