WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals Review: Create a WordPress Groupon Clone
Groupon grew to fame by creating social purchasing deals, and the WordPress plugin that we’re reviewing today – WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals – lets you add that same type of functionality to your WooCommerce-powered WordPress site.
So if you’ve ever wanted to create a WordPress Groupon clone and sell these types of deals, WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals is a simple, affordable plugin to help you to do just that.
In our WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals review, I’ll share more about what features this plugin offers. Then, I’ll take you hands-on and show you all of the functionality on my own WordPress site.
WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals Review: Feature List
At a basic level, WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals lets you create group buying functionality similar to what you’d get with Groupon, or social purchasing sites like Massdrop.
- Choose how many people can participate in the deal. E.g. you can set a maximum of 100 purchases (or any number that you choose)
- Set a minimum number of participants for the deal to be valid, including an option to refund purchases if the deal doesn’t get enough people (your payment processor needs to support this feature – Stripe and PayPal do, but I’m not sure about others)
- Control whether or not individual users can purchase a single deal multiple times. If you want to allow multiple purchases, you can also set a maximum number.
- Set start and end dates for group deals, including an option to automatically finish the deal if the maximum number of purchases has been met.
- Relist finished group buy deals, either manually or automatically.
- Send and customize email notifications for important actions, like a successful group buy.
Beyond that, you get lots of shortcodes and widgets to display content from your group buy deals. You can also use shortcodes to create a “My Deals” page where logged-in users can see all the deals that they’ve purchased and/or participated in.
Finally, if you integrate with a WooCommerce multi-vendor plugin like Dokan, you can even let third-party users sign up and submit their own deals. Again, this is not a core feature – it’s just something you can do with a multi-vendor plugin.
Hands-on With WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals
Now that you know the features, let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you how everything works on my own site.
Configuring the Global Deal Settings
After installing and activating the WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals plugin, you’ll get a new Group Buy Deals tab in the regular WooCommerce settings area (WooCommerce → Settings).
Here, you can mainly control how your group deals are displayed, like:
- Whether or not to mix group buy deals in with regular WooCommerce products
- Which page to use as the group deals archive page
- What information to show about deals on the archive pages
And you can also choose whether or not to automatically finish a deal once the maximum number of tickets have been sold.
Beyond that settings area, you can also use the normal WooCommerce Emails tab to configure the automatic email notifications that are associated with your group buy deals.
You get four new automatic notification emails for:
- Successful group buy (customer)
- Failed group buy (admin and customer – separate emails for each)
- Finished group deal (customer)
You can customize all of these emails as needed.
That’s it for settings, let’s dig into how to create a group buy deal.
Creating a New Group Buy
To create a group buy, you’ll use the regular WooCommerce products system. That is, you go to Products → Add New.
You can configure all the generic product fields as you normally would. That is, you can upload images, choose the title, add a category. All of this information is what you use to describe your deal:
Then, once you get to the WooCommerce Product data box, you’ll get a new Groupbuy product type that you can select to turn it from a regular product into a group buy deal.
Once you select this product type, you’ll be able to enter the:
- Minimum and maximum number of deals that all shoppers can purchase
- Maximum number of deals that each individual user can purchase
- Price for group buy participants
- Regular “list” price (this is just for comparison, so people know how good of a deal they’re getting)
- Start and end dates for the group buy’s validity
You can also use the normal WooCommerce options for Virtual and Downloadable if you aren’t selling physical group buys. For example, you could deliver a downloadable voucher instead of shipping a product to participants.
And that’s it! It’s super simple. Once you publish your product, people will be able to participate in the group buy, including a nice progress bar to show where the group buy stands with respect to the minimum/maximum number of participants:
You can also see how the plugin lists the regular price beside the group buy price to highlight how good of a deal it is.
Exploring the Group Buy Widgets and Shortcodes
To help you display your group buy content, WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals comes with a number of widgets and shortcodes that you can use.
On the widget front, you get widgets that let you display:
- Ending soon group buys
- Featured group buys
- Future group buys
- Random group buys
- Recent group buys
- Recently viewed group buys (unique to each visitor)
You also get shortcodes that let you display all that same information plus one important addition:
A shortcode that displays the deals in which a user is actively participating, as well as the deals that they’ve successfully finished.
You can use this shortcode to create a “My Deals” page where each user can manage all of their group buys.
How the Group Buy Process Works for Shoppers
Depending on your preferences, you can allow both registered and anonymous shoppers to participate in group buys (user registration is only required if you want to set a “max deals per user”, as registration is what the plugin uses to track this maximum).
When a user clicks the Buy Now button on a group buy page, the product will be added to their shopping cart, just like a regular WooCommerce product.
From there, the shopper can check out using the regular WooCommerce checkout system.
Then, users will be able to manage their deals from the page where you’ve added the shortcode:
How You Can Manage Group Buys
Once you publish a group buy product, you’ll get a new Group Buy meta box that shows all of the activity for that product:
You can quickly view order details, or delete them if necessary.
If a group buy fails, you’ll also be able to refund users’ payments from this box, if your payment gateway supports that (again, both Stripe and PayPal do support refunding payments).
WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals Pricing
You can purchase WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals from CodeCanyon for $23. With that, you’ll get standard Envato licensing, which means:
- Lifetime updates
- 6 months of support
You can also extend the support period to 12 months by paying an addition $6.75.
At CodeCanyon, WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals has been purchased over 450 times and has a 4.64-star rating out of 5.
Final Thoughts on WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals
If you want to add group buy functionality to your WordPress site, WooCommerce Group Buy and Deals is a simple way to do that.
The developer has intentionally kept things simple, leaving out more advanced features like volume-based discounts (e.g. the prices get cheaper as more people buy). That’s not a negative – just pointing this out, in case you want to set up more complicated rules.
All the features worked exactly as I expected when I played around with them on my test site, and it has all the core functionality that you need to start offering group buy deals at your WooCommerce store.
So, if you want to create your own Groupon clone, or any other type of group purchasing site, give this one a look:
And if you like this plugin, check out our WooCommerce Simple Auctions review (another plugin from the same developer).