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Location-Relevant New Items
While we are talking about this in every single pitch and to potential customers, we haven’t put very much emphasis on the location-relevance of our items, here on our blog – yet. From the onset, we have built swapit with a location-based core for each and every item. Read all about that in our very first blog post “The idea behind swapit”.
With this recently released beta 7 of swapit, we are taking the location-relevance one step further. While each and every item has always had a location associated to itself, and swapit’s listing of items is purely shown by distance from the user (i.e. potential buyer), we did not focus on the buyer’s location — until now.
Up until just before the launch of swapit beta 7, all new items that were posted on swapit, were broadcast to all users of swapit — all across our launch-market Hong Kong.
Nearby Buyer’s First
Swapit beta 7 now puts the buyers in full control. Every new item that is being posted on swapit now only triggers a notification to everyone who is nearby. In this sense, “nearby” is a rather arbitrary term which by default is set to 2 km (1.24 mi) for all users. That means, if you post an item at your home, only potential buyers within a 2 km radius are being notified. The proximity of 2 km is a default setting and users are free to adjust that setting to either of these: 500 m, 1 km, 2 km (default), 5 km, 8 km and all.
This strong focus on the location-relevance of new items is aimed at achieving several goals:
Goal 1: Less Notifications
Swapit was experiencing a fast growth in users and items being posted. Read all about it at “Coping with a Constantly Increasing Flow of Pre-Loved Items”. At the same time, all users of swapit were receiving notifications for every single item that was posted. While quite a number of people actually liked that, it was annoying to a larger number of people. Until beta 6, swapit only had the one master switch that allowed to turn such notifications either on or off. So many folks actually turned their notifications off, which was totally understandable. With our new proximity-based push notifications for new items, A LOT fewer new item notifications are now being dispatched to each user.
Goal 2: Higher Relevance
By combining each new item notification with the recipient’s (read “potential buyer’s”) location, each such notification has a much stronger relevance to the recipient. The idea is very simple: A potential buyer is more likely to buy an item when it is easy and fast for him or her to get it. In the online retail world, Amazon for example accomplishes that with it’s famous – and patented – one-click-ordering.
In the swapit world we believe, a potential buyer of a second hand item is much more likely to buy that item from his or her neighbor rather than from someone across town. There is also a higher sense of security for people that are based nearby. There is a psychological sense of ‘neighborhood’ and ‘community’, even if Hong Kong’s lifestyle is a rather anonymous one in that sense. Furthermore, there is an undoubtedly great advantage of saving time, when you can just go to the next building, buy the bar stool you always wanted and be back on your sofa and enjoy a fresh beer five minutes later.
An item that is being sold nearby, is much more relevant to the potential buyer than an item that is sold at the other end of town.
Goal 3: Higher Engagement
The result of achieving goals 1 and 2 above, leads to a much higher engagement with swapit in the long run. Every single app, software or even hardware product, is much more successful if it encourages a high engagement rate.
There are many metrics, we are using to measure the engagement of our swapit users with the app and all arrows are pointing up. In the short run, we expect the effect described in goal 1 to lead to a slightly lower engagement rate because all of a sudden, less people receive new item notifications. In the long run, however, this will be beneficial because we are engaging our users with the content in swapit in a much more relevant manner. We strongly believe this is the best way to provide the right content to the user at the right time. It is only one of our first steps into the right direction. Many more are on our roadmap and are aiming at increasing engagement by increasing the relevance content that is being presented to potential buyers.
Give it a try! Download swapit today and let us know if you like it: http://get.swapit.la