When did you last add an innovative feature to your marketplace? Does it align with and support the future trends within the marketplace industry?
In 2018 the big talking point at industry conferences and reports has been the move from classifieds to marketplaces. But what does this move actually mean, and what impact should it have on your operational and innovation strategy?
Here are 3 new challenges that you need to think into your business plans going forward:
Monetization strategies are changing
Traditionally classifieds earned money from listing fees and paid advertising. Going forward this will be less and less profitable. Seeing yourself as a lead provider to amateur and professional sellers is no longer going to be a viable strategy.
As more sites and Apps implement AI for smarter seller and buyer matching the lure of marketplaces as a lead generator will quickly dissolve. In the future, the name of the game will be value-added services. Marketplaces will use technology to match sellers and buyers with 1-3 high-quality leads and surround that match with ancillary services that both parties will find relevant. Such services could be everything from financing, insurance, delivery, to more creative value ads like stylist services when buying gala-clothing.
The winners will be those who manage to add the most successful value-added services both in terms of revenue and users experience.
Greg Goldring has shared a framework for how they decide which ancillary services to offer their visitors. It’s worth a look if you are stuck on how to implement this in your business.
Become part of the transaction
One of the main differences between classifieds and marketplaces is that, on the former, physical meetings is still a pretty standard part of the process. Contact may be established online, but delivery and payment is mostly done in the offline space. Apart from the inconvenience, this also leads to quite a bit of platform leakage, especially when it comes to professionals. Once that initial contact has been established, they no longer need the marketplace.
The solution, of course, is to handle the entire user journey inside your platform. This includes payments. Make sure it’s easy and safe to pay through your platform and you will stop the majority of leakage. We are moving into the era of the convenience economy and people will increasingly pick convenience over price.
Make convenience your new mantra
Speaking of convenience. Aimgroup recently quoted Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of the OLX Group saying, “Convenience is the future of classifieds.”
This is going to be true for not just transactions, but for the entire user journey of both buyers and sellers. The platform that can develop the most features that support convenience will be the one that grows the most and if they can weave in value-added services to be part of the convenience model, they will not only win at attraction and retention but also have a much easier time monetizing.
Listing fees are no longer going to keep you alive, affiliate payment from value-added services are and your full development focus needs to switch from lead delivery to incorporating a convenience-centered design approach and ensuring that your core product supports this new strategy.
Another important thing to consider is that to push a user to the point in the user journey where they will be open to value-added services, you need to ensure that your product is delivering a unique and smooth customer journey throughout all touchpoints.
Strategies for distributing resources for innovation and growth
With so much to focus on it can be hard to know how to best allocate resources. To help with that decision. Take each area and fit them into one of two boxes. Business need and unique selling points (USPs).
Business needs are things that are required to run your business, but which are not going to set you apart from your competitors. It’s everything from the servers that host your platform to the tele-company providing your phonelines for customer support. You can’t operate your business without them, and you need them to be reliable and of high quality, but it’s not the value proposition you pull out when people ask why they should use your site over your competitor.
Unique selling points, on the other hand, is where your product rises above others in the market. This is obviously where you should focus your resources.
The rest can be outsourced and in many cases handing your business needs over to professionals will save you money. The time and resources you save can instead be used to increase the velocity with which you develop features and other areas that fall into the USP area.
What can you save by letting 3rd party vendors deal with your business needs?
Now comes the fun part. it’s time to look for areas that you can outsource without losing a competitive advantage and see how much you can gain from passing it on to a professional partner.
Content moderation is a really good example of such an area. It’s a critical business need for all marketplaces to keep your users safe and the user experience smooth, but it’s not a differentiator. It’s not what will set you apart from your competitor.
This makes it a perfect area to outsource so your developers can use their time focusing on your core product rather than creating solutions that already exist in the market.
On top of freeing resources, you can also save a good deal of money opting for a turn-key moderation solution, rather than an in-house setup.
Many companies we talk to are not fully aware of how much they actually spend on their in-house moderation. To help you better understand your total cost of ownership, we’ve put together a list that will help you calculate the total cost of ownership for your current content moderation set up.
- Design and development of control panel including both manual and automation features.
- Maintenance and hosting of all tools related to content moderation
- Salary of both direct and indirect staff
- Recruiting/acquisition and retention
- Onboarding and ongoing training to align with changes to policy and CX
- Shrinkage and shift management
- Impacts of ineffective and/or costly moderation
- Damage to brand and retention
- Reduced conversions and stunted growth
- Customer support costs
On top of this remember that the cost you pay for moderation isn’t just financial it’s also about opportunity cost. Setup and management of moderation processes will divert some focus from what really matters. Developing a competitive product and features that can carry your platform into the new reality of the online marketplace industry.
Benefits of Besedo Total
For 16 years we’ve been supporting classifieds and marketplaces across the globe. As moderation has moved from a USP to a business need, sites are increasingly looking for a provider where they can just offload their entire moderation process. Not just the manual labor, but the technology, the setup and the day to day management.
To meet the demands of the marketplace industry of tomorrow, we’ve developed a completely new service called Besedo Total.
With Besedo total you are guaranteed:
- Moderation of 100% of your listings
- 30 minutes or less average time to site
- Moderation accuracy of at least 95%
- A monthly report covering listing flow and trends and user insights observed while moderating
We shoulder all the responsibilities of day to day management, staffing and quality assurance. Giving you space to develop your core product.
Finally, our clients have seen a cost reduction of up to 60% of their previous moderation cost.
How does Besedo Total work?
For Besedo Total to work well it’s important that we truly understand the needs of our clients. As such, each setup begins with a thorough discovery phase where we discuss and agree on policies, processes and estimate the monthly volumes. With the foundation in place we can move on to implementation and execution quickly and in total, we can go live in about 9 weeks from the contract is signed.
Here’s how the full implementation roadmap looks.
What does Besedo Total cover?
Besedo Total covers every single listing you need moderated and will be able to replace your entire moderation set up.
You will no longer have to develop and maintain a moderation tool, you save time and money as you no longer have to hire, manage, train and retrain a moderation team. Besedo Total also removes the need to spend time keeping up to date with new moderation challenges.
We handle both text and images with no extra associated cost and no restrictions on the ratio between them.
The Besedo Total setup consists of 1st and 2nd line moderation with trust and safety cases covered by experts in the area to keep your users safe.
All of our agents go through an in-depth training program and benefits from internal knowledge and support, but 2nd line agents are more experienced and often have more specialized focus areas.
Get time to innovate where it matters
Handing something so fundamental as content moderation over to a partner can feel daunting at first, but it’s a necessary step towards resource optimization. With Besedo Total you get a partner who understands content moderation to the core, with over 16 years of experience in the field, specifically focused on classifieds and online marketplaces.
You get a full-fledged moderation setup, that doesn’t require any micromanagement on your part, while still delivering the high-quality results you require.
Finally, integration is easy and smooth, implementation is done in 9 weeks or less and once in place, no maintenance is required on your part.
Isn’t it time you stop feeding resources into reinventing existing tools and focus full speed on developing features supporting the value-added services required for tomorrows monetization?
Get in touch with a solution designer to hear how we can take moderation off your shoulders so you can spend time on the challenges that will set you apart from your competitors.