In the last decade or so, the importance of e-commerce in our lives has increased exponentially. But it has been the Covid-19 pandemic that has made e-commerce usage increase tenfold. From groceries to medicines, clothes to appliances, when getting out of the house is near impossible, ordering online saves the day. And perhaps the next big evolution in the e-commerce arena is the rise of what is known as ‘Community Group Buying’, a means in which residents in a specified area can purchase goods in larger numbers for lower prices or with special offers, making it a win-win scenario for buyers and sellers alike. The idea is rapidly catching on in residential areas and more and more tech platforms are catering to these consumer needs.
What is community group buying?
For those who may not be familiar with the concept, community group-buying is essentially buyers forming a group to place bulk orders for goods or services, often receiving a discount or other benefits for the order. Here are a few ways in which it can benefit those who participate:
It’s an obvious solution – Residents in gated communities come in the hundreds and, in many cases, even in the thousands. Most residents have similar household requirements – think things like cleaning supplies, food staples, grocery items, and pet care products – so planning and purchasing weekly for these items can be very straightforward. It then makes buying in bulk for the entire community an obvious choice, given that so many of the community’s needs are homogeneous, saving big on money when discounts are offered as well as on resources such as transport costs as delivery is done all together. Today, apps such as the community management platform MyGate facilitate group buying in gated communities and housing societies making the process seamless and advantageous.
Buying in bulk = cheaper – Sellers are often willing to lower their prices, offer sizable discounts or special deals when large orders are placed. With community group buying, residents can negotiate the best prices because they are bringing in big business. This can considerably bring down the monthly expenditure for each participating family or individual on standard expenses such as grocery bills.
Customers can get better service – When you buy a product or service as an individual customer, it can sometimes be hard to get services, refunds, or returns in case something goes wrong. Often, a faulty lightbulb or torn packet of flour may not seem worth the hassle of constantly chasing a seller who, to be fair, maybe too busy to prioritize one single customer. However, when sellers are guaranteed lucrative business through bulk orders, they tend to be more inclined toward timely and effective customer service. Because business from communities is larger enough and guaranteed at regular intervals, sellers go out of their way to meet their customers’ needs.
There’s more access to local deals – India has a large sector of unorganized sellers who usually gain customers through word of mouth. With community group buying, the goods of these sellers can be available to residents with the click of a button. Through apps that facilitate community group buying, residents in a society can purchase things like fruit and vegetables from local farmers, milk from local dairies, or organic washing liquid from a small outfit, all recommended but not necessarily easily available under other circumstances. What’s more, community group buying can do wonders in helping small businesses gain traction in the competitive market, ensuring their quality products stick around.
It’s really convenient – Above all, community group buying spells utmost convenience to all those involved. For residents, having goods delivered to their doorstep is a boon, especially during the pandemic when going out for groceries and other products is not always possible. With recurring deliveries, buyers can have a fixed list of products that they get at regular intervals, not having to worry about restocking certain pantry staples or running out of household supplies.
The residents of societies and gates communities have immense power in the community group buying space. This realization among buyers has made group-buying gain popularity and more and more communities are adopting the approach, reshaping the e-commerce space. Together, residents can make sure their needs such as home, health, and grocery supplies are met and delivered to their doorstep, and at lower costs.
MyGate is India’s largest gated society management software, benefiting thousands of housing societies, developers, society facility managers, and millions of homeowners in every Indian city.