A growing phenomenon in the wealthy oil states of the Middle East was revealed by the BBC this week – the online marketing trend known as social or group buying.
While group buying is big business in many other parts of the world, thanks to companies such as Groupon offering customers discounts on a wide range of products online, marketing efforts for the phenomenon are hotting up now in states such as Dubai.
Companies involved in group buying funnel customers to retailers in return for part of the revenue gained, and the growing levels of e-commerce in the Middle East are working hand-in-hand with the already high levels of credit card use and a love of retail.
Original Fitness Co is a company which offers “boot camp” exercise classes on Dubai’s beaches, and it owes much of its success to online marketing via group buying.
“Marketing can be expensive, but this is quite a cost effective way of doing it,” managing director Corey Oliver told the BBC.
“And once people try it, we hope they enjoy it and want to come back.”