Impact of the Marketplace

Some time last week I was reading the Second Life subreddit over on reddit and I saw a thread of conversation about the state of selling things in SL these days. There were some mixed responses, but one that interested me was the suggestion that the move from XStreet to Marketplace had killed their sales.

I find this a little curious because, over at Z&A, our experience has been very different.

The day we opened for business we also had all of our creations for sale via XStreet. XStreet did very well for us in the early days. In the first month the only sales we made were via there. After a while we started getting people visiting the shop (this was by the time we'd moved to the second shop). By the time we were at our third location we were in a position where around 2/3 of our sales were via the main store and 1/3 via XStreet (I'm ignoring malls for the moment -- they're a whole other blog entry).

Like many people we were rather worried by the move from XStreet to the Marketplace and, initially, it seemed like a pretty bad move. A number of things seemed like backward steps, others just didn't work at all. But, after a while, those things seemed to get sorted and, generally, these days, we're happy enough with how it works. Sure, there's a whole bunch of things it could do better, but it works well enough for us.

And the one thing we didn't see was a drop in sales.

Well, not in the long run. Initially, after the switch from XStreet to the Marketplace, there did appear to be a bit of a dip in sales. However, when this happened, we made a point of going through and tidying up all of our listings and (and I think this one was crucial) also using the related products system to link our products up.

Since then Z&A has grown, we've seen sales increase. Now, of course, we were (and still are) a young build team so we're still getting known, word is still spreading (and things like The Femdom Hunt will obviously have an impact too) and, we hope, our market is still increasing. We'd hope and expect to see sales increase anyway.

But one thing stands out, that makes me wonder about those who have seen sales fall since the move to the Marketplace: whereas before the move the split in sales was approx 66%/33% in favour of the main store, these days it's close to 50%/50% for main store vs Marketplace. Both Marketplace sales and main store sales have increased while, at the same time, Marketplace sales have increased faster.

It's hard to point to any single cause with all the variables involved but, for us at least, it's hard to see the move to the Marketplace as anything other than a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment