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November 17, 2017 - No Comments!

Launching Paperclip web version

Web version launch

Happy Friday Blogosphere,

Hot on the heels of the release of version 2.0 of our app, the team at Paperclip HQ are excited to announce the launch the new web version of our marketplace.

After months of designing, testing, testing and more testing, the online version is finally here. Let's us talk you through our process and some of the features of our new project...

Genesis

We began work on the web version all the way back in January of this year. We began exploring what options were available for potential users who were less likely to use an application, but still wanted to access our marketplace. After a lengthy analysis of the competition, we found that almost all surveyed users all had similar gripes.

What's the problem?

Turns out there wasn't one problem with the 'marketplace market', there were three:

1.) Fees explosion

Type 'avoid' into Google and you are hit with a number of suggestions, but you can guarantee 'avoid eBay fees' will top that list.

web, web version, app, buy, swap, sell

Type in eBay and the picture becomes even clearer...

web, web version, app, buy, swap, sell

Search any of the above, and you are confronted with a myriad blogs speculating and pontificating about said fees.

One thing was clear, users of the popular online marketplace were talking and Paperclip heard you loud and clear!

We decided to replicate our no fee concept across all versions of the marketplace: free to use, no listing fees, no transaction fees, no deductions from the price you agree!

2.) Outdated interfaces

Complacency from the market leaders has meant that buyers and sellers haven't seen any real improvements in their user experience since they first logged in ten years ago.

We at Paperclip have always taken great pride our style, branding and ease of access for the end user.

The team worked day and night to transfer Paperclip's bright, clean and easy to use style from the app to the web version. We created a beautiful, totally bespoke interface with a focus on both style and functionality.

3.) Death by ad

Ads.

It turns out users don't like them.

Our web version doesn't have ads. Simple.

The road to revolution

For a project of this size, the Paperclip army needed reinforcements. We managed to find some top home-grown talent in Gethin and Harry, two front end web developers with experience working with some great domestic start-ups. We had to look a little further for our CTO, Petr. Petr hails from Brno in the Czech Republic and was certainly the right man for the job.

In April, we got together with Steve, our talented graphic designer and began creating our new version.

Six months later we began testing the platform. Then we kept testing. And then we tested some more.

Launching Paperclip web version

After a few minor hiccups, we were ready to bring the version to market.

From today, users can buy, sell and swap from their PC, Mac, tablet, phone or any other device.

Wanna try for yourself? Click to access the marketplace here.

 

 

Published by: Rich Woolley in New Feature, News

August 31, 2017 - No Comments!

Introducing… Paperclip Groups!

Say hello to Paperclip Groups!

Back in May we released an article on 2 key marketplace behavioral insights and how they’ve shaped features for version 2.0, which outlined why we removed the price from version 2.0.

This is the second part of that article, explaining the second key insight that led to a new feature on our marketplace... Paperclip Groups, the ability to make and join micro-marketplaces based on your interests and location. Think Facebook Buy/Sell Groups but done right.

The introduction of Paperclip Groups means that our marketplace users now have the ability to create (or join) a private (or public) marketplace based on their interests or location, adding a layer of confidence for buying and selling as part of a trusted community.

Examples of Paperclip Groups in action:

FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Create or join your own private marketplace for family and friends! It takes just seconds to add vintage clothes, gadgets, fashion accessories, 2nd hand electronics, and used books. Once they’re online you can sell and swap them amongst your nearest and dearest.

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Get your neighbours, street, or apartment building involved and trade all of your preloved bikes, TVs and furniture with trusted people locally within your community.

SCHOOLS AND MOTHERS: Kids grow up so fast these days, and so why not make or join a group to trade their outgrown clothes, 2nd hand accessories, unwanted toys and prams with other parents nearby?

STUDENTS & UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES: What better way to make some friends at university than selling and swapping your used games console and games, fashion, second hand furniture and even that ‘vintage’ car you got for your 18th birthday?

"What data pointed towards this decision?"

