Swapit Update: Sell with your iPhone (second hand and new)

swapit-blog_appleAfter launching our very first version of Swapit on the Apple App Store a while ago, and numerous updates and feature launches in between, today we launched the most wanted Swapit feature on iPhone: You can now Sell your items whether they’re new or pre-loved, you decide.

GET THE SWAPIT UPDATE NOW:
http://get.swapit.la/now

We’ve been working hard to get this feature out as quickly as possible. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than expected. In this particular release it’s not just about allowing people to post items for sale. You also need to be able to edit an item, take it offline, mark it as sold, manage your buyers and so on. There are all these little bits and pieces that take user experience to the next level and we are meticulously working on making them available to you in just the best way we can imagine.

swapit-ios_screenshots_1.0.10_1_collage

In fact, this update comes with over 30 changes. Here is a quick list of some of the most important changes:

  • Added SELL and GIVE AWAY of items (incl. edit, mark sold, active/inactive)
  • Added push notification handling for
    • incoming interested buyers of your items
    • reminder for posted items you sell or give away
    • new likes on items
    • new comments on items
  • Added “Notifications” section to the Inbox
  • Resolved an issue with “Open Chat” button in item details

Furthermore, we’ve put in some important performance enhancements and resolved several other minor bugs and issues.

IMPORTANT NOTICE to iPhone Users: Do Not Kill!

Swapit uses push notifications to deliver chat messages and notifications to your device. If you force-close Swapit you will not receive any such notifications until you restart Swapit or your device. We recommend not to force-close Swapit.

84% of iPhone users we asked, are force-closing their apps. That’s a surprise to me — especially as it does NOT save any battery, like it used to many years ago. So if you’re one of those 84%, you’re not making a difference in terms of battery savings by force-closing your apps, but some of those apps might actually stop receiving push notifications then. That’s also the case for Swapit. It’s nothing we can do about, it’s a special case defined by iOS and we have to abide by that. In short, force-closing apps just makes your phone’s performance worse rather than better – generally speaking.

Read more about this topic at: Apple’s software SVP says quitting multitasking apps not necessary, won’t offer improved battery life

 

ANDROID USERS

swapit-blog_android-1Your app has been updated too, earlier this week. You can head directly to Google Play and get the latest update too. Though, our changes weren’t as significant as on the iPhone, we’re always looking out for you and you got quite some nifty little tweaks and enhancements under-the-hood with the latest update.

Get the latest Swapit today from: http://get.swapit.la/now

 

Swapit has Surpassed 100k Downloads on Google Play

Screenshot_2016-05-02-11-04-30Last weekend was a long weekend and right on Labour Day, Swapit managed to surpass the 100,000 download mark on Google Play. It’s great to see so many people being interested in Swapit and downloading it. Our iOS app is getting better every day, but it’s still not quite ready to launch yet, though. I am absolutely convinced that once we launch on iOS we’ll be doubling our users in a rather short time. So we are working hard on launching on iOS soon. Anyone who’d like to join our current iOS private beta can leave their contact details here.

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

Swapit is Featured at Best Spot on Google Play

Following our recent updates of Swapit (second-hand trading dataSwapit Premium, incredible traction), Google Play is now featuring Swapit at the most desired spot on Google Play. The top row banner. Only very few outstanding apps are chosen to be featured there and Swapit is amongst that elite group of apps now. We feel very honored by being chosen to be featured and we are certain our users appreciate that too. Have a look:

Screenshot_2016-04-15-15-30-50

Head over to Google Play today and download Swapit for free. Remember, in April you’ll get 1-Month Premium Services for Free: Download Swapit from Google Play

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 Outranks Carousell, Aliexpress, Sasa, Marks + Spencer, JD, Lazada, Yahoo! and others on Google Play

swapit_marketing-chart-growOur Swapit app on Google Play is climbing up the app store listing quickly. Without much effort, swapit has today reached the #27 most popular shopping app rank on Google Play!

Our unique approach of pro-actively reaching out to potential buyers has created an outstanding user experience on the buyer and seller side of our marketplace. This satisfaction motivates a large number of our users to invite their friends, family and social peers to swapit, which in turn fuels the rapidly growing market liquidity of swapit.

Read more about our view on market liquidity at: “Growing Buyer Liquidity for the Swapit Marketplace – Here is what we NOW focus on!”

