Determining marketplace risk levels: Dissecting layers of content weakness

In a recent webinar with Kahuna, Jeff Nolan made the statement that for digital marketplaces “Trust is the product”.

At Besedo this is exactly in line with our experience, working with online marketplaces for over 15 years.  As they do not carry their own goods, but merely facilitate the contact between users, their primary purpose is to ensure a safe environment for users to engage.

If users do not trust the marketplace, they will not carry out transactions through it.

They are probably unlike to even browse listings on it.

In fact, 50% of those that don’t shop online state that lack of trust is the reason.

But how do you know whether your site is trustworthy or not? It all comes down to the quality level of your inventory.

Determining this can be a daunting exercise. The nature of marketplaces is to facilitate users to post their content to reach buyers. This means that without proper processes in place you have limited control over the content that is submitted to your platform.

How many good listings do you have versus how many bad ones? And where should you start the process of pruning?

Not all bad content is created equal. At Besedo we’ve spent years learning which content poses the biggest risk for marketplaces.

Based on this experience and to help marketplaces understand their content quality better, we’ve created the Besedo layers model.

Essentially, the model is a way of assessing the quality and safety of sites and marketplaces. We use it to clarify specific areas of need for marketplaces and as the framework for our index reports.

 

Drilling down to the threat impact

We’ve used this model successfully for years and recently updated it to make it even clearer where and how the threat impacts your marketplace and what the ROI from managing the threat is.

To achieve this, we’ve broken the model into two areas.

Content quality threats and user experience threats. If both areas are well managed, you will be well on your way to establish user trust.

 

Content quality threats

All threats included in this table are things that lower the overall quality of your inventory. It includes illegal items, dangerous assets and are things that will make most people turn away from your site.

These threats directly impact acquisition and user churn and they may get you into PR or legal trouble. Especially if your marketplace operates in a market where the platform is liable for the content they feature.

 

User experience threats

content that negatively impacts user experience

The threats listed in this table impact the search and user experience and generally decrease the smoothness of the customer journey. Scams, duplicates, and wrongly categorized items all make it harder to find the items users are looking for, which in turn decrease overall conversion.

 

User Trust: The Overarching Objective

The primary goal of the Besedo layer model is to create a conversation around user trust and what impacts it. By creating discussions about threats within content we aim to give online marketplaces additional clarity – and by providing dedicated insights we hope to help companies tailor their moderation strategy and create better solutions.

We often undertake an assessment like this when a new marketplace or classified site approach us; it’s a way of understanding their pain points and figuring out where they can improve. Sometimes clients have an idea of what they need to do, but a formal analysis helps clarify specific needs.

 

Broader Industry Assessments

As well as client assessments we also use our insight tools to create ‘State of the Market’ reports: indexes in which we review content on a set of 20-30 websites operating in a specific sector, industry, or geographical area.

All things considered, quality content and a good user experience reinforce trust – a fact that applies across all businesses. Enabling UGC always carries a certain level of risk, but with the right awareness and tools in place, these can be easily and quickly mitigated.

You can view all Besedo’s Index reports, or in conducting an assessment of your own marketplace or classifieds site? Get in touch today!

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