5 Trends of Classified Platforms Market
How do online bulletin boards develop all over the world? Agency AIM Group has conducted research in Classified Intelligence Report. It describes the technologies and innovations that use bulletin boards in different countries. Let’s have a closer look at 5 major trends the report revealed.
The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Such technologies as artificial intelligence and machine learning can replace some employees and reduce operational costs. For example, Experteer.com, a job search website, uses AI for job search and categorization. The algorithms analyze the job experience of the applicant, his qualifications and offer suitable career opportunities. At the same time, interested recruiters are notified if a suitable candidate appears on the website.
On the real estate websites, the algorithm helps to find an apartment for a user, regarding his location, income, and previous requests.
Ad services make extensive use of image recognition. The function helps to automatically specify the name and description, select categories and search for similar products.
The marketplace application Lalafo plans to use neural networks and computer vision to create an ad almost automatically. The price will be offered in comparison with similar products that had been sold on the site.
Chatbots and big data analysis are used on many websites to facilitate the purchase and sale of goods. Chatbots quickly cope with the initial requests of customers, and big data provide personalization and the correct search results.
In the near future, Lalafo launches “smart” messenger, which will be able to reply automatically on 80% of all questions that buyers ask sellers. The company found that most users do not read the product description till the end, preferring to ask a question in the chat. Although many of the answers — for example, the color of the product — are in the ad text. Chatbot uses a neural network to answer such questions without connecting the seller.
Most search queries on ad services are textual, but things can change. “In the next two years, 20% of all searches in the United States will be carried out by voice,” said Steve Goldstein, CEO of Amplifi Media. However, despite the possibilities and advantages of voice search, the implementation of this technology runs slowly in the classified and e-commerce platforms.
No one can say for sure how the blockchain will affect the classified platforms, but the impact is believed to be significant. By making peer-to-peer transactions available, the blockchain can eliminate the need for intermediaries or escrow services, where the money is not transferred to the seller immediately, but through an independent third party. However, the technology still cannot provide buyers and sellers with verification and delivery services.
OpenBazaar.org calls itself “the first decentralized marketplace.” Participants of the transaction download the programme and connect each other directly to discuss terms. Payment charges in bitcoins, without additional fees. There’s no need to disclose your name or enter your bank card details. Unfortunately, the service has one issue – its interface is too outdated.
Users of the Chinese Xiangwushuo classifier can only buy goods for a domestic currency called “red flowers.” It is assumed that users will feel not as a seller and a buyer, but as a giver and recipient. The service is currently available only as a microapplication of the WeChat messenger. Users do not need to download additional software to sell or buy their products.
The Transition from Ad Services to the Marketplace
Traditionally, classifiers earn on promotions and selection of ads by users, advertising on the site and in the application. To expand the number of sources of income, many ad services are transformed into marketplaces. Thanks to this, you can get a commission, placement fees and interest in sales. This format is convenient both for sellers and buyers – they do not have to personally agree on the purchase, the transaction takes the execution of the transaction.
To ensure that transactions are transparent and safe for sellers and buyers, the classifieds assume the job of delivering and controlling the payment for goods, including through the escrow account.
Indian Quikr and OLX India offer not just delivery of goods, but also a self-pickup — a company representative can pick up goods from the seller himself. And in Norwegian Finn.no, customers can arrange for a door-to-door delivery.
To prevent buyers and sellers from becoming victims of frauds, some websites allow a customer to pay for the goods through an escrow account. Such a function has already been launched by Gumtree and OLX.