Groupon started the revolution in January of 2008, and now we’ve seen thousands of daily deal and group buying websites emerge to provide discounts to customers all over the world. The idea is simple; sell items for 50 to 90% off, and bring in loads of customers to businesses in certain markets or locals.
Consumers benefit from absurd prices, companies benefit from a huge wave of sales and you, the webmaster, takes a small cut of everything sold on your daily deals website. That said, its not exactly the easiest task to design and build your own daily deal or group buy interface, since these sites require unusual components like countdown timers, profiles for both consumers and businesses, and powerful transaction management systems to keep track of everything.
That’s where daily deal and group buying WordPress themes and plugins come into play. You simply upload the theme to your WordPress dashboard, cutting out all of the development work. We outlined some of the top options to choose from, and even included a few plugins that can turn your current site into a daily deals platform. Let’s have a look.
Daily Deal WordPress Themes
Let’s start by checking out some of the best options for daily deal WordPress themes. A theme is beneficial, because you can start from scratch and you know that the code was generated particularly for managing the deals, counting down to deadlines and processing payments.
I also enjoy that many of the themes are fairly affordable, offering powerful customization tools and sleek designs.
Couponize has all the components of a solid daily deals site. Its primary function is to give away or sell coupons, and the sales page is a little misleading, but it includes just about everything you need to post new deals and get people to buy based on a ticking clock.
The clean and modern interface uses the highly customizable Foundation Framework, meaning that you won’t need a web development degree to make a professional looking site. The fully responsive platform looks wonderful on any tablet or smartphone, and the custom filtering options work wonders when someone lands on your site and only wants to find something like a fitness or clothing deal.
Add a module that highlights how many days are left on the deal and what percentage people save when grabbing the coupon. A standout feature is the ability for users to rate each of the coupons, guiding others towards the top deals.
WP Group Buy
The WP Group Buy WordPress theme starts off with the traditional popup box that asks users where they are from, in order to present the most relevant deals based on their locations. The deals module reveals a huge Buy Now button, along with how many days and items are left. Social sharing and percentage off indicators are always bonuses, and the categorization tools let you guide users to items like electronics, beauty products and events.
Merchant accounts are included, so you don’t have to post every deal yourself. Not to mention you receive multiple payment gateway options and advanced reporting and stats to keep the money flowing and to make decisions based on solid evidence. The responsive theme also provides localization support to translate your website based on the people coming to the daily deals site.
The Clipper theme is from the folks at AppThemes, and it provides an easy way to setup and manage a monetizable daily deals coupon site. The custom write panel features areas to quickly edit all the coupons on your site, with custom fields and taxonomies all neatly organized for you. You have the option to charge people and businesses who want to list coupons on your site, and various payment processing plugins are available in the AppThemes Marketplace.
Customize color schemes and theme layouts for branding purposes, and use advanced link cloaking and tracking to further improve your any affiliate programs you have going on. Along with custom email templates, dedicated store and category pages, an easy coupon submit form and custom coupon management, you can’t go wrong with the Clipper theme from AppThemes.
DealPress Group Buying Theme
The DealPress option is the best theme for making your site resemble Groupon’s site. The deal posts are easily customizable, with tag, category and location options. The idea behind this theme is to work as a plug and play platform, so you don’t need any other third party themes to start posting and selling daily deals. The only payment gateway is PayPal, but SiteMile offers services to integrate any payment processing system you choose.
Facebook and Twitter integration is a huge bonus, and the email notifications ensure that your customers are always in the loop when they buy deals or when other people purchase the same deals. Merchants also have the luxury of viewing how many users are purchasing their deals, directly from their own dashboard.
Dealicious Woocommerce Theme
The Dealicious theme integrates with the WooCommerce plugin to monetize your site and immediately post group buying deals within just a few minutes. The theme offers a masculine style, with large images and strong fonts, allowing the site to push people to make purchases without you putting in much work. Translation options are available for your international customers, and the Google Maps integration works well for those deals sites that focus on particular geographical areas.
Custom widgets and contact forms come in handy, and the various page templates and post formats let you generate pages for galleries, links, images, portfolios, blogs and more. Not to mention, the theme offers unlimited fonts and colors for your own branding purposes.
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Daily Deal, from the folks at Templatic, is another one of the themes that takes strong inspiration from sites like Groupon. Key features include the ability to showcase daily deals and allow customers to submit their own deals, after your moderation, of course. Easily manage the homepage look with drag and drop widgets, and choose from several payment gateways like PayPal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net.
The affiliate module is the true standout feature, since you can create your own affiliate program and ask people to showcase your own products on their sites. This gives your affiliates a cut of the action, and you receive relatively free marketing. You also get a notification system, deal timers and large deal modules, which feature descriptions, images, coupon counts and how much customers save when purchasing.
Daily Deal WordPress Plugins
Now it’s time to check out daily deal and group buying plugins, which serve as useful ways to convert an existing site into a deals platform. The downside of a plugin is that you may end up pairing it with a theme that doesn’t offer many daily deals features, but it’s worth a shot if you don’t want to start from scratch.
WP Social Deals Engine
The WP Social Deals Engine has a unique approach to daily deals, in that it generates scarcity through social media sharing. In short, people can only redeem a coupon or deal when they share the page on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks.
The cool thing is that you can choose to develop and post deals based on your own preferences, selecting from options like dime sales, limited quantity offers and limited time only deals. The primary payment gateway is PayPal, but several payment gateway extensions are available through WP Social. The built-in shopping cart is a nice touch, and the social integration pushes more people to learn about the deals. Incorporate unlimited vendors, and allow customer accounts for the ultimate daily deal experience.
WooCommerce Daily Deals
The WooCommerce Daily Deals plugin works to add powerful daily deals functionality to your existing WordPress site. The plugin fits into any ecommerce website, so you can send out deals and offer promotions. It also allows you to create a standalone deals site, if you are starting to look for new revenue streams for a retail shop or other business.
Schedule specific daily deals that rotate throughout the day, depending on the time and date. Keep in mind that the WooCommerce plugin is required for this plugin to work at all.
The SmartECart plugin assists with launching a group buying or daily deals site, with features like quick deal and product creation, clean and functional shopping carts and merchant accounts for your business partners to build profiles and manage who is buying deals.
Reporting and stats are always a nice bonus, for checking how much money your site is bringing in and which of the deals are most popular with users.
WP Auctions is a plugin that simulates a platform similar to eBay. Although eBay is not your traditional daily deals site, it still provides the chance for customers to land wonderful prices. Create, manage and edit an unlimited amount of auctions, and choose from around nine currency options to sell throughout the world.
Bid increments are all customizable, and you can limit some of your auctions to only registered users.
Are you planning on creating a daily deals website to go up against the likes of Groupon? If so, tell us which niche market you plan on targeting and if any of these daily deal and group buying WordPress themes and plugins are of any help. Just leave us a comment in the section below.