While swapit is not #1 in the shopping category of free apps on Google Play yet, we are definitely heading towards that direction very strongly. Right now we come in at #27 which looks like this:

googleplay-rank-1-swapit

The greatest achievement of our higher ranking is, that we have outranked a good number of successful shopping app, which are very relevant in the Hong Kong market.

Apps of Major Brands Outranked by swapit on Google Play:

  • #32 Lazada
  • #34 Yahoo!
  • #41 JD
  • #46 Aliexpress
  • #47 Carousell (our largest direct regional competitor)
  • #60 Rakuten
  • #63 Jetso
  • #71 Sasa
  • #78 Gap
  • #110 Marks and Spencer

Have a look this gallery of screen shots:

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Our efforts in building a strong market liquidity has resulted in a much higher number of downloads for swapit. That’s especially great, as we are continuously working to improve our beta and make it even more user friendly. At the same time, we are out at festivals, exhibitions, conferences, seminars and are pitching, pitching, pitching as much as possible. We now see the result of that hard work of passion for a product we firmly believe in!

Wanna give swapit a try? Just go to http://get.swapit.la and download it for free!

If you want to know more about swapit, go to: http://swapit.la

How we got our swapit app to the #1 search result on Google Play

When searching for “swapit” on Google Play, our swapit app is now the #1 search result. Have a look at that:

2015-06-08_google-play-search-result

It wasn’t always like that. Let me go back in time a bit.

December 2014 – March 2015 (no Google Play rank)
We started working on swapit back in mid-December last year and launched our very first private beta in January. Our hand-picked crowd of swapit beta testers was awesome to collect first-hand feedback from, and to see if we’re on the right track. That helped us a lot to validate our approach, but it didn’t do much to get the word out about swapit through app store distribution channels.

swapit-bannerApril 2015 (#50+ Google Play rank for “swapit”)
On April 2nd, we launched our “swapit landing app” on Google Play which allowed users to easily request an invite to our private beta. One of the main reasons why we created the landing app for swapit, was feedback and experiences we had during the CoCoon Pitch Semi-Finals (which we rocked, by the way!). We noticed how some folks saw our awesomely green pull up banner who then went straight to Google Play or the iTunes App Store to download swapit. As there wasn’t any app available there, they either stopped right at that moment, or downloaded some other app with a similar name, or they asked us why they can not find the app. Those were all valid responses and we needed to act. Besides making it easier for everyone to get access to swapit – or in this case, to our invite-only beta program – we could also get our foot into the door and secure our spot in the Google Play search index. Once we launched our swapit landing app, swapit could be found on Google Play. Yet, it was ranked very far down the list and one had to actually scroll down quite a bit to download the app.

May 2015 (#3 Google Play rank for “swapit”)
On May 12th, we then pushed swapit out into the wild – we went public beta on Google Play which came with the switch from beta testers to beta users. That means, we now started to encourage people to post real trades on swapit. At the same time, we directed all of our private beta testers to the Google Play store to download the latest version from there. That diversion of traffic obviously pushed our download numbers on Google Play up and swapit made a significant jump up to the #3 spot for the “swapit” search term.

June 2015 (#1 Google Play rank for “swapit”)
Over the past weeks, we have been rather quiet on our blog while we were focusing all of our efforts to spread the word about swapit all across the territory. We had been attending events & exhibitions, we were actively involved in social media, ran some advertising campaigns, reached out to upcoming events, set up a micro site to download swapit at http://get.swapit.la, talked to more and more of our users and were in general engaged in the swapit community. All these efforts have proven to be successful approaches to drive the adoption of swapit in Hong Kong. Some were more and others were less effective, but that’s something for another blog post. Since about June 7th, we noticed that swapit now ranks #1 when searching for “swapit” on Google Play.

There are many factors as to why swapit is now ranking higher up than other apps, but in general – and that’s common sense actually – the more traffic & engagement you’re getting on your app on Google Play, the higher it will rank in the end.

Swapit is still ranking only #66 for “hong kong second hand” right now. Next step: improve that ranking and push swapit up into the top ten of those search results. We’re working hard on that and perhaps I will find some time to blog about the results of that too.

If you don’t know what swapit is all about – you better check it out right now la!

Just go to: http://swapit.la it’s free and awesome!