After nearly a year of design, development, and testing, our shiny new version 2.0 is finally available on iPhone and Android!
"But what's new - how can you actually improve upon the nouveau-marketplace app status quo?" perhaps some might ask...
Well, let me tell you a story son.
Prior to starting our design phase for v2.0, we spoke to a bunch of our most devoted users, looked at all of our user behaviour data, held focus groups and sent out surveys to our target user groups (Mothers and Students). The result was a decent idea of what was missing with both traditional and upcoming marketplaces - a ton of features and functions that users actually want. So then we got to work, and a year later it's finally live!
So what's new for version 2.0?
NEW INTERFACE & DESIGN: Our resident design surgeon, Dr. Roberts, has completely redesigned the layout of Paperclip to create a refined user experience. The results speak for themselves.
REMOVED PRICES: Removing prices means you have a better chance of getting more for the items you are selling, it also eliminates annoying seller-inflated prices which put folk off buying an item. Sellers can still set a minimum price, which means they'll only receive offers above the set price - but buyers won't get to see this. A lot of user feedback and data pointed towards this decision.
The ultimate ambition with removing the price is;
- To encourage buyers to make offers which they deem are fair, without being influenced by a guide price. You don't see a price tag on your friend's unwanted iPhone do you?
- To emphasize the value of everyday items laying unused around your home - many people see a currency symbol and immediately think about making cash offers, neglecting the fact that they're surrounded by unwanted items which are essentially 'cash on the shelf'
- To get buyers and sellers to negotiate and engage in real-life negotiation processes
MAKE YOUR OWN MARKETPLACE WITH PAPERCLIP GROUPS: This one's a bit of a game-changer as far as we're concerned... and something that probably took the longest to get right in terms of development. You can now create a private or public marketplace for your friends, family, university, community - anything you like really. Again, a lot of data pointed towards adding this feature, and the only way to currently do this with existing platforms is via Facebook Groups (did you know that there are 200 million of them!?). Just 9% of those surveyed felt comfortable sharing their secondhand buying and selling habits with friends and family on Facebook. To put it succinctly, we're going to do for those 200 million Facebook Buy/Sell groups what Eventbrite did for Facebook Events - add a transaction process, advanced verification processes, and most importantly... take them off Facebook!
NEGOTIATE: With Paperclip version 2.0, you are not limited to only being able to accept or decline an offer. You can now negotiate, which means you don’t have to keep declining an offer until you get what you want. You can send a counter-offer to the buyer indicating what you are willing to accept, it is then on them to accept, decline, or negotiate again. This is how we do it in life so why not bring it to the 21st century?
TRADE CENTRE: A dedicated and easy to use transaction section, which automatically filters all your offers, messages, and notifications into buying and selling… you’re welcome.
RESPONSE RATES & REVIEWS: Unresponsive users and time-wasters are one of the biggest problems with marketplace. We trawled through hundreds of reviews from other marketplace platforms and gained a lot of insight; problems with unresponsive buyers and sellers were among the most common reasons for negative reviews. We have added several new features to prevent this from happening, and to help manage expectations with inactive buyers and sellers. Every Paperclip user now has a response rate, which falls if they fail to respond to other users within an appropriate time. We have also opened up the review process so you can leave a user review at any time, not just after a trade has been completed.
ADVANCED VERIFICATION: Safety has never been more important to us, with more items and users being added to Paperclip each week than ever before. Indeed, one of our co-founders recently wrote an article claiming that 'trust is the new currency in the economy' - he has absolutely no clue what he's talking about of course, but he does have a good point... trust is important. For this reason, we've added some enhanced security and verification settings. In short, you can now verify your account via Facebook, email, and SMS - and you can check the verification status of other buyers and sellers on their profile. I'm not going to lie to your pretty faces and tell you that we spent hours researching trust processes, we basically we took a look at how other sharing economy based startups such as Uber and Airbnb were solving the trust issue... and emulated their verification processes.
So there you go, after nearly a year of design and development we've finally released a product that we're proud of; a purpose-built marketplace based on extensive user feedback, with innovative features that we can proudly say you won't find elsewhere.
So what's next?
We'll be starting slow with the ramp-up for this version; we'll take a month's worth of user behaviour and feedback to refine the user experience for a version 2.1 release in June, and then we'll start cracking on with some rather serious new features for 2.2 and beyond, which should put us in a strong position to take over Wales / the UK / Europe / the world within the next decade. Or something like that.
As always, we'd love to hear about how you're finding the new version; whether it's a bug, a new feature, or just something you'd like to rant about, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org!