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Darrius Gothly

And now for something completely ...

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The new iteration of the SL Marketplace seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point. To be honest, I've not been able to keep track of its progress or status and so it might very well be up and running full steam .. I just haven't noticed. But assuming there is still room for feature requests, I figured I'd put one in via this forum.

Product Search and Listing Enhancement

Customers must be able to rapidly and easily locate a small selection of products that meet their needs / desires. This is typically accomplished by providing a reasonably flexible search interface. For those Merchants that compete in highly competitive and also highly rewarding niches, there needs to be a fair and dependable Listing Enhancement feature that also includes comprehensive statistics.

Why should Linden Lab dedicate employee pay and time to these two functions? Because the faster a customer can find what they are wanting, the faster (and more frequently) they will complete a purchase. Furthermore, the Listing Enhancements are an excellent way for the Marketplace to provide income for LL that is NOT directly tied to sales; remember that they are often purchased as a means to rejuvenate lagging sales, so they naturally tend to make up for the corresponding drop in Commissions.

The Statistics Battle

One of the longest lasting battles between Linden Lab and its Merchant customer base has been over the lack of traffic and sales information made available by the Marketplace. Even the most basic of statistics, things such as page views and Enhancement Performance, are either unavailable or presented in such an obtuse manner as to be completely useless. Yet providing that information would surely help Merchants make better business decisions, thus probably increasing the amount they are willing to spend on advertising etc..

But The Numbers Look ...

Some have said that the reason LL doesn't publish financial data anymore is because it tends to show downturns in places where their investors and financial types do not want to see downturns. But the Marketplace is a whole different kettle. If sales drop on the Marketplace AND Linden Lab hasn't done anything to render the site inoperable then the Parties at fault can only be the Merchants. Which gives LL Management a perfect "I told you so" moment to drub across the Merchants' knuckles.

Please, Treat This Reponsibly

What I'm asking for is the realization by CommerceTeam Linden that basic business info is incredibly valuable to have, very easy to provide, and irresponsible to continue hiding from Merchants. It really is about time that we ALL pull in the same direction and do our best to increase the total amount of real world cash flowing through Second Life. I promise you that, given decent tools and the ability to use them, we will do our very best to pump as much cash into and through LL as we can.

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Agree, of course, as 99% of merchants do, and have been very vocal about for years.

On XStreet free items did not dominate search as they do now. The Most Popular page was full of quality items. 

I remember Pink telling me, when the transition to LL-managed marketplace was beginning, that one of the benefits we would enjoy was MORE tools for merchants. Not radically gutted ones. I used to be able to see the effects of subscribing to Featured advertising was (and Featured was MUCH more effective that the watered down Enhancements we have now (when they are not broken, as so many of mine remain years after they became stuck). 

 

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/me waves .. LTNS

I'm reminded of the old joke about the two guys riding a bicycle built-for-two up a steep hill. It's a long, exhausting effort but they finally reach the top. The guy on the front says "Wow! That was a lot steeper and harder than I thought!" To which the guy on back replies "Yeah, and if I hadn't kept the brake on the entire way, we'd have fallen back down!"

For a long time the goss about Second Life has been how adversarial the relationship is between Company and Customer. Very few people really want to enter into a "relationship" (and let's face it, SL is nothing BUT relationships) that they know will be filled with conflict and anguish.

Here is a chance for Linden Lab to invest a very small amount of time and effort, provide a few features that are truly needed, and step over that "Us v. Them" dynamic that so often detracts from a fully positive relationship. And the best part? LL gets to make MORE money in return as Listing Enhancement and Commission incomes go up.

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I'd like to add a suggestion to the product search - could we not have an option to search for available items only?

I often search for breedables and more often then not the items I look at are no longer available - surely if LL knows that the item isn't available there is no need to display them in the search results (unless specifically asked to).

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Fortyniner Beck wrote:

I'd like to add a suggestion to the product search - could we not have an option to search for available items only?

 

I often search for breedables and more often then not the items I look at are no longer available - surely if LL knows that the item isn't available there is no need to display them in the search results (unless specifically asked to).

That's an excellent idea. Frankly, I'm surprised that Limited Quantity items that have been sold are even included at all. Nothing is more frustrating than finding the empty hole on the shelf where the stuff used to be.

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On XStreet free items did not dominate search as they do now. The Most Popular page was full of quality items. 

Where is all this free stuff? I keep looking but it dosn't come up in hardly any of my searches. I went to the best selling section and went 20 pages deep there was nothing free.

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Gunner Grun wrote:

Where is all this free stuff? ...

Open any of the category or sub-category pages and you'll find each page is predominated by freebie items. In niches where product prices are 3- or 4-digits, shoppers see something with a stupidly low price and they "Buy" it instantly.

My personal opinion is that, after obtaining 2-5 cheap-or-free items in a category and then finding they are worth every penny spent (in other words .. they's total kwap!), naive or newbie shoppers tend to flee and never return. They walk away with the distinct impression that the stuff available on the Marketplace is basically worthless and thus they condemn an entire niche with a horribly inaccurate "sample" to judge from.

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