Relentless Simplicity - The Bonanza Blog
Welcome to the Bonanza Blog! Here you will find all the latest news about our online marketplace, with timely stories about how to get the most out of your selling online and effectively manage your online shop.
We tried to resist. We wanted to allow personalization. We wanted to showcase the type of professional photography that captures buyers' attention. We wanted to show coupons and new items.
But we can't resist.
As of our next update, Bonanza will be launching a new old home page that will look quite familiar to any of our longtime Bonanzlers.
This home page update is the first step in a revised strategy that is going to refocus our efforts back on our core strength: eveything but the ordinary. Fashion is certainly an important part of the "everything but the ordinary" equation. But so too are crafts, collectibles, home decor, and the many other categories that thrive on Bonanza over other marketplaces.
In the weeks to come, we will be following this update with others that make Bonanza into the most browse-friendly marketplace. We want to build an experience that snatches attention at the home page, and then straps the buyer in for a ride through the booths, hand picked lists, and search results that align most perfectly with their interests. "Serendipity engine" is our internal buzzword for the experience. We will know we have succeeded when you find yourself on Bonanza, wondering what... (continued)
Q. Who has the most badass programming team on the internet? Facebook? Twitter? A. Well they may have a respectable team but pound for pound, the Bonanza programming team has to be one of the most productive online (in addition to their mad ping pong skills)! For example, from our "What's New" list from today:
Freshen look of My Bonanza page.
Fix an assortment of reasons that eBay items wouldn't export.
Incorporate suggestions for higher ranking Google items.
Create brief overview page for how Bonanza Ads work.
Allow suggestion of non-existing trait from new item form.
Be more explicit with Facebook about which item picture it should use.
Fix wretched formatting of Tweet box from item detail page.
Allow user to change the eBay ID they export with.
Show FVF percentage of each offer on user's bill.
Fix back button not always working when traversing from search -> item -> search.
If you visit your My Bonanza page you will see a cleaner look and a much easier page to navigate. Bill mentioned that he is not done with that page so stay tuned.
You should also note the entry, "Allow suggestion... (continued)
Well, it doesn't seem to be working in its current form. In a recent article on EcommerceBytes, Social Networking Not Driving Sales to Online Marketplaces, Ina Steiner of Ecommercebytes writes:
Combined, the top three social networking traffic-drivers - Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter - accounted for just 1.1% of the total 100 million visitors to these marketplaces.
I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief from sellers who felt pressured to participate in social networking in order to drive sales. Comments posted to the article seem to support my intuition: "You just saved me a boat load of time. I'm done tweeting," "I gave up on the social sites eons ago," "I feel this social e-commerce is a MAJOR time suck." I also heard from several friends outside of e-commerce with similar feelings.
Let's back up
Before you give up on your social media campaign, let's look at what social networking actually is. Per Dictionary.com:
- the development of social and professional contacts; the sharing of information and services among people with a common interest.
This definition pretty much sums up how many people view social networks. Nowhere in the definition does it imply sales,... (continued)
Since we launched Bonanza nearly four years ago, it has always been our top priority to drive sales. Along the way, we've received a lot of accolades for building the best user interface (AuctionBytes 2012), being the best marketplace for Collectibles/Antiques (About.com), or even being the best eBay alternative period (Ecommerce Guide), but at the end of the day we see our tools as a means to an end. It's great to be the most feature-rich, easy-to-use marketplace, and it's great to have the best support team we could hope for...but that stuff is really just the backdrop for our main purpose: helping stores make sales.
With that in mind, we are soon launching our biggest paradigm-shifting feature ever to drive more sales to our sellers' booths.
In the next couple days, we will be releasing an advertising platform that lets our sellers publish their Bonanza merchandise to Google Shopping (prominently featured, see screenshot) or eBay. In the coming months, we plan to add Bing Shopping and at least one other shopping platform.
The way the new platform will work is that you choose the maximum level of commission you can afford for your product, and we get you as many... (continued)
As many of you have keenly observed in the forums over the last few weeks, we have slowly been rolling out Lexity Live to our merchants, allowing them to watch buyers browse their store and buy items in real time. We're excited to announce that, as of today, all Bonanza stores now have built-in access to Lexity Live.
Lexity Live lets you see what pages your buyers are viewing, which products they are putting in the shopping cart, and how they move from page to page. Once you're signed up, you can check out your store's Lexity Live dashboard any time to see what your customers are doing. You can signup now by visiting your "My Bonanza" page and clicking the link to "View buyers in real time."
- Monitor what pages every visitor currently in your store is viewing, up to the second; drill down to unique visitors with one click
- Find out which of your visitors are in the shopping cart, and where your visitors drop off
- View detailed, real-time path reportsfor unique visitors with real-time visitor tracking
- See the effects of your marketing campaigns immediately withreal-time website traffic statistics
- Understand your business better with detailed statistics including keywords,... (continued)
Bill's Grandpa and Bill pretending to play Ping Pong
It's true. Managed Merchants on Bonanza have access to our live telephone support line that is answered by a real human between the hours of 9am and 5pm (PST), Monday through Friday. So if you call, do not be surprised if you hear a ping pong battle (lol investors, we are totally kidding! It's actually a recording of a ping pong game, so that they think we are a lean start up) or a Scategories game in progress. New merchants are given the option to be a Managed Merchant upon creating their booth. Existing merchants can sign up via their "Sales Booster Dashboard" linked on your My Bonanza page. The support number is located on the "Contact" page which is linked at the footer of each Bonanza page.
No matter where you sell at online, the pending Google changesthat Bill blogged about in May have been on many minds, including ours. We wanted to let you know that we are feverishly working on several initiatives on Bonanza to compensate for any inconvenience from Google Shopping moving to a 100% paid model on October 1st, 2012. While we are... (continued)
Olympians in London are currently working hard to earn Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for their efforts in the Olympic games. Inspired by the USA Womens Gymnastic Team, "Fab Five," we have added a whole new set of rewards on Bonanza, and yes, they include Gold and Silver (Memberships that is)! The next time you visit your rewards page on Bonanza you will see a whole new line up of rewards. We have discounts, bumper stickers, massages from our resident masseuse, memberships, blog time, programmer time, and a couple of other goodies. Only on Bonanza can you get a massage and have the programmers tweak the site for you.
We also added free background burns for subscribing members, and uploaded a few fixes to forum links and images. Please note, when I say "We" I mean our lovely programming team. I just get to tell you about it :)
Just wanted to post a quick blog to let you know about two features we recently pushed live.
Buyers can now post feedback without logging into Bonanza (added in July). Bonanza sellers have often requested that we make it easier for buyers to post feedback for transactions. Now buyers can post feedback without logging into Bonanza. To make sure you have this option enabled on your account, go to your "Account Settings > Notification Settings" and make sure to select the option, "Send an email reminding a buyer to leave feedback about me (sent a month after transaction closes)." Buyers intending to leave negative feedback will be taken to a confirmation page which will suggest our Order Resolution Center and some other options prior to leaving the negative feedback.
Allow direct responses to BMails (added July 29th). Buyers and sellers can now respond to BMails (messages sent via the Bonanza email system), directly from the copy that we send to your privately regsitered email. When you reply to a Bmail via your private inbox, Bonanza will generate a Bmail and forward it to the other party. Nothing is needed to use this feature, it is already live on the... (continued)
a.k.a., what happened to the Batch Item Editor?
We're always looking for ways to make your lives easier; selling your items is hard enough without having to hassle with finicky web sites. A while back, we started the Bonanza Fashion Exchange as a way to give us more excuses to play with our site. One of the things that we noticed right off the bat is that our old "Batch Item Editor" could use some love.
What did we change?
We had two goals: make the existing features more delightful to use and give new users easier access to them. Here are some highlights:
- Better location. We moved it to its own tab in the edit booth screens, which should let new users find it. We also think it makes sense to put all of our "booth editing" functionality together.
- Wider, more spacious layout. We wanted to give everything more breathing room. With a table full of item data, it's nice to go as wide as you can; it lets you add more columns, which leads us to...
- Customizable columns. Want to change your shipping costs for the items that have the most views? Shipping price and... (continued)
The Bonanza programming team has been cranking on all cylinders and shipping some pretty cool features on Bonanza. Each time we update the site, the programming team will log their updates and enhancements to our "What's New?" page. Make sure to bookmark that page and visit it often to keep abreast of the latest and greatest updates on Bonanza (the page is linked via our help page as well). Speaking of latest and greatest, we wanted to highlight a couple of really cool features that have recently been added to Bonanza:
"Add ability to mouse over item image to zoom"
This was added last week and by now most of you have had the chance to see it in action. If you have not, visit any item detail page and point your mouse over the main image. If the image is large enough, a second image window will automatically pop open to the right of the main image and will zero in/zoom in on the area that you point your mouse over on the main image. If the main image is not large enough then the zoom will not trigger. Go ahead and give it a try on ... (continued)
Finding and buying extraordinary items with your phone just got easier!
If you shop Bonanza with your smart phone, you'll find that it's now faster, more streamlined, and just the right size. We've updated our site to better handle our growing traffic from mobile devices
What's different for mobile?
If you visit Bonanza with a mobile phone, you'll see a different-looking site than if you were using a non-mobile computer. Some of the highlights include:
Smaller, less busy header. It just has the essentials so you don't have to swipe so far to find what you're looking for.
Larger fonts. Squint less and avoid zooming just to find out how much something is.
Bigger buttons and links. Now, adult-sized fingers can tap the right link, rather than mashing all over hoping for the best.
Just the shopping. When you're on the go, you want a streamlined site that helps you get what you need, fast.
Why all this love for mobile users?
First, we mentioned above that our traffic from mobile sites has increased: in fact, it's nearly doubled from this time last year. We can't ignore that kind of growth. Especially when all projections are that mobile growth will... (continued)
We are very excited to announce that Highwire has completed a full Bonanza integration, allowing their users to easily manage their inventory via Highwire, and have that inventory added to their store on Bonanza. Highwire has been working fast and furiously not just on their Bonanza integration, but on adding a wealth of other features that make it easy for merchants to build their online brand in whatever selling channels they like. We couldn't be more pleased to have them as one of our early partners.
Isolation is not the best recipe for success
Those who read the recent AuctionBytes story on this integration will note that it's our intention to unify not just Bonanza and Highwire, but to continue building partnerships such that Bonanza can feature the broadest assortment of inventory of any marketplace. While we are very proud of the user experience we've built for our sellers and buyers, we recognize that at the end of the day, buyers need to be able to reliably find what they are looking for to adopt a marketplace as their first, favorite destination.
Over the summer, we will be looking to continue to build new partnerships with channel providers and marketