Group-buying craze: Bidorbuy snaps up UbuntuDeal

Group-buying has really taken hold of the South African consumer market in the last year with the number of Groupon-clones growing every day as companies hasten to get a foothold into this rapidly growing sphere., an online auction based in South Africa, has acquired the Cape Town-based group-buying site, highlighting the group-buying craze in the e-commerce sector, worldwide.

The acquisition follows hot-on-the-heels of the undisputed king of group buying, Groupon, acquiring local startup Twangoo at the beginning of 2011. Just last month media group, Avusa, announced Zappon.

Bidorbuy CEO Jaco Jonker, explains how the UbuntuDeal complements bidorbuy’s existing site: “While bidorbuy enables sellers to sell online to buyers far beyond their geographical locality, UbuntuDeal brings online audiences through the doors of local businesses. On top of that, bidorbuy focuses on products, and UbuntuDeal is more oriented towards entertainment and leisure experiences. Together, we are poised to bring some very exciting shopping events to the South African internet audience”

The new acquisition joins a list of ecommerce properties owned by bidorbuy, which includes recruitment site, comparative shopping site, classifieds site, payment fullfullment site and ecommerce store creator,

Based on the business model of collective buying power, UbuntuDeal is a recent addition to the list of group buying sites. Launched in November 2010, the site offers a daily, heavily discounted deal which is placed on behalf of one of the participating merchants. Then, if the sales for that deal reach a certain amount, the deal becomes available to all consumers. If not, the deal is off. The site currently includes daily deals in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Bloemfontein, East London and Port Elizabeth, which ranges from restaurant vouchers and spa treatments to hotel stays and even Wi-Fi internet access.

From a consumer angle, online group buying normally means being in line for great discounts. For businesses, it is a good way to turn available surpluses into cash and to market their services to a very wide audience without spending exorbitant amounts on marketing.

The Social buying business model really took off in 2010 and is expected to grow even further this year, both locally and internationally, according to Jess Green, Managing Director of UbuntuDeal. He says that UbuntuDeal has clear advantages in this very competitive market.

“We always feature deals that offer between 50% and 90% discounts, not less, giving the consumer a bigger and better deal. We pride ourselves on being a step ahead in terms of customer service and web site functionality. Last but not least, the merchants we team up with are happy with the whole process and their marketing exposure.”

As simple the online group buying business model looks, the real challenge is attaining the critical mass of users.

“This is where bidorbuy, a high traffic site with over one million visitors per month, will play a key role. With the acquisition of UbuntuDeal, bidorbuy is now in a position to offer both product and experience deals to its audience, the largest e-commerce audience in the country,” says Jonker.

Jonker adds that BidorBuy recently launched a ‘deal of the week’ offering, which aims to offer the best deals for the South African audience on brand new, consumer products.

Bidorbuy has been in existence for about twelve years, claiming one-million unique visitors every month and more than 80,000 sales and 50,000 successful online auctions every month.



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