Marketplace Beta Testing to Take Place on Aditi
To improve the quality of upcoming releases, we are launching a Beta program for the Marketplace. Starting today, Aditi will be used as the Marketplace Beta testing grid.* All merchants will be able to test new features and bug fixes at least five days before each Marketplace release. In addition to the Marketplace Beta release notes that are posted on the wiki, updates will be posted in the “Technical Announcements” section of the Marketplace Merchant Admin to alert merchants of current beta tests.
Please be aware that if there is an urgent bug fix or operational issue that needs to be addressed, there may not be time to perform Beta testing on Aditi.
Direct Delivery Beta Testing
In December, all merchants will have the opportunity to purchase and list items using Direct Delivery on Aditi. We will be allowing a limited number of merchants to Beta test Direct Delivery in production before the official launch, which will not occur until after the New Year. If you would like to learn more about Direct Delivery, please see the updated Direct Delivery FAQ.
We’d like to thank those of you who are willing and able to help out with Beta testing. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Feedback on features is much appreciated on the Merchants Forum!
*Note that this is for general Beta testing, which will include Direct Delivery, but is different from the Direct Delivery Beta Program. Please see the wiki for instructions on how to use Marketplace on Aditi (including where to get Magic Boxes from).
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Marketplace Beta Testing to Take Place on Aditi
Now we’re offering a new program to help Merchants deliver great deals on Marketplace in a way that’s quicker and easier for shoppers—and who doesn’t love that? The “Dash Deal” test program will enable Merchants to attract new customers and for shoppers to score deep discounts on one selected item from the best virtual goods on the Marketplace.
Scheduled to launch in April, the “Dash Deal” test program aims to make good deals easier to find and boost visibility for our Marketplace Merchants. Marketplace Merchants interested in participating in the program should apply here.
How does the program work?
Starting in April, a single new “Dash Deal” will be selected one day of each week and promoted at a deep discount of at least 50% off and available for only 24 hours. Linden Lab will promote each Dash Deal to the general Resident population, increasing awareness of both the Merchant and Marketplace.
How will Linden Lab promote the Dash Deal program?
Linden Lab will be employing a complete marketing campaign to drive traffic to a single Dash Deal on Marketplace one time each week during the test period, including: direct email to active users, Twitter, and Facebook.
How will giving a discount help Merchants’ business?
By discounting your item for 24 hours, you will attract the attention of deal-minded shoppers who otherwise might never have noticed your store. It’s a great way to build brand recognition with new customers, giving them a chance to experience your high-quality items and encouraging some to come back for future purchases.
What are the benefits of participating in the program?
- Marketing support from Linden Lab
- Boost in sales for the Dash Deal item
- Increased visibility for your Marketplace content
- Enhanced brand recognition for your store among shoppers
More about the criteria, rules, deadlines, and legal fine print can be found here. Keep in mind that this is a test program, so these rules are subject to change—particularly if the test is successful, and we move forward with the program in the future. We will also be soliciting feedback through a survey after the test is complete, so you will have the opportunity to share your ideas with us.
We look forward to promoting our Merchants through this test.
“Spring Break” is the theme for our Marketplace promotions in March. If you would like to boost traffic to your Spring Break-related items for sale on the Marketplace, please add the keyword “beachbonanza” to your relevant listings. We will be using embedded search on that keyword in links in our outbound promotional channels—starting in the first week of March. Please be sure to use the keyword with your relevant wares.
You all may have seen that, in preparation for the new Community Platform, Forums, Blogs and Answers will be in read-only mode starting Feb. 21, at 12:01 am PDT. During this time period, communication out for any urgent Marketplace updates will be occurring on my user page on the wiki, and tweeted from the @slmerchants twitter account.
Please continuet to use the following communication channels for communication to us about Marketplace:
- JIRA: for defects and feature requests
- Customer Service: for help with refunds, maturity and flagging questions/issues, other Marketplace issues that may not be defects
Thank you for your patience while we work to improve our communication tools!
I just wanted to let people know that the gifting updates have been released. Here is a summary of the changes:
- We have a new button: "Add To Cart As Gift"
- New Residents are giftable right away
- Giftee now visible in the order history
There is also a link to the Merchant's store in the order and order history now. For more information, please see the wiki page on this update.
Please let us know what you think of these changes. Happy gifting!
In order to try accomodating different schedules, I'm having this week's user group (formerly called office hours) at 9am PST on Thursday, 2/3. Apologies for not getting this out be EOW last week. Friday was a bit of a busy day parsing feedback and identifying issues with the Maturity roll out.
Please submit agenda items for this week's meeting. I plan to discuss the following:
- Maturity: I will be asking for pro-active feedback on what we can do in the future to make transitions like this a better experience for us all. I'll be starting with a list that those of us involved in the project on the Linden Lab side have come up with. We'll add suggestions/comments from you all and help that shape the practices of the Marketplace team going forward. I'd like to limit conversation on Maturity to 30 minutes maximum.
- User Group Update: Plans for user groups.
- Other topics?
I'll be updating the wiki shortly. I'll also be sending out an update on the Maturity thread at EOD today--just haven't had time to write it up yet.
Please try to submit agenda items by EOD Wednesday, 2/2.
Adding link to invitation: http://bit.ly/g2nPaj
Message was edited by: Brooke Linden
As many of you know, the teen grid was shut down on Friday. This week, we will be rolling out some changes in Marketplace to ensure Residents under 18 will not be exposed to adult content. Here is a quick summary of what changes will be occurring.
Phase 1: 1/27 Release
On Thursday, the Marketplace will move to the General, Moderate, and Adult content levels already in use in the Viewer. Just prior to this release (starting on Wednesday), we will be running a process that will add a content level to existing items. Once the release has been completed, you will be able to review the ratings set on your Marketplace listings by viewing your inventory: there will be a new column “Maturity” showing what level the item falls into. Search will now support viewing general or moderate/adult content. Please view the updated listing guidelines (link points to the current guidelines) on Thursday for more details.
Note that, in addition to automated process to migrate listings, it will continue to be possible to flag listings. Please take some time after the new guidelines are posted to review your listings and make sure they comply. People will be able to start flagging listings based upon the new guidelines on Thursday (though I do not expect that we will see much of this right away), so the sooner you can do this, the better!
Phase 2: by 2/28/2011
Before the end of February, Marketplace will be updated to allow setting maturity level preferences at a more granular level than is currently supported, such as allowing Residents to view moderate content without adult content included.
Why was this done in 2 steps? Timing, pure and simple. We wanted to ensure we had the proper controls in place as soon as possible for the teens entering the main grid. Phase 2 will provide further refinement.
The Marketplace team is happy to announce a new function today that should help SL merchants with two important tasks:
- ensuring the proper data is migrated from XStreetSL to the new Marketplace
- releasing new versions of their products via a faster and easier process
Introducing the Edit Associated Object Function
The new Edit Associated Object function allows merchants to change the underlying Marketplace inventory item associated with a product listing. This was previously accomplished via a clunky workaround. The new function will help us with our final migration of product reviews and historical sales data from XStreetSL to the new Marketplace. Going forward, it provides an easier way for merchants to update existing products and release new versions of a product.
Some merchants will need to use this to be sure their data gets migrated correctly. Most Marketplace items have already had their data migrated. However, some merchants will have to manually verify that their Marketplace products are associated with the correct XStreetSL items. This applies to you if you have either:
- manually created any products on the new Marketplace that correspond to XStreetSL products, or
- renamed Marketplace inventory items in order to release new versions.
If so, please verify that your Marketplace products have the correct XStreetSL ID specified before Tuesday, January 4. That date will be the final migration of data from XStreetSL. After migration is complete, we will remove the XStreetSL Product ID field from each product’s Edit Item Listing page.
To use the new function, log into the Marketplace, and follow the steps below:
- 1. Navigate to My Marketplace > Merchant Home
- 2. Click Manage Inventory
- 3. Click Edit for an active product listing
- 4. Under SL Object Name, click, Edit Associated Object
- 5. In the Change Related Inventory pop-up, search for the Marketplace inventory item you'd like to associate with the product listing, and click on it to select
- 6. On the main Edit Item Listing page, scroll to the bottom and click Update
For more information, see our wiki:
The L$ exchange at XStreetSL will close on Wednesday, December 15th. All other account management and transaction history services will remain available on the XStreetSL site through at least the first quarter of 2011.
When trading is halted on the XStreetSL exchange, any unfilled orders will be canceled, and all balances being reserved (both L$ and US$) will be returned to Second Life accounts within 24 hours. You can view both your L$ and US$ account balances by logging in to the LindeX.
As part of our continued efforts to provide Residents with new ways to promote and discover products, services, and inworld businesses, we have recently launched the SL Advertising Beta at advertise.secondlife.com and we invite you to join the program.
Second Life Advertising is a self-service advertising system allowing advertisers to purchase targeted display ads on multiple Linden Lab web properties such as the SL Marketplace and SL Land Auction sites. If this test is successful, then we hope to extend advertising offerings to additional Second Life web properties. To learn more, check out Torley’s video tutorial on the wiki, where there’s also more information about the program.
Among other things, SL Advertising features include the following:
- Display banner ads evenly over the time period you select
- Target ads to specific SL Marketplace product categories
To join the program, just go to the SL Advertising Beta site and click on the “Get Started Now” button. Please send us all of your feedback, requests, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're on Twitter, please use the #slmarketplace hashtag.