How might we...
Encourage buyers and sellers to close more deals, quickly and easily?
We create a price-less marketplace by not allowing sellers to list prices and allow buyers to make offers. If the buyers make an offer at a price higher than the seller would have sold at, then both parties gain. This also reduces the amount of necessary conversation and encourages deals to close more quickly.
Here we introduce the concept of a "pure" economy into a technology platform. To improve the most basic function of a marketplace, buying and selling, we have to understand how economics applies to basic markets. Without considering external factors, buyers naturally want to buy at the lowest price and sellers want to sell at the highest price.
For modern-day retail, items are strategically priced by sellers after they consider market fit and consumers would buy as listed. In a used goods market, buyers bargain and buy at better prices because most items are used and have depreciated to an unknown value. However, we realize that buyers and sellers are pushing too much to buy and sell at the price that they want; this is creating inefficiency.
Market prices will naturally shift towards equilibrium (the only price where the plans of consumers and the plans of producers agree); but the struggle is too real and evident from the process of bargaining.
The complementary question is: how do we create a faster process for this natural shift towards equilibrium? We can achieve this by flipping the seller-buyer power dynamic. Sellers are discouraged to list prices and buyers make offers. What makes this model unique from a typical auction is that we eliminate the time constraints and censor the going rates so buyers make offers solely according to their own judgments. The result is: we remove the process where buyers see the price and bargain for less than what is asked for, and the similar process where sellers list a price slightly above what they are looking for.
The interaction flow becomes: the seller, instead of having to discuss with each buyer individually, receives a list of all available offers from all potential buyers and simply chooses one to accept.
Improve communication between buyers and sellers?
We provide in-app chat capabilities; also automate and limit the responses to only those necessary for transactions.
The users who used competitive apps noted that one of the features they admired the most was the in-app communication capabilities. The more traditional marketplaces force the user to utilize his or her own email/text/phone services to communicate with buyers and sellers because they have no such functions.
Since there is a trend in using mobile apps as opposed to websites, we predict that integrated chat capabilities has become necessary for marketplace platforms so communication becomes more efficient. So this allows buyers and sellers to speak to each other more easily; but what about the content of their conversation?
Here is the basic flow and some of the more common content when buyers and sellers communicate:
When most of the content is expected, we can simplify this process by automating and limiting communication. This means we allow buyers and sellers to communicate only necessary phrases, such as, "Your offer is rejected because it is too low," or automatically sending a message to all buyers informing them the particular item they wanted has already been sold.
Create a safer environment for financial transactions?
We allow user ratings, integrate payments systems into the app and regulate financial transactions.
With the users' safety as a significant priority, payments systems provide accountability for both buyers and sellers. With an integrated system, we can expand our markets nationally from only local sales; because now buyers and sellers can buy, sell, pay, and ship, from further away.
User ratings and reviews provide accountability so buyers will be aware of the credibility (or lack thereof) of sellers. In case of disputes, we can contact both buyers and sellers and resolve issues per our policies. Buyers and sellers no longer have to meet up at designated locations. This discourages frauds and schemes and provides a safer experience for both users.