No doubt about it: developers are in demand. Positions are opening up fast and the profession is expected to grow around 24% until 2026 in the U.S. alone. While developers are brought in to help companies innovate, frustratingly, a lot of their valuable time is often spent solving problems that already have smooth, existing solutions: like content moderation, for example.
As an online marketplace, you need to monitor and review large volumes of user-generated content (UGC) – so a solid moderation tool is pretty essential. Historically many online marketplaces have built such tools as part of their back office setup. This practice occurred, first and foremost because 15-20 years ago when the first real online marketplaces were born there weren’t any good alternatives. That is however no longer true. There are off-the-shelf alternatives developed exclusively for our industry. As such the main arguments we hear these days for developing your own tool are control and customization.
Wanting the ability to keep your data close for insight on how to develop your product, is a great reason for creating your own tool. So is the goal of customizing your tool to your exact needs. Except that’s rarely the outcome seen when online marketplace owners develop their own tool. Too often we hear about clunky tools and slow interfaces that doesn’t have all the functionalities needed to do the basic moderation tasks efficiently, let alone provide all the benefits described above.
Peter Reinhardt, CEO at Segment estimates that 50% of the startups he sees build their own tools can’t maintain them.
The truth is that when developer resources are distributed, moderation tool development and maintenance are rarely at the front of the queue (if it even gets to line up). And even when they do, that developer time could almost certainly be spent better.
Here are a few examples of what your developers could be doing instead of reinventing the wheel:
1. Improving the seller experience
Scrolling through categories on an e-commerce site can be frustrating for vendors to say the least. Finding exactly where to post a product can sometimes feel like rocket science – is a USB pen drive an accessory or an electronic product? Is this laptop case a bag or a computer accessory?!
As a result, users often end up advertising in the wrong category, which can hurt their sales, your SEO, and also your bottom line when consumers can’t find what they’re looking for. By setting your developers to work on building an image recognition tool that suggests placement based on submitted images, you can save your vendors a lot of time, improve conversion, SEO, and customer satisfaction in one go.
2. Increasing your conversions by as much as 20%
People care about security, especially when it comes to giving their credit card details online. An AIM Group report in February covered the security of escrow payments and showed that, statistically, non-secure payment solutions decrease conversion rates by as much as 20%.
Tasking your developers with improving security for your site in general is an excellent idea, and having them focus on payment process security can help you build even more customer trust and improve profitability.
3. Keeping your customers on site
In an ideal world, customers would set your site as their homepage. While that’s unlikely (!), you should definitely aim to keep them on your site for as long as possible, because people who stick around and search on your site are much more likely to convert.
Your developers could build a ‘related items’ feature into your marketplace, helping customers who have just landed on your site to find items similar to what they were looking for and upping the chance of them finding what they need.
4. Giving your customers exactly what they want
On a similar note, helping your customers find what they are looking for quickly is a surefire way of holding their attention and encouraging them to add items to their shopping baskets.
Get your dev team to roll out a solid search engine, built on data, and give your customers no choice but to convert when they see perfectly matched items popping up time and time again.
5. Staying on top of the latest trends
Many industries, from architects to real estate, and even car manufacturers are already taking advantage of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). And they’re getting the attention of younger generations, particularly Millennials, who are increasingly wielding more financial power and respond well to this kind of tech.
This is the perfect opportunity to encourage your developers to flex some creative muscle and for your online store to get an edge on your competitors. And with the right focus, resources, and insights the sky is very much the limit.
These are just some value-adding ways you can get your current dev team (and any future hires) to innovate. Content moderation, on the other hand, should not be the focus for your developers.
Particularly not when you have alternatives like Implio, our all-in-one content moderation tool. It’s ready to use right away and combines both AI and manual moderation to maximise accuracy and efficiency. With Implio you get all the customization you want with our customizable filters and the option to add tailor-made AI. And you keep control of insight generated by your data through Implios analytics dashboard.
Developer time is gold, don’t waste it on a costly reinvention of the wheel.