Qwiqq, Buying Groups Enable Independent Retailers To Offer Flash Sales Via Facebook

By David Cohen 

Independent retailers often turn to buying groups in order to obtain merchandise at lower prices, as manufacturers receiving larger orders usually offer discounts, but the purchasing power of buying groups hadn’t made its way to Facebook and other social networks, until now. Enter mobile social commerce platform Qwiqq, which helps smaller retailers mimic the social marketing efforts of their larger counterparts.

Qwiqq and Gourmet Catalog & Buying Group are teaming up on an initiative, scheduled to launch next month, which will enable independent gourmet retailers that are part of the buying group to create engaging content on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and email marketing provider Constant Contact and offer their customers access to weekly flash sales.

“Small retailers struggle with the time required to create engaging content,” Qwiqq Co-Founder Jack Wrigley said in an interview with AllFacebook. He described the process by which his company and buying groups facilitate flash sales as follows:

Every Thursday at 3 p.m., a sale is going to occur on social media. Prior to the Thursday event, retailers are going to share engaging content around the product they are offering on Thursday. The reason for that is to sell the sizzle around a particular product.

Once customers decide to purchase the featured products, they receive vouchers enabling them to visit the retailers’ brick-and-mortar locations to pick up their purchases. The store visits provide those retailers with potential touch points with those customers, and the electronic vouchers also contain icons for buyers to easily share their purchases with their friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. There is no automatic sharing — customers choose whether to share their activity or not.

Retailers create the content using Qwiqq’s social commerce-focused application, which allows them to easily select images of the sale item, set prices, add store locations, and include buy buttons. The content is shared across the social networks.

Manufacturers are part of the process, as well, according to Wrigley, as they can contribute their own content to be used as part of the “sizzle posts,” as well as providing professional-quality product images.

About 350 retailers are part of Gourmet Catalog, and Wrigley said working with Gourmet Catalog and other buying groups enables Qwiqq to reach out to several retailers simultaneously and provide what he called “a scalable, replicable program that can benefit independent merchants that are part of buying groups in a big, big way.”

Readers: Have you ever participated in flash sales on Facebook?