It’s Beach Time – Go to South Bay Beach this Weekend!

It’s summer in Hong Kong and many flock to the beaches! It’s fun, it’s outdoors and it’s meeting with friends, friends of friends for common purpose. That’s also – kind of – what Swapit is all about. So we thought, it might be a great place advertise Swapit to the many beach folks out there.

So we partnered with locals on some beaches across Hong Kong to provide some great Swapit Beach Umbrellas to the beach goers there. One of our best pilot beaches is South Bay Beach and it’s running on full steam now!

As you can see, we’ve managed to cover quite a nice area with our distinctly green beach umbrellas. We’ve deployed a nice number of umbrellas there and if you’d go to South Bay Beach this weekend, I am sure you can use one too.

Go to South Bay Beach

Just in case you’d like to go to South Bay Beach, make sure to check out the South Bay Beach Playground – at the rooftop.  It’s a great place with fresh drinks and some nice snacks. As it’s at the roof you’ll also get a nice elevated overview over the beach with all its green beach umbrellas!

Here is South Bay Beach on Google Maps.

Design That Stands Out

The great thing about our beach umbrellas are their obvious presence. We purposely went for a full-on green design with just a few Swapit logo design elements. Firstly, not many designs use green in general. Secondly, most beach umbrellas are rainbow-colored and generally very colorful. So having a simple single-color design, makes you stand out from the crowd. Not that we would need that on South Bay Beach, though.

Swapit loves Facebook

Because of our stand-out design, Swapit is now very present on photos posted on Facebook. People like to take photos at places where they have fun and therefore, a lot of beach photos end up on Facebook showing Swapit in the background, foreground and generally present there. Have a look a selection from South Bay Beach:

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From a social aspect, we’re getting a lot of coverage on Facebook now – sometimes even combined with some eye candy. That’s something some companies would spend a lot of marketing dollar on. All we did was getting some great umbrellas done.

So it’s been a great success thus far and we’re sure our investment will pay off over the whole summer time. We’re happy to see that we can help people get some cover from the sun and at the same time get a bit of our message across.

We’re rolling out more umbrellas to more beaches. Stay tuned for more on that!

P.S.: Actually, we’ve already deployed our beach umbrellas at some other beaches in Hong Kong. Though, it probably doesn’t look as impressive there yet. If you discover one, send us a photo! We’d love to share it.

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Swapit is Featured as Recommended App on Google Play

swapit-google-play-featured_new-updatedSince last Friday Swapit has been featured in the “New and Updated Apps” category on Google Play. It is absolutely great to see Swapit in there, getting some recognition and coverage in our local home market.

Google Play has been a great app store for us so far. We’ve been able to push out new updates quickly. While we only announce larger app updates here on our blog, we did actually publish over 30 app binaries on Google Play over the past year. That’s almost one app update every one and half weeks on average! Many of those updates are based on our user’s feedback — especially when we introduce new product features which require refinement after wards. Being able to launch app updates and new innovative features quickly, is essential for us to being at the vanguard of innovation.

We are currently working on a new update of Swapit and will launch it very soon, actually. If you want to check out the current list of all recommended apps on Google Play, you can go to: https://play.google.com/store/recommended
(only when opening that link in Hong Kong, you’ll see Swapit in that list)

At this point, I’d like to personally thank the Google developer relations and Google Play team who helped us a lot with their feedback on Swapit. Because of their honest feedback, we were able to identify crucial points for improvement on Swapit in terms of Material Design principles as well as user experience / onboarding workflow. We know Swapit is still not perfect, but we are on a very good track on getting there. Thanks a lot! We do very much appreciate your help.

Do you use Swapit it? You can download it right here: http://get.swapit.la

The Progression of the Swapit Feature Graphic on Google Play

We’re constantly iterating through our mobile app(s), backend, website, microsites, pitch deck, investor proposal and also the presentation of our app on the app store. So yesterday, we uploaded our third iteration of the “Feature Graphic” on Google Play.

swapit-google-play-feature-graphic-v3What is the Feature Graphic?

On the Swapit listing on Google Play, the Feature Graphic is the #1 item every user sees first. It is placed right at the very top of the screen and takes up the whole width. When you have a video for your app (like we do), then you’ll also have a grey / translucent play button that shows on top of the Feature Graphic. By clicking that play button the video starts playing. However, the Feature Graphic is still the most important image in the app store listing on Google Play. Therefore, we have now improved that Feature Graphic to properly communicate Swapit’s purpose and message we want to get across. Let me explain the contents of the image in detail.

1. Real Products

Showing real products people can connect with, was important to us. We needed to make sure we demonstrate to people that Swapit is an app for them. Thus, with just this one image, we show exactly what kind of products can be bought on Swapit and what kind of products are being sold on Swapit. I believe we were able to show that.

2. Popular Categories

We chose to show 5 products from our top 5 product categories which are either the most popular ones or the ones we believe have the most potential. So we cover:

  • Mobile Phones & Accessories
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Fashion
  • Jewellery & Watches
  • Properties

Those product categories also have a rather general appeal. Properties might not be so appealing in other countries, but in Hong Kong they’re one of the essential second-hand items everyone is trading in.

3. Cool Stuff Sells

The items we show on this Feature Graphic are carefully chosen and represent the best of the best of the kind of products we know, do sell quickly on Swapit. People’s desire for the right products is essential for closing a sale. The high heels for example, are just a stunning piece of footwear and it is obvious, that those sold really quickly. Thus, we do suggest, to download Swapit as quickly as possible to make sure you never miss a quality bargain!

4. Beautiful Photos

Each photo is a beautiful piece of art that sets the expectation for the kind of product photos we would like to see on Swapit. We know that all phones (especially the Android phones) vary in terms of picture taking quality. However, good framing and proper lighting can be easily achieved with just a bit of effort. It is that expectation bar, that we set by showing such beautiful images on the very first image people see about Swapit.

5. Low Prices

When looking at the Feature Graphic closely, you’ll notice that the price for each item is very affordable – yet, not unrealistic. Those are actual prices such items are or were trading for on Swapit, but it is clear that the items are being offered at a very attractive cost base. By using price tags we also suggest a price “taggable” product and the corresponding range of pricing. Thus, the image in its entirety suggests again to be able to get a quality bargain at a very attractive low price.

6. Hinting at Features

We’ve also snuck in a “featured item” ribbon, which is one of our Premium Features. This lightens up the symmetry of the image a bit and helps to create a bit more of comfortable feel — at least to me that is. The size and alignment of the images is also important, as it resembles our standard list view which the user will see as soon as (s)he starts Swapit for the first time. Thus, the Feature Graphic already sets some expectation as to how the app will look like inside. Thus, I believe, it will emphasize the effect of the user feeling more familiar with the app when opening it for the first time.

CONCLUSION

Perhaps, I am interpreting too much into this one single graphic, but sometimes you got to go the long way and make sure you communicate the whole message you want to get across.

What do you think?

Visit Swapit on your Android phone or tablet to see the Feature Graphic in action: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=la.swapit

 

The History of the Swapit Featured Graphic – thus far…

1st Feature Graphic (April 2015)

swapit_feature-1

2nd Feature Graphic (November 2015)

swapit_feature_v2

swapit_feature_v2_zh

3rd Feature Graphic (March 2016)

swapit_playstore_feature_v3

 

Have you tried Swapit yet? You can download it at: http://get.swapit.la

Swapit Gives Away HK$6 Million in Red Packets for Chinese New Year

We’ve just launched our Chinese New Year Red Pack Give Away which runs from now, over the holidays, until February 15th, 2016. We are giving everyone who posts an item on Swapit a HK$50 RED PACKET  (up to 6 times, i.e. max. HK$300 per person). You can go shopping for consumer electronics and fashion products at our partner Street Value Asia.

red-packet-promo

It’s easy and straight forward to participate and GET YOUR RED PACKET.

  1. Post an item on Swapit. (you can do that here: http://app.swapit.la/post)
  2. We’ll send you your red packet 利是 by email.
  3. Go to www.streetvalue.asia and use the red packet shopping code from your email.

You can repeat this up to 6 times to earn a total of 6 red packets, which accumulates to HK$300 in total for each person!

Note: The red packet voucher code has no minimum spending limit. So it can be used on any product that’s available on the Street Value shop.

We’re expecting to hand out a total of about HK$6,000,000 to our 20,000 registered traders. We are committed at making you happy! May it be over Chinese New Year or the whole upcoming year of the monkey.

恭喜發財! Gung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐!

OnePlus X Give Away – 3 Days Left

We have seen great results over the past couple of days. Since our recent Swapit update we have seen an increase in the number of people joining our Give Away.

2015-11-27_oneplusx_3days_600

Now, there are only 3 days left to join. You do actually still have a pretty good chance to join. If you haven’t joined yet, just download Swapit from http://get.swapit.la and follow the instructions inside the app. It only takes 20 seconds.

Read more about this promotion:

  1. Win a OnePlus X Android Phone with Swapit (incl. phone specs)
  2. OnePlus X Give Away Update

OnePlus X Give Away Update #1

Three days have passed since the launch of our Give Away promotion. That means a total of 30% of the whole period for this promotion has passed.

TEST, MEASURE, IMPROVE – KEEP ITERATING

Believe it or not, but this is the time when we must look at the campaign’s progress thus far. It is tempting to say “Let the campaign run to the end and then we’ll look out it performed.” We have done that many times before, then measured our results, improved our campaign and then ran another one.

Now, we are acting even more rapidly. One of the great advantages of being on Android only, is to have access to fast product updates. This means, we can improve on the Swapit app and release a new version to all users within hours. That is exactly what we are doing today.

2015-11-23_iwc-chronographOver the past three days we have seen increased engagement with Swapit. for example, an absolutely stunning IWC Portofino Chronograph was posted today. At a discount of over $19,000, this watch is a real steal.

While we have been getting a lot more engagement and many new user sign ups over the past three days, the numbers were slightly behind my expectations. Therefore, it is time to step in, push some of the currently scheduled changes further back and make some necessary adjustments now. Today’s release will become available for all users through Google Play tonight. Because the standard setting of Google Play is to auto-update apps which have a new release available, we expect to have the new release rolled out to the majority of our users within two days. Therefore, at about half the time of our promotion in, we still have enough time to encourage more engagement for the second stint of our promotion period.

REQUIRE 6 NOT 10

In particular, we will be lowering the first barrier of entry to 6 invites instead of 10. The main reason for that is the way the standard Google App Invite dialog is displaying your contacts. By default, that is showing 6 “suggested” contacts at the top which can be tapped easily. If the user wants to select more invites, (s)he needs to either scroll down and select another contact or to enter a person’s email address or phone number. That makes it a bit cumbersome to get up to the 10 required invites. Furthermore, there is also no counter in that dialog which then requires the user to keep in mind how many contacts (s)he has selected. This improvement obviously aims to increase the number of people who already opened the “Invite Contacts” dialog and then complete that action of inviting contacts.

Though, a much larger number of people have seen our promotion dialog, but did not take any action of inviting their friends. They didn’t even click the “Invite 10 Contacts” button to try an invitation. Thus, our main goal with the current release update, is to improve that number.

SHOW BENEFITS

At first, we will communicate better that the user’s chance to win are actually very high. To make this very easy, we will write something like “You’re 3,410x more likely to win than on Mark 6.” I believe this will put the chances a bit in relation to something most people in Hong Kong know. It also shows that it is actually quite a good chance to win here.

HIGHLIGHTING THE NEXT ACTION 

To be honest, I don’t like apps and especially websites who have a blinking button, or a lady that pops up from the bottom and starts talking to me. But there have been many studies done in the past about the psychology of how people interact with websites and apps, and how they can be encouraged to do a certain action.

As a result of our rather low-ish click-rate on the “Invite 10 Contacts” buttons in our promotion popup dialog, we will add a subtle yet noticeable highlight animation to that button. It has to fit into the material design guidelines and should not be too distracting. However, it’s main purpose to bring the user’s focus of attention to his or her next action. In particular the next action we would like him or her to do now. Even if this would increase our click-through-rate by just 5% it would an improvement worth doing.

COMMUNICATE URGENCY

While this is not urgent at this moment, we need to make sure people are aware of the fact, that this give away promotion comes with a time limit. From the onset, we had a nice counter that communicates nicely how long it is possible to join. Now, with the latest release, we are adding two more notices that are aimed at engaging our audience at a specific point in time. In particular, every user who has not participated in the promotion yet, will receive a notification in his/her notification hub as a reminder to join the promotion. This notification will show 3 days and once more 1 day before the promotion expires.

In the end, everything we do with this promotion to increase engagement which in turn is aimed at creating more market liquidity. It is absolutely essential to bring these improvements as quickly as possible and ensure we are providing the best value to our loyal users.

2015-11-23_oneplusx_1wk_600

There is now 1 week left in our Give Away promotion and we’re confident, we will increase our user numbers significantly during that time. If you haven’t joined the promotion yet, just head to Swapit and invite some friends. It really only takes 20 seconds!

Launch the Swapit promotion now: http://app.swapit.la/home

Read more about this promotion:

  1. Win a OnePlus X Android Phone with Swapit (incl. phone specs)

An Email Series for Sellers: Tips for Making a Sale

Swapit is quickly approaching one of its major milestones. To accelerate the number of items being posted for sale on the platform, we are launching a new series of emails which we call “Tips for Making a Sale”.

Swapit as a trading platform, which aims to bring buyers and sellers of pre-loved items together, is in a unique place. While it’s also possible to trade new items besides those popular pre-loved ones, it is unique to our platform, that every single trader can be a buyer and a seller. Unlike other popular platforms (e.g. Amazon) where there is a strict buyer vs. seller separation, we at Swapit embrace the fact that all of our buyers are potentially sellers too – and vice versa.

To educate and to encourage our users to sell their items or offer them for free, we have now set up a series of simple tips to make a sale quickly. Each tip will be delivered in a separate email to allow people to focus on the message at hand. Today, we exclusively release our tips here on our blog –  ahead of the actual customer email reach-out, which starts later this week. Feel free to browse all 10 tips here:

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While most of the tips are common sense, it is always great to remind people of what’s important. At the same time, this gives us a reason to reach out to our users and remind them about Swapit – bringing the app and its useful nature back into their minds, directly boosts our engagement metrics.

Keep in mind, we are running the public beta of Swapit for several months now and some of our users have started using Swapit many months ago. So it is our obligation and our pleasure to ensure everyone is on the same page.

When browsing through our tips, I am sure, you will notice some of Swapit’s features, which you weren’t aware of yet. Again, this helps us to encourage engagement with the app and drive adoption to the next level.

Tips for Making a Sale – Schedule

We have scheduled our educational series of tips for Swapit at a weekly basis. Which means, users will receive their first Tip for Making a Sale exactly 7 days after sign up. We then stick to that schedule. Subsequently, everyone will receive a new tip by email once a week. Yes, there might be some folks who will unsubscribe from our newsletter because they just don’t like such emails – and that is absolutely fine. While we believe, we provide a lot of value to our users, we also understand, that not everyone might be fond of our emails. Again, it is our obligation and our pleasure, to look after all of our users and to make sure they all understand the premise and value proposition that comes with Swapit. We are determined to help all to get the most out of Swapit.

If you’re a Swapit user, chances are high you’ll receive an email soon. Keep an eye out for our Tips for Making a Sale email.

You’re not using Swapit yet? Go to http://get.swapit.la and download it today.