Well, you have heard from somewhere that you can build a groupon clone or Daily deals site from magento? Are you looking for a in-depth guide? Then, this article is a must read for you. It clearly details every aspects of magento Groupon Clone.

What is Magento?

There exists so many open source eCommerce platforms in recent past. But only a handful of platforms sustained and accepted by merchants all over the world. Notable platforms that sustained are osCommerce, zencart, cubecart, xcart etc.. Success and acceptance of those platforms are attributed to mainly because they are open-source and their community versions offered as free to use and customize. Never should we forget the support and the contributions from wide community of developers in those platforms. There are so many expert developers and software companies adopted their core e-commerce platform from one of the above.

It is the time when Magento came as a new eCommerce platform with a bang in the mid of 2008, with so much of promises to the developers community and for the merchants across the world. When it is released for public to download and use for free, it revolutionized the entire eCommerce industry and the merchants all over the world. It became the center of attraction to thousands of developers community when it won the best open source application in very first year of the launch. It is highly recommended by developers to merchants across the world. It is the best in terms of user interface, best in terms of security, best in terms of quality, best in terms of community adoption and support. What to say.. IT IS THE BEST IN CLASS.

What is so exciting about Magento is its underlying architecture, design and pattern. It has been developed on the base of hugely successful PHP framework among developers, “Zend framework”. In Magento, each of its features are grouped together based on functionality, which are called modules in Magento. There exists more than 3000+ modules for magento which helps to extends its core functionality. From developers perspective like us, its nothing impossible in Magento.With so many advantages in it, its an example for how any e-commerce platform should be.

Groupon clone in Magento

Now lets come to our topic “Groupon clone in Magento”. Going by the title, anyone would ask, Magento being an eCommerce platform, How the Groupon business model is related to Magento? How will it serve the purpose?. Our answer is simple. Groupon is itself an e-commerce business selling “coupons” just like any other product

Requirements of Groupon clone

When you are building a groupon like website, the features you must have but not limited to below:

Front-end

  • Homepage that lists the active deals (featured deal) at the main content area)
  • Sidebar which lists the active side deals on any particular day.
  • Buy button which will take you to the checkout to make a purchase
  • Menu to switch between multiple cities
  • Gift a coupon to friend
  • Limitation of one item per order for checkout (i.e disabling the cart feature to prevent customers adding deals from different merchants to the same order) which helps you to process refund easily.
  • Payment Gateway to authorize/capture the funds instantly
  • Send a coupon email, if the target for the specific deal is achieved
  • Customer accounts area to view his order history and update his preferences

Back-end

  • Adding new deals and scheduling it to future dates.
  • Adding new merchants
  • Emailing the list of purchased auto-generated coupons, to merchants when the deal is completed
  • Maintaining the order history, generating invoices, processing refunds (credit memo) for deals that have not met the minimum target
  • and show on..

Apart from above essential features, one may expect to have marketing features like, newsletter subscriptions handling, facebook integrations, promotional discount coupons etc. Going by the list above, 80% of those are basically the features provided by e-commerce platforms. The remaining 20% features are specific only to groupon business model. Those features can actually be added through plug-ins, modules, extensions to the existing stable, well designed eCommerce platforms like magento, zencart, oscommerce.

Why chose Magento when there is numerous Groupon clone’s available in market?

If you are convinced that groupon is just another e-commerce store selling coupons, then why would you want to chose something other than Magento? The extension developed for Groupon Clone in magento delivers exactly the same purpose of groupon website. Magento has always been rapidly growing e-commerce platform and you will never let down by the community of developers at anytime in the future. Since there is a magento extension available for each and every feature of Groupon based business model, its a wise decision to chose it. Since it is open-source, it is 100% possible to customize it to any degree for your specific business logic. Did we say the popular groupbuying site “GoNabIt.com“, recently acquired by livingsocial is built on Magento.

The Main dis-advantage when you chose the custom groupon clone from many of those available in market is quality/standard of coding, lack of support from a relatively new & small team behind it. It also lacks developers community across the world. Why it is bad to you? It is bad because, since it is developed by a lesser known company, their coding practice will not be of standard one to follow or edit by one of your in-house developer. You cannot hire third party to customize the script from XYZ company to your requirements. Result? You have to depend solely on the company that developed that script or you have to live with only features they offer in the package.

Next dis-advantage is lack support for payment gateways in those scripts. Lets consider XYZ company which develops a groupon script and sell it in the market. The common payment gateway provided by XYZ is “Paypal”. It is not viable to them to provide more than that because merchants are from different parts of the world prefer different payment gateways. For each and every other payment gateways that merchant prefer has to be created separately. For which they will do it for huge customization fee. But when you consider Magento, there is a module for each and every payment gateways across the world and most of the payment gateways are offered as free. As on the date, there exists around 530+ modules for payment gateways in magento-connect

Another dis-advantage we can think of is, lack of internationalization and translations available for the platform. Most of the scripts written by those companies will be in English, and the merchant has to pay for translating each of them in their own language. If you want to provide multi-language support, it is highly unlikely in a script developed by some XYZ company.

If you are more serious into starting a business based on groupon model, it is best advised to chose Magento as your platform like many developers in the world have accepted.

To know more about the group buy script or groupon clone or daly deals in Magento, Groupon Clone or look at groupon clone extension page at Magento Connect.