INITIAL DISCUSSIONS - UNIVERSITY FOCUS GROUPS

Imagine you’ve just gone to university and moved into your halls of residence. You’ve somehow forgotten a few things. Now how much easier would life be knowing you were able to join a buy/sell group where you can find what you need all within the radius of let’s say, 1 mile. Let’s face it there are a lot of people who over pack and probably have a few things lying around.

In fact our core differentiator was pitched by our Swansea University interns, who wanted a way to trade with people of similar interests. This insight proved crucial and had a positive initial reaction during closed trials.

FURTHER RESEARCH - IS THIS A PROBLEM WORTH SOLVING?

We found that 38% of people wouldn’t use a marketplace to buy and sell because they do not trust the people on it. However, of those 38% surveyed, 8 out of 10 indicated that they would use a marketplace if they shared a common interest with the other users. This is why groups is brilliant, because you can join or create a group for other like-minded people, whether they are other students at your university, neighbours on your street, or people who love the same hobby as you.

OK IT'S A PROBLEM. IS ANYONE SOLVING IT?

So, we found from students that they want buy/sell groups. We did some research and found that other marketplace users want groups as well. So now it was time to find out if there was anyone actually solving this problem - what were people using for buy/sell groups?

In short, it was/is Facebook. There are over 200 million buy/sell groups on Facebook, and combined they have more than 200 million transactions performed on them each month. That's a hell of a lot of use for a 'shoe-horned' solution - Facebook Groups are not designed well for this purpose. In fact, we tried using them for a bit and quickly found that they lack some key marketplace features; there are no categories, searching is difficult, there is no transaction of verification process, and the list goes on.

Not only that, but when surveyed, just 9% of people felt comfortable sharing their used buying and selling habits on the social networking tool - they didn't want friends and family from around the world to see that they're selling. They were worried about status and privacy.

SO, HOW ARE YOU SOLVING THIS PROBLEM?

To recap, we've identified 2 key problems;

  1. people want to use buy and sell groups for secondhand items
  2. the only way to do this currently is Facebook, and people don't want to share their buying and selling habits on Facebook

The answer (ie. our solution) is simple; Paperclip Groups.

Response to Paperclip Groups

Given the data and our research, we had always expected groups to be something of a game changer - and we're pleased to see that the response has been positive. We've seen more and more groups created each day, and an increase of returning users. Our most popular group categories are Cars & Motors, Mother & Baby, Smartphones & Women’s Fashion.

An integral part of Paperclip Groups is the 'item request' feature, which allows group members to post requests for specific items for all to see. Thanks to this feature, you can be instantly alerted when an item that you're looking for is added to the group, meaning you'll be exclusively informed and are first in line to contact the seller. The barrier in finding a particular item has now been removed, which brings a new aspect to Paperclip Groups’ that speeds up the process for both buyers and sellers.

Personally, I've seen the 'Car Buy/Sell/Swap' group to be one of my favorites, with hundreds of people and cars being added over the past few months. You can access the group here.

At the other end of the spectrum is an interesting 'K Pop' group for Korean music and related items - it's awesome to see people getting use out of Paperclip Groups!

What's next?

We'll continue to listen to our users and monitor the data before launching new features. The next big thing is just weeks away now, the release of our very own web platform! As of October you'll be able to buy, sell and swap with people via your desktop browser!

Let us know of any features you'd like added, or your feedback on Paperclip Groups at hello@paperclip.co

Rich

 

Published by: Rich Woolley in Features, New Feature

May 22, 2017 - No Comments!

Version 2.0 is here!

After nearly a year of design, development, and testing, our shiny new version 2.0 is finally available on iPhone and Android!

"But what's new - how can you actually improve upon the nouveau-marketplace app status quo?" perhaps some might ask...

Well, let me tell you a story son.

Prior to starting our design phase for v2.0, we spoke to a bunch of our most devoted users, looked at all of our user behaviour data, held focus groups and sent out surveys to our target user groups (Mothers and Students). The result was a decent idea of what was missing with both traditional and upcoming marketplaces - a ton of features and functions that users actually want. So then we got to work, and a year later it's finally live!

So what's new for version 2.0?

NEW INTERFACE & DESIGN: Our resident design surgeon, Dr. Roberts, has completely redesigned the layout of Paperclip to create a refined user experience. The results speak for themselves.

version, buy, sell, swap, app

 

REMOVED PRICES: Removing prices means you have a better chance of getting more for the items you are selling, it also eliminates annoying seller-inflated prices which put folk off buying an item. Sellers can still set a minimum price, which means they'll only receive offers above the set price - but buyers won't get to see this. A lot of user feedback and data pointed towards this decision.

The ultimate ambition with removing the price is;

To encourage buyers to make offers which they deem are fair, without being influenced by a guide price. You don't see a price tag on your friend's unwanted iPhone do you?

  1. To emphasize the value of everyday items laying unused around your home - many people see a currency symbol and immediately think about making cash offers, neglecting the fact that they're surrounded by unwanted items which are essentially 'cash on the shelf'
  2. To get buyers and sellers to negotiate and engage in real-life negotiation processes

We wrote an article about this here - if you get turned on by stats you're in for a satisfying afternoon.

MAKE YOUR OWN MARKETPLACE WITH PAPERCLIP GROUPS: This one's a bit of a game-changer as far as we're concerned... and something that probably took the longest to get right in terms of development. You can now create a private or public marketplace for your friends, family, university, community - anything you like really. Again, a lot of data pointed towards adding this feature, and the only way to currently do this with existing platforms is via Facebook Groups (did you know that there are 200 million of them!?). Just 9% of those surveyed felt comfortable sharing their secondhand buying and selling habits with friends and family on Facebook. To put it succinctly, we're going to do for those 200 million Facebook Buy/Sell groups what Eventbrite did for Facebook Events - add a transaction process, advanced verification processes, and most importantly... take them off Facebook!

version, buy, sell, swap, app

Paperclip Groups are like Facebook Buy/Sell Groups, but on steroids, which is kind of apt because Paperclip is based in Wales, the juice capital of the world.

NEGOTIATE: With Paperclip version 2.0, you are not limited to only being able to accept or decline an offer. You can now negotiate, which means you don’t have to keep declining an offer until you get what you want. You can send a counter-offer to the buyer indicating what you are willing to accept, it is then on them to accept, decline, or negotiate again. This is how we do it in life so why not bring it to the 21st century?

TRADE CENTRE: A dedicated and easy to use transaction section, which automatically filters all your offers, messages, and notifications into buying and selling… you’re welcome.

version, buy, sell, swap, app

Our newly introduced Trade Centre section helps you manage all of your offers, messages, notifications and transactions all in one place, handy eh?

 

RESPONSE RATES & REVIEWS: Unresponsive users and time-wasters are one of the biggest problems with marketplace. We trawled through hundreds of reviews from other marketplace platforms and gained a lot of insight; problems with unresponsive buyers and sellers were among the most common reasons for negative reviews. We have added several new features to prevent this from happening, and to help manage expectations with inactive buyers and sellers. Every Paperclip user now has a response rate, which falls if they fail to respond to other users within an appropriate time. We have also opened up the review process so you can leave a user review at any time, not just after a trade has been completed.

ADVANCED VERIFICATION: Safety has never been more important to us, with more items and users being added to Paperclip each week than ever before. Indeed, one of our co-founders recently wrote an article claiming that 'trust is the new currency in the economy' - he has absolutely no clue what he's talking about of course, but he does have a good point... trust is important.  For this reason, we've added some enhanced security and verification settings. In short, you can now verify your account via Facebook, email, and SMS - and you can check the verification status of other buyers and sellers on their profile. I'm not going to lie to your pretty faces and tell you that we spent hours researching trust processes, we basically we took a look at how other sharing economy based startups such as Uber and Airbnb were solving the trust issue... and emulated their verification processes.

So there you go, after nearly a year of design and development we've finally released a product that we're proud of; a purpose-built marketplace based on extensive user feedback, with innovative features that we can proudly say you won't find elsewhere.

Download Paperclip v2.0 today for: Android | iPhone

So what's next?

We'll be starting slow with the ramp-up for this version; we'll take a month's worth of user behaviour and feedback to refine the user experience for a version 2.1 release in June, and then we'll start cracking on with some rather serious new features for 2.2 and beyond, which should put us in a strong position to take over Wales / the UK / Europe / the world within the next decade. Or something like that.

As always, we'd love to hear about how you're finding the version 2.0; whether it's a bug, a new feature, or just something you'd like to rant about, give us a shout at hello@paperclip.co!

Rich

Published by: Rich Woolley in Features, New Feature, News

March 23, 2017 - 1 comment.

Marketplace behavioral insights and how they’ve shaped version 2.0

As part of releasing our new version, we took time to review all of the data that we’d gathered from running a marketplace platform. We looked in depth at everything, and no stone was left unturned.

Other than significant brand, UI and UX overhaul, there are two main outcomes reflected in our v2.0 release. Rather than overload your puny earthling brains with both revelations simultaneously, we’ve focused on sharing the first major change in this article…

Removing the price from Paperclip

We’ve removed the price from our marketplace. This means that you’ll no longer see a ‘guide price’ on items in the app. Of course this could be a ridiculous move, but below is our rationale for such a bold move;

Our proprietary user data, combined with insights collected from user surveys and focus groups all pointed towards removing the price.

We found that;

  • 88% of buyers lowballed the hell out of sellers in their initial offers. Whilst this is, of course, a fundamental to negotiation, we realised that price served as an upper boundary to negotiation
  • 12% of buyers made a cash offer for the actual price; which means that sellers never get more than their list price for the item they’re selling
  • 82% of buyers indicated that a high price was actually putting them off making an offer, while…
  • 60% of buyers admitted to inflating their list prices, knowing that they’d get lowballed
  • 68% of people saw the £ sign and their first thoughts were on a monetary transaction; they forgot all about the massive value that they have just laying about their attic. In other words – people forget all about swapping when they see a price, because money is quite literally on their mind

With the above in mind, it’s clear that having the price on the marketplace was causing bounded rationality in a sense, and so we’ve made a bold decision… and that decision is to remove the price.

Asides from the statistical wet-dream outlined above, what are the benefits of this to the end Paperclip user?

GREATER SATISFACTION, LESS RESENTMENT: It’s psychology, innit. Just bear with me on this while I explain, using a role play scenario;

You’re a buyer that wants to get £50 for a spare bike that you have. Now that your price is hidden from the buyers, you’re likely to receive bids anywhere from £10 to £100 for that bike. Therefore, if Johnny Buyer wants to bid £60 for your bike, and you accept, you’re both going to be happy. Why? Because Johnny Buyer is getting the bike for a price that they are prepared to pay for it, and Sarah Seller is selling her bike for more than she expected to get out of it. So everybody is happy, and it’s all because the price is removed.

LESS TIME TURNING DOWN OFFERS, MORE TIME PLAYING POKEMON

In an effort to prevent these low-ball offers, we’ve also introduced some handy, advanced item features;

  • Offer preferences: you’ll now be able to state your preference of offers (ie. cash only, swaps, cash plus swaps, etc)
marketplace, buy, swap, sell

Steve told me to update the wording of this notification message, totally forgot.

  • Minimum bid price: when selling an item, you can now enter a price that you’re not willing to sell below. This price will be invisible to buyers, and if anyone tries to make an offer below that bid price they’ll be kindly (but firmly) requested to up their offer, saving you the hassle of telling them that yourself

So there you go, a couple of rational reasons for removing the price.

What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to send any feedback to us at hello@paperclip.co or on our Facebook page.

– we welcome your feedback, even if it’s a simple ‘I like banana pancakes’.

Published by: Rich Woolley in Features, New Feature