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Marketplace Update: May 2011


Brooke Linden
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It’s May and time for an update on what is happening with the Marketplace. We continue to focus on our top goals, as follows:

  1. Ensure quick and reliable delivery of items purchased on the Marketplace (Direct Delivery)
  2. Increase the number of shoppers (and GMV) through improved discoverability (search and promotions) and a simple, intuitive experience



Month in Review

In the April Marketplace Update, we tracked some metrics related to maturity. We have seen no significant trend up or down in these metrics during the month of April (a less than 5% overall trend up or down for GMV for each maturity rating).

In April, we tested the Dash Deal promotional program. Though we did see some positive results from the first two Dash Deals, we hit some technical limitations which made management of the program inefficient. As a result, we have discontinued the program.

In order to support goal #2 above, we shipped a couple of user interface changes. We added some new search options: store/merchant search and search within a store. We’ve had some suggestions for improvements on this feature. We’ll be folding feedback into a survey that we will use identify iterative changes we can make to the new search options. Additionally, we added a join button for users that are not logged into the Marketplace.

As many of you know, we had two instances of significant item delivery issues during April. We worked to restore delivery in both of those cases and rolled out a fix for the underlying problem.

Direct Delivery

Direct Delivery is an engineering initiative that will improve the reliability of Marketplace deliveries. Currently no Direct Delivery changes have been deployed to the production environment.

During the month of April, we solicited merchant applications for the Direct Delivery Beta Program and had a great response. We selected 50 merchants and will be getting the program kicked off this month. Merchants were notified via email on April 29, 2011. If you applied and did not get an email, please check your spam folder.

One of the first tasks the Beta Merchants will have is to review an FAQ on Direct Delivery, which will be posted by mid-May. Originally, this was planned for late April. In order to release more complete and accurate information, we delayed this until mid-May.

The current schedule still has us on target to go to Beta at the end of June/early July. We expect the Beta period to last for a couple of months before Direct Delivery is available to all merchants.

What’s Next?

Our primary focus during the month of May will be to get Direct Delivery ready for the Alpha phase, which will occur during the month of June. This will be a private test period for Beta Merchants only.

In addition, we will continue to work on improving the new search functionality, based upon survey feedback. We will also be adding the ability to sort the items in your store--which will then be used to display product images on the merchant/store search results page.

Questions?

If you have questions on this update, please submit them on this thread by the end of day on May 16, 2011. Questions will be reviewed and addressed during that week.

Brooke

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Thanks for the update Brooke :)

One quick question for you to confirm please. When you say that the DD beta testers will be reviewing the FAQ 'which will be posted mid-May', does that mean the FAQ will be available for us all to read in mid-May? I'm really looking forward to DD and am keen to read up on it as soon as possible (I didn't apply for the beta becuase I knew I'd be quite busy and wouldn't be able to dedicate much time to it).

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Thanks for the update, Brooke! Looking forward to learning more about DD system in the mid May release of FAQ.

The new search system with ability to search stores is a wonderful addition :smileyhappy:  - it's helped me when shopping already.

I'm a clothing creator/Merchant and would like to request that a new data field be added for Merchants so that we can enter the "color" of the item when listing or editing a listing? So for instance, if I wanted to search for all things "red" in a store, I could just enter "red" in the search store field. When I set up my listings, I didn't necessarily put common shade names across all items since I use more fanciful names (i.e., a red dress in my store might be "scarlet" or "rouge" or "crimson" etc) - If I could go back and edit them to enter the color "red" it would be great. The items have different keywords because while they may all be red dresses, they appeal to different people, so my keywords were very specific for each kind of outfit - I would have to redo all keyword fields to add a "color" as well at this point. It would be so much easier to just add a field and go back, check all the items to edit and then enter the common color.

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I have the same question mentioned before...

You mentioned that the DD FAQ would be made available to the Beta Testers by mid-May.  In early April at the last office hours meeting, you said to the Merchants that you would be releasing Blogged details of the DD by end of April.  I am assuming this is one and the same.  Is this the same information?  If so, will you be releasing the DD FAQ on a blog to the general forum community or only to the Beta Testers?

Secondly, are the DD Beta Testers under NDA?  If Brooke is unable to answer this, to those of my fellow Merchants that are in the Beta... did you have to sign into an NDA ?

Lastly... a funny comment... Brooke, you still seem to think that when your team sends out emails to the community that it is our SPAM filters that has been blocking your emails.  Several of us have told you many times that this is an incorrect assumption.  Many of us - including me - have missed several LL Commerce emails and I have NO SPAM filter on LL.

 

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

Secondly, are the DD Beta Testers under NDA?  If Brooke is unable to answer this, to those of my fellow Merchants that are in the Beta... did you have to sign into an NDA ?

 

That was stated as part of the application to participate in the program.  Yes the beta testers were required to sign an NDA.

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Toysoldier Thor wrote:

Secondly, are the DD Beta Testers under NDA?  If Brooke is unable to answer this, to those of my fellow Merchants that are in the Beta... did you have to sign into an NDA ?

 

That was stated as part of the application to participate in the program.  Yes the beta testers were required to sign an NDA.

 

 

If I recall - the request from LL for Beta Testers mentioned that Beta Testers "MAY BE ASKED" to sign an NDA.  It did not state that they WOULD BE.  I did not fill out the application nor request to participate - so I do not know what the actual application form stated.

You have confirmed it.

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Josh Susanto wrote:

>Can you explain why all the links for items on our dashboards in the "Shop" and "Merchant Tools" categories all just go to the Marketplace homepage?

Obviously so that you'll forget what you're trying to do and just buy something.

LOLOL ahh very clever :D

 

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Josh Susanto wrote:

Actually, I think it's about as subtle as a cold bucket of sh## in my face.

I'm not that easily distracted if I am trying to check something on my account, so its more annoying that encouraging me to buy stuff. There are faster ways to get the MP home page, so if the features aren`t going to do what they say they do, then they may as well just get rid of them.

 

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I would like to comment on the DASHBOARD DEALS....................... I happen to be a SL Resident, and spend a lot of lindens on marketplace and in world............. from buying clothes and items to entertain myself and others..... renting a sim, tipping dancers and djs, and hosts................ NOW........... I have an issue with these dashboard deals............ I read that the links or updates would be via FACEBOOK AND TWITTER............. !!!!!! ................. I DO NOT WANT TO USE FACEBOOK OR TWITTER AND I HAVE NEITHER USE FOR ANY OF THOSE SO CALLED SOCIAL WEBSITES........ I WANT TO USE SECONDLIFE AS MY SOCIAL NETWORKING CENTRE.......... SO DO NOT PREJUDICE ME BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT OR INTEND TO USE THEM................. AND I DEMAND TO AS A RESIDENT OF SECONDLIFE TO BE GIVEN FULL ACCESS TO THESE DASHBOARD DEALS AND THE DISCOUNTS.... AS ANY OTHER RESIDENT ON SL.... AND THOSE BEING OFFERED DISCOUNTS ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ARE BEING GIVEN SPECIAL TREATMENT...... WELL STOP THIS... AND OFFER ME A SL RESIDENT SPECIAL TREATMENT TOO.... OR IS THIS A CASE OF OH ... THOSE THAT JUST USE SL ARE JUST FOOLS.... LETS GIVE FB AND TWITTER USERS MORE .... WHAT THE HELL IS THIS TREATMENT OF NORMAL SECOND LIFE RESIDENTS........... GIVE US THE SAME RIGHTS. THE SAME TREATMENT AND DO NOT PREJUDICE US BECAUSE WE DONT WANT TO ADD TO THE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER NUMBERS AND PREFER OUR PRIVACY..................  No apologies for shouting, but I am sick of hearing about Facebook and Twitter users having extra stuff/news offered etc.... start dealing fairly with us INWORLD users NOW and also make sure that any information or news on dashboard deals are posted on our DASHBOARDS OF OUR SL ACCOUNTS so we can just click a link and go on MP to see these deals........... I AM HAPPY WITH USING MY SL ACCOUNT DASHBOARD.............. ok my rant is over and done with..... just dont treat us as suckers... and btw the links on the dashboard deals on the forums was not even updated.... so bad updating... however CONGRATULATIONS ON DISCONTINUING AN UNFAIR OFFER.

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So based on no response from Brooke to the questions, I got a more general question...

Is Brooke the only Staffer in the LL Commerce Team that can publicly post communications, answers to questions, participate in the commerce forums?  If shes so incredibly busy, is there not any one else that can answer this VERY SIMPLE questions?

 

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As promised, here are the answers to the questions posted on this forum thread. As an FYI to you all, I will typically group all responses together for this kind of informational post. If there is a time sensitive issue requiring Linden Lab involvement, I or another Linden will do our best to add a response in a timely manner.

Can you add a “color” field to Marketplace listings?
This is a great idea. It’s now in our backlog.

Are Beta Testers under NDA?
Yes, they are. Beta testers are currently allowed to share that they are in the program if they would like, but that is all for the time being. Once the Beta begins, they will be able to share additional information.

Is this mid-May update on Direct Delivery the one originally promised at the end of April?
Yes, it is. Here is the link to the Direct Delivery FAQ.

Can you explain why all the links for items on our dashboards in the "Shop" and "Merchant Tools" categories all just go to the Marketplace homepage?
Because there is a bug. This is tracked under WEB-3641.

I am sure there will be questions on the Direct Delivery FAQ. At this point, clarification of information communicated on the FAQ will be provided, so feel free to add questions to this thread. I'll check back on Monday, May 23, 2011 for questions/comments and will follow up that week.

Brooke

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Thanks for the response Brooke. I've just read the FAQ and is all pretty much as I expected, so no major panic from me. Looking forward to it! :)

I do have a couple of comments on the FAQ though:

1. Re the comment:

"Note that outgoing items will be COPIED from your inventory except in the case of no-copy items. Merchants listing no-copy items will be warned that those items will be moved as opposed to copied as an extra check to prevent accidental moves"

I'm pretty sure I understand what this is saying, but I fear it may cause confusion. I think its saying that items which the seller doesn't directly own that may be no copy will be moved (i.e. in the case of someone selling a 'second hand' or 'used' item.) The way its worded may cause people to think that it refers to their own items that they sell with no copy perms for next owner. I assume that, as long as the item being sold is the sellers own creation, they can use DD with whatever permissions they want to the buyer. It might be worth considering how to reword that to avoid potential confusion! 

2. I'm sure this will be updated on the FAQ at some point, but can you also clarify the way the outgoing folder will work in more detail. What I want to know is that if I put 'Suella's Cool Outfit' in a folder of that name in my outgoing folder, and it is made up of 5 items, then i make a change to one item and replace it in that folder, is it auto synched to the Marketplace?

Hope that makes sense!

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