It’s pretty safe to say we’ve reached the peak of the group buying hype. (I’m glad.) While this doesn’t mean the end (or death) of group buying, I believe it will give way to a much more powerful of social shopping: tribe buying.

Group buying sites are all over the place: One day they offer a manicure, next day a whale watching tour, followed by 50% off for a restaurant 35 miles and a finger painting classes for 65% off. The wide variety of deals is interesting in the beginning but tired out my attention very quickly. Other companies saw this as an opportunity and provided more targeted offerings:

We will see a shift from group buying to tribe buying

All of us have passion points: Running, wine, travel, books, music. These are just a few of mine. You have different ones. The more specific, the better. There’s no reason to fight for my attention when it comes to passion points. I’m always interested. I always want to hear from you. I’m part of a running tribe, a travel tribe. And these tribes will use their collective power to disrupt the usual e-commerce/customer relationship. Platforms will let customers negotiate their own group discounts. Platforms will be able to communicate with brands to message their demands and brands will fulfill them.

Think about a local wine store. They deliver good wine (with a good story) for a great price. They have a loyal customer base. Very soon, they’ll be able to leverage that customer base to go to supplies and negotiate regular group discounts. More interestingly, they can use the power of their customer base to demand special grapes from vineyards. Vineyards and wine tribes can get closer to each other and match up their needs. Runners can band together as a tribe and demand specific shoes from Nike. Fans can band together to ask a band for a special performance. Readers can ask an author to write about a specific topic.

Group buying was an interesting way to increase demand. Tribe buying will turn the whole demand-supply model on its head.