Group-buying sites Spreets and Cudo have released a framework for a voluntary, industry-specific code of conduct, detailing ethical and best-practice commitments to merchants and members of the fast-growing sector.
Cudo and Spreets – market leaders in Australia’s burgeoning group-buying domain – want other sites to contribute to the code, and aim to finalise it within months.
Dean McEvoy, Spreets co-founder and chief executive, says the industry’s success is only as good as the experiences of both merchants and members.
“We have a responsibility to provide merchants and members a level of confidence around their group-buying experience. The code of conduct will help deliver this,” he says.
Similarly, Cudo chief executive Billy Tucker says the code of conduct will help ensure the “group-buying experience continues to be strategically sound for merchants, and enjoyable and worthwhile for members.”
“As the category grows, our introduction of this voluntary code of conduct provides a framework from which to implement some of the fundamentals of good group buying and promote best practice.”
The two sites have outlined a draft code for industry consideration, including a list of commitments that group-buying sites would make to merchants.
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1. Work with you and your team to make your group-buying promotion as successful as possible by:
- Helping you package and price the right deal for your business.
- Helping you prepare for the increase in customers.
- Helping you manage the increase in demand, including capping your offer as necessary.
- Helping you maximise your up-sell opportunity to enhance the experience of new customers at your business.
- Helping you get customers coming back.
2. Provide you with clear payment terms.
3. Provide fast, effective, personal customer service through a dedicated account management model.
4. Do what we say we’re going to do, every time.
The proposal has already won the support of a range of industry bodies, including the Australian Direct Marketing Association and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association.
ADMA CEO-elect Jodie Sangster says the association fully supports the group buying industry “taking a proactive step towards responsible marketing”.
“We are looking forward to assisting them to ensure best practices, adopted by marketers Australia-wide, are embodied in their industry standard,” Sangster says.
Telsyte senior research manager Sam Yip also supports the initiative, stating: “This is a positive first step to create a sustainable and valuable industry for the benefit of consumers and merchants.”
The news comes amid reports that some businesses are buckling under the pressure of group buying as some sites disregard their clients’ capacity constraints in favour of more attractive deals.
According to Adam Schwab, co-founder and managing director of niche deals site Deals.com.au, some sites don’t always treat businesses how they should.
“It’s very easy to contract a deal that sells a lot of deals but that might not work for the business… There’s always a relationship between making sure the deal works so the customers come back, but also is good enough to make them want to buy it in the first place,” he says.