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The new Marketplace Features coming - Merchant Survey Requirement


Charlotte Bartlett
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I am little unsure about posting in this thread again hah, but I wanted to let people know:

The Manager option for Marketplace: - was raised under JIRA https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-216104?

It has been accepted by LL (not sure what that means as I am not too familiar with the workflow used) but if you are still interested to follow that specific feature request.

Thanks,

Charlotte

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The survey is a great idea and it would give more creators the opportunity to have a voice outside of the bubble here. At the same time, the feedback (survey) could add invaluable context that numbers on a spreadsheet could never reveal.

I think it has been universally agreed upon, that Sansar has a different target audience, so it would also be perfectly reasonable to suggest that the fee's associated with merchants doing business in either platform could be different. I would think LL is aware that any drastic fee changes could have profound effects on the economy, and at this stage; those changes must be made with care. An increase to 30% IMO seems very unlikely at this juncture.

The fee increase is going to help supplemental the cost of development for the new marketplace and diversify LL's revenue stream which is desperately needed if we're trying to create a healthier platform which is more easily sustainable. That benefits us all.

Edited by Chase01
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On March 21, 2018 at 7:23 PM, ChinRey said:
  1.  
  2. A way to change the listing order of items within a store

This, even if it is just the ability to select the items that are always listed first.

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On 4/24/2018 at 9:37 PM, Chase01 said:

I think it has been universally agreed upon, that Sansar has a different target audience, so it would also be perfectly reasonable to suggest that the fee's associated with merchants doing business in either platform could be different. I would think LL is aware that any drastic fee changes could have profound effects on the economy, and at this stage; those changes must be made with care. An increase to 30% IMO seems very unlikely at this juncture.

The fee increase is going to help supplemental the cost of development for the new marketplace and diversify LL's revenue stream which is desperately needed if we're trying to create a healthier platform which is more easily sustainable. That benefits us all.

To the bolded, they absolutely SHOULD be different. Different target audiences have different price points on all kinds of products, even from the same creator/manufacturer/whatever. IT stands to reason that SL and Sansar should NOT have similar fees, in any capacity, simply due to the fact that they are two different products(regardless of minor similarities) with two very different audiences.  If LL (or anhyone else for that matter) cannot see this, well, they're more blind than I am and I've barely got a few toes still left in the door on that one.

As for the second part, I think you're making a lot of assumptions, much like LL is attempting to feed them to people, that the fees will actually go towards these things. How many years has the MP been, well, barely functional, and certainly subpar at best? How many of those years has LL made a profit and done little to nothing at all to remedy the problems? (the same can be said for the rest of sl, the profits LL have made and the seemingly non-existent spending of said profits for the betterment of the platform.) I mean, if we want to be real about this, why wasn't profit being invested into improvement this entire time, and I don't mean bare minimum keep it running and every now and then add something that will appease them.

I love sl, I even love LL, despite my, well non supportive nature of them sometimes, but damn. How long are we to believe that all fees are for our benefit, without some hard evidence to back that up? LL saying "it's for your own good" is not hard evidence, nor is an individual resident saying it is, lol. No matter how much I understand overhead and bills, improvements cost money, etc...I'm not stupid enough to think fee increases are always necessary, especially when I know profits are pretty damn good, and the work done with said profits thus far, has been minimal. I need to see the kinds of changes that can be accomplished WITHOUT a fee increase, personally, to have less doubt that a fee increase will actually increase improvements too. I need to know capability exists, but thats me.

Edited by Tari Landar
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If you look through the JIRAs (on assumption I am doing this right) under New Feature Requests opened over the past 4 years, there are about 4 JIRAs with more than 4 votes from residents asking for marketplace improvements/features that I could find - I found that really surprising!

1 - Add a Store Manager Option - 55 votes.

2 - Add bulk discount optionality - 45 votes.

3 - Ban List for Marketplace - 9 votes.

3 - Batch Upload to Marketplace - 8 votes.   

I think unless merchants can actively go and vote for Jira's to prioritize their interests, we never will see improvements as looking through the AGILE boards/EPICS - it looks like there is barely any interest for changes.     There is a small minority on this forum who are vocal, but often that gets lost in the noise here and LL have said to us multiple times to use JIRA for our feature requests.

I don't know what the answer is to that, the Store Manager one we blasted across a ton of merchants, and still not a huge vote turn out but it did get it into the top 13 which gives us insight to the fact that most merchants don't really know about/use the JIRA - so perhaps some education/promotion of that would help people focus their efforts into the right arena to get their changes sponsored.

Edited by Charlotte Bartlett
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On 4/27/2018 at 5:08 PM, Tari Landar said:

As for the second part, I think you're making a lot of assumptions, much like LL is attempting to feed them to people, that the fees will actually go towards these things. How many years has the MP been, well, barely functional, and certainly subpar at best? How many of those years has LL made a profit and done little to nothing at all to remedy the problems? (the same can be said for the rest of sl, the profits LL have made and the seemingly non-existent spending of said profits for the betterment of the platform.) I mean, if we want to be real about this, why wasn't profit being invested into improvement this entire time, and I don't mean bare minimum keep it running and every now and then add something that will appease them.

I love sl, I even love LL, despite my, well non supportive nature of them sometimes, but damn. How long are we to believe that all fees are for our benefit, without some hard evidence to back that up? LL saying "it's for your own good" is not hard evidence, nor is an individual resident saying it is, lol. No matter how much I understand overhead and bills, improvements cost money, etc...I'm not stupid enough to think fee increases are always necessary, especially when I know profits are pretty damn good, and the work done with said profits thus far, has been minimal. I need to see the kinds of changes that can be accomplished WITHOUT a fee increase, personally, to have less doubt that a fee increase will actually increase improvements too. I need to know capability exists, but thats me.

Hard evidence? When was the last time you were given hard evidence to warrant a fee increase of any kind. It doesn't happen. So enjoy the long wait.

Fees go up all the time without explanation, and just because a company is profitable, doesn't mean they are willing to give you a free lunch. It sucks (I agree), but that is reality. I am not stupid, I am a realist. I don't welcome a fee increase, but the real question becomes what are you going to do if you don't have it your way.

When LL says the update will be better for vendors, it doesn't necessarily mean that every store on the MP will see a sales increase. It means that we will have a MP with more functions. Although I'd suspect that some vendors might see an increase if non supported listings are removed, and as more buyers are exposed to listings that they may not have seen before due to any number of reasons like, relevance, gacha, etc. Of course that figure cannot be quantified, but it will help give the business to those currently still active.

The MP is far from perfect, but it is a reliable platform. It's just starting to show its age. Going as far as saying it is "barely functional" is a bit of a stretch. I have always been able to find what I was looking for and make a purchase without issue.

I thought Ebbe was quite transparent, even when questioned about things such as land prices in the face of lower hosting costs.

 

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Ban List for Marketplace JIRA should be as old as Marketplace itself. I remember voting for it (and watching it) many many years ago, and back then there was already something like 50+ votes. It was also filed under "nice to have" priority, which was like the least priority possible. I imagine JIRA system has been updated since then or something, but that's not our (merchants') fault or problem.

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16 hours ago, Elvina Ewing said:

Ban List for Marketplace JIRA should be as old as Marketplace itself. I remember voting for it (and watching it) many many years ago, and back then there was already something like 50+ votes. It was also filed under "nice to have" priority, which was like the least priority possible. I imagine JIRA system has been updated since then or something, but that's not our (merchants') fault or problem.

It looks like a few years old for sure but doesn’t have more votes than noted.  Perhaps there is a duplicate further back I could not see anything prior to 2014.  Am guessing it would show up in your dashboard directly if voted for an older one.    The others as mentioned don’t have much support at all.

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On 4/29/2018 at 12:02 AM, Chase01 said:

Hard evidence? When was the last time you were given hard evidence to warrant a fee increase of any kind. It doesn't happen. So enjoy the long wait.

Fees go up all the time without explanation, and just because a company is profitable, doesn't mean they are willing to give you a free lunch. It sucks (I agree), but that is reality. I am not stupid, I am a realist. I don't welcome a fee increase, but the real question becomes what are you going to do if you don't have it your way.

When LL says the update will be better for vendors, it doesn't necessarily mean that every store on the MP will see a sales increase. It means that we will have a MP with more functions. Although I'd suspect that some vendors might see an increase if non supported listings are removed, and as more buyers are exposed to listings that they may not have seen before due to any number of reasons like, relevance, gacha, etc. Of course that figure cannot be quantified, but it will help give the business to those currently still active.

The MP is far from perfect, but it is a reliable platform. It's just starting to show its age. Going as far as saying it is "barely functional" is a bit of a stretch. I have always been able to find what I was looking for and make a purchase without issue.

