Hello our Summer-savoring sellers! I believe we have officially saved up enough topics to warrant a discussion of what's new and coming here at the 'ranch, so without further ado...
Riches and treasures untold await in every category
New Home Page Coming
Exact release date is currently unknown, but will be sometime in the next 1-2 weeks. The goal with our new home page is to present buyers with the items and sellers that are maximally relevant to them. While we love that our current home page allows us to showcase our community, it's largest failing is that it tends to fall short in communicating the breadth of inventory we have across categories like Collectibles, Books, Jewelry, and etc., since the hand picked list affords only a small amount of space to present items. Also, it doesn't do much to highlight our individual sellers.
In discussing how to improve this situation, we realized that our best bet was to let the shopper tell us what they are interested in, and give that to them. Thus, in addition to showing our user's hand picked creations, we'll be letting every buyer select which category (or categories) they are most interested in, and building an experience around their unique interests. In a marketplace that is built for a variety of different categories, we are optimistic that this will allow us to introduce buyers to items and sellers that they would have a hard time discovering in the Bonanza of today.
I'll post a separate blog on the launch of our new home page / header when we get closer to launching it, but since I know that many folks like advance warning about these sort of high-visibility changes, I figure it bears mentioning.
Fashion vs. Not
While sculpting the revised home page, we realized that the direction of this page ties into a larger discussion some of our sellers engaging in lately: does the new emphasis on personalization mean that Bonanza is going to be catering exclusively to the Fashion category in the future?
In a word (OK, two words): no way.
Bonanza is home to an impressive breadth of categories, with roughly equal proportions of items and sellers across many of our biggest selling categories (collectibles, crafts, jewelry, home and garden, beauty, and yes, fashion). We have focused from day one on building a platform that makes it easy to list items from any of these categories. We will continue to build our presence in search engines, while working to create destination landing pages that show each of our categories in the best possible light.
That said, we believe that the Fashion category in particular provides us with the perfect testbed for many of the shopping improvements (browsing by tags, personalization, enhanced filtering experience) that we can extend across our site as we prove that they work as intended. We have heard loud and clear from many of our sellers that would like to see Bonanza stay focused on driving traffic and sales, while letting the social/gaming elements take a backseat. While there is certainly some interplay between the social/gaming and traffic/sales dimensions, I'd like to personally assure our community that the aim of the improvements we are marking is very directly centered on building Bonanza as a shopping destination that brings more traffic to all our sellers.
But to achieve that lofty goal, we need to innovate. We have already succeeded at building a platform that incorporates most of the key features from "the big boys" (item traits, inventory importers, advanced batch editing, etc.). Now we need to challenges ourselves to push far beyond the status quo. That means we'll be continuing to introduce new ideas that haven't ever been tried elsewhere. Many of these ideas will probably require some polish before they are ready to be applied globally across all our categories.
Bottom line: we are confident that Bonanza is going to continue to remain an easy, cost-effective, and rapidly growing venue on which to sell all non-commodity goods.
And Lest We Forget... What a Month!
Christmas is coming a little early for many Bonanza sellers this year, as we've seen sales growth in August on par with growth from November/December of last year. In fact, August has been our highest growth of sales ever for a non-Q4 quarter. So thanks to everyone for continuing to post some of the most interesting and best priced merchandise available anywhere! We'll continue making it our job to help buyers find and purchase all the stupendous stuff that we've seen posted over the last few months.