I thought Ebbe was quite transparent, even when questioned about things such as land prices in the face of lower hosting costs.

 

Ok, since Im not attempting to reply from a phone now, lol, I can actually reply.

I don't actually disagree with a lot of what you said, and i most certainly was not very clear in my post, at all, now that I read it over more, with my points. Yes, of COURSE fees go up, often times seemingly(to end user/customer) at random, with no real reasoning(or generic one if one is ever really given), and little hard evidence that it's necessary. That said, the latter part, isn't that difficult to come by, so I should probably explain that part a bit more. Hard evidence is a culmination of various bits of evidence, it isn't necessarily something that one can gather in one sitting to present and say "here, this is why", or even that it's inherently deserved by end customer(s), really. It is something that develops over time, it's a company's reputation when it comes to updates, customer service, products offered, general service, ability to work past/through errors/issues/bugs/whatever the hell goes wrong(as things ALWAYS do). Generally speaking, once a company builds up a good rep in this area, hard evidence has been gathering since day one and is SUPER easy to see/offer to end customer. When a company does things that can damage their own rep, building up hard evidence that "fees are necessary" and using the reasoning "it's for your own good" can be far more difficult than it NEEDS to be.  So that's where LL's rep as a company with the ability to see and understand both their target audience AND their product as well as what both need/want, comes into play. We ALL know LL does not have a good rep in that area, they truly do lack the ability to understand both product as well as customer/target audience, and therefore have a much more difficult time building up hard evidence that fee increases are indeed being used for "our good". I don;t know if that makes much more sense, or not. 

I don't trust individuals that seem to think they know what LL means by something, in this area specifically, because they are almost always wrong, lol. It's not a slight against the individual, but rather LL, because they are rarely transparent on much of anything(and they are NOT alone, so before anyone spouts off about "what business is", I'm not an idiot, lol) 

This isn't just a reply to you, but just a general reply too....I should point out that I am someone who is coming at this subject from not only a customer standpoint(resident, really) but also a MERCHANT, which I believe is important. I have been a merchant in sl with every single inception of MP and all it's previous versions, not just a customer. I know what works for me, and I have read countless entries from other merchants about what works for them too over the last who knows how long in all of the many forum incarnations we've had as well as inworld. I have watched what LL has and has not done with, about, to , etc... all of the forms of "online marketplaces" associated with SL over the years. I have watched what they have done with and to MP,  along with merchants, since MP's inception too. I have watched customers/residents and merchants alike discuss this entire "marketplace for SL" subject for years. So I am taking ALL of that information, into account here. I have thought about the countless JIRAs that never were seen from again, I have considered that JIRAs for the longest time were even screwed up and no one could, watch comment, vote, etc...I take into account all of the issues merchants-not just end customers-have had over the years into account too. ALl of the discussions we have had(which have been very educating, lengthy, diverse and VAST in number)..I take it ALL into account when I say "the proof is in the pudding" and thus far, in THIS area (MP improvement), LL doesn't have the proof or the pudding, much less the rep, to state and have customers believe with any level of confidence that "fee increases for MP are necessary". So, yeah, I won't apologize for being a skeptic in THIS area, based solely off evidence LL has gven me and hundreds of thousands of the rest of ya over the last decade plus that they have NO freaking clue what they're doing when it comes to a "online marketplace associated with sl", and have little desire to LISTEN to us. Please, read through some of the various topics on this subject (mp improvement). My stance is spelled out pretty dang clearly, in way more words and way better ways, on the topic. I am quite supportive of LL, but I'm also a realist, and I know that they have NO good track record at all in this area...YET.  They could, and they can fix that issue pretty easily by just LISTENING..but they don't have it yet. Other areas of SL, though similar in some fashion, they have much better track records...with MP...nope, not even close, and trying to pretend they do, tells me that some folks ONLY have experience with MP as a end user, not a merchant, and likely have little to no experience with the prior versions of similar things offered by OTHERS outside of LL(and how well they worked, or were fixed when something went wrong..generally...better).  It's entirely likely those folks also haven't read these myriad of subjects that merchants and even some customers have discussed over the years on these forums, all prior forums, other forums outside of LL's control, etc.

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4 hours ago, Tari Landar said:

We ALL know LL does not have a good rep in that area, they truly do lack the ability to understand both product as well as customer/target audience, and therefore have a much more difficult time building up hard evidence that fee increases are indeed being used for "our good".

In my own experience outside of SL, having acted in different levels of management, disconnects are all too common(top down management). This isn't an inherit issue birthed by LL. The decisions often made by top brass seemingly make no sense, or are perceived as counterproductive to those on the front lines. As users of the platform, we're on the front lines. We're seeing the result of their actions first hand. So this is an all too familiar experience. It is this disconnect that creates an opportunity to make decisions which may be seen poorly by the community and only further enhanced by those directly affected by any suggested changes. This is exactly why a survey is needed. All we can do then is hope that a balance is made between what is good for the users and good for the company.

When is any community ever welcoming of a fee increase of any kind, especially when it involves directly influencing income. So they don't have to convince me of anything, cause they never will. Unless of course you're privy to a balance sheet, you're likely never going to know where and how your money is spent, so all of this talk about evidence is just white noise. We can provide appropriate feedback where applicable, see what the fee is and then it will be up to the individual to do what is in their best interest. That is the bottom line.

 

Edited by Chase01
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On 29.4.2018 at 6:02 AM, Chase01 said:

I thought Ebbe was quite transparent, even when questioned about things such as land prices in the face of lower hosting costs.

He is always very open and honest in his answers. But in this case that is actually rather worrying because if he had had an answer to how the MP updates would benefit the merchants, he would have given it. And he didn't.

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On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 5:21 AM, Elvina Ewing said:

Ban List for Marketplace JIRA should be as old as Marketplace itself. I remember voting for it (and watching it) many many years ago, and back then there was already something like 50+ votes. It was also filed under "nice to have" priority, which was like the least priority possible. I imagine JIRA system has been updated since then or something, but that's not our (merchants') fault or problem.

 

On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 10:06 PM, Charlotte Bartlett said:

It looks like a few years old for sure but doesn’t have more votes than noted.  Perhaps there is a duplicate further back I could not see anything prior to 2014.  Am guessing it would show up in your dashboard directly if voted for an older one.    The others as mentioned don’t have much support at all.

A few years back they closed virtually all open JIRAs as no longer relevant, and said that the initial JIRA creator was the only one that could re-open it. Due to "platform upgrades", if I recall it correctly.

They "solved" many issues that way!

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6 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

A few years back they closed virtually all open JIRAs as no longer relevant, and said that the initial JIRA creator was the only one that could re-open it. Due to "platform upgrades", if I recall it correctly.

They "solved" many issues that way!

Ummm... I once filed a JIRA suggesting they should do that. They rejected the idea right away of course but, as you said, a year or two later they did it anyway because they obviously didn't have any choice.

The reason I suggested it was that the JIRA system was so overloaded with things to do, nobody but nobody could possibly handle the load effectively. Bug reports just kept piling up and nothing was ever done about most of them. The options they had, was to either do a few things well or intend to do a lot of things well... some day... as soon as they got a round tuit.

I have to say it worked too. With the pressure down to a more manageable level, LL is able to handle the JIRAs far faster and more efficiently than they used to.

Edited by ChinRey
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14 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

 

A few years back they closed virtually all open JIRAs as no longer relevant, and said that the initial JIRA creator was the only one that could re-open it. Due to "platform upgrades", if I recall it correctly.

They "solved" many issues that way!

That would make sense as I couldn't see anything before 2014 and the ban one looks to be closed.

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On 5/3/2018 at 1:18 AM, ChinRey said:

He is always very open and honest in his answers. But in this case that is actually rather worrying because if he had had an answer to how the MP updates would benefit the merchants, he would have given it. And he didn't.

I noticed this too, but a lot of his answers didn't seem to have much texture and I don't think it was as a result of him trying to be deceptive (I could be wrong though). Even his response to Adult content, while answered directly (no change), was very lackluster. He didn't seem like a very poignant and versed public speaker IMO lol. :D

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1 hour ago, Chase01 said:

I don't think it was as a result of him trying to be deceptive (I could be wrong though).

I'm afraid it means he doesn't have an answer.

I may have missed a couple of points, but if I understood right, they are planning to boost the recruitment of new users by focusing on virtual dj wannabes and they expect the increase of total revenue from this influx of newcomers to compensate for the higher expenses. Call me a pessimist if you like but I'm not quite convinced that is going to be enough.

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12 hours ago, ChinRey said:

planning to boost the recruitment of new users by focusing

And who ends up having to teach these new customers but the merchants. For example, I was just asked these questions: 'why does my texture break up when I stretch it?'  and another customer 'Why do I only get the white boxes when I try to stretch an item, and not the blue, red green?' And this is just today. Yes please, increase our fees for the privilege of teaching newbies.

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3 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

And they are not just newbies.

A friend of mine once explained to me the difference between a newbie and a noob. A newbie is somebody who has only been in SL for a short while, a noob is somebody who behaves like they have only been in SL for a short while. Not all newbies are noobs and not all noobs are newbies.

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2 hours ago, Rya Nitely said:

And who ends up having to teach these new customers but the merchants.

You worry too much, Rya. There won't be any influx of newcomers to teach.

All you have to do is sit down, relax and watch Linden Lab help you get rid of some of that annoying profit your MP store burdens you with. :)

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5 hours ago, Rya Nitely said:

 

And who ends up having to teach these new customers but the merchants.

As a customer I honestly expect that lol.
Back in the day when I started, merchants had not only signs in their stores but also included detailed notecards describing how to use the inventory and how to wear system clothes and prim attachments. This sort of service continued when the 'add' function was implemented, making sure that everybody understood the benefit of that new feature. So I got spoiled, I guess haha

I was on a SL break when mesh and mesh bodies hit the market, and when I came back it was the whole 'newbie experience' all over again. Putting on clothes would lead to lose the body or hands. Using appliers and then wondering for the next 30 minutes, why something wouldn't go off my hands or why it wouldn't show lol. There was no such thing as detailed store signs or notecards explaining to me how to use things properly or what to expect. It was simply assumed, that I would know or find out the hard way. If that wasn't easy for me, how must it be for someone who really just started?

All the experience I have gained as a customer has taught me as a creator to see it from the view of a customer - and yes, a newbie, too! - and expect that there will be problems and weird questions. Those couple of minutes - or let it be 2 hours! - I invest in proper setup of my item to make it as noob secure as possible and a detailed description - OR in talking to the customer to solve the issue - WILL not only cause less frustration on the customers' side, but also to less headaches on my side, leading to satisfied loyal customers, good reviews and some to none weird questions. And customer service never had, and never will be bound to rental or fee prices, because a customer doesn't care what your expenses are, all they care is that they paid for your product and expect their problem to be fixed or question to be answered. It's as simple as that ;) 

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To get back to the subject of this thread:

Thank you Charlotte for starting it. I agree to everybody's suggestions and see them ALL as essential and beneficial features to be implemented on the MP.
So a survey would be MORE than welcome! I would even go that far to make it a community wide survey to get as much input as possible from both, creators and customers! Especially also to give those a voice, who aren't that much into chiming in on the forums (like me *coughs*) but who would love to see some changes.

While quickly browsing through the Jira, I found some other reports that relate to some suggestions here:

SL Marketplace: Redeliver button for copy items
https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-2120 
 
Marketplace Listing Improvement 02: Allow multiple selections for image uploads
https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-7723

I also have the feeling that search results have gotten worse over time, making the MP experience highly frustrating.
[SLM Beta Search] Marketplace Beta includes unrelated listings to the search results
https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-10694
 
I'm sure there's more, would really be worth hitting that search button some more times...

About the fee increase:
it really depends on the amount. And then I think we basically have only 3 options: either increase our prices and basically make our customers pay for it, or simply not using the MP as a selling platform anymore. Option number 3 would be for stores which make over 90% of their income from the MP to simply ditch the inworld store and cut down on customer support... *shrugs*
Edited by Cuore Capalini
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59 minutes ago, Cuore Capalini said:

I also have the feeling that search results have gotten worse over time, making the MP experience highly frustrating.

Not really. The new search function was horrible at first but once the worst issues were sorted out, I think it actually is better than not quite as bad as the old.

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9 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Not really. The new search function was horrible at first but once the worst issues were sorted out, I think it actually is better than not quite as bad as the old.

The function itself is better. 

The experience is worse.

People don't need land anymore, and the keyword spam means lots for time sifting through irrelevant results. 

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4 hours ago, Cuore Capalini said:

As a customer I honestly expect that lol......
 It's as simple as that ;) 

OK, thank you for explaining how simple it is. I'll keep reminding myself of that next time a customer asks me something like how do I make my item bigger. It's my job to explain it to them, how to select stretch texture and how to select edit link/unlink. I'll remember how simple it is. Thank you :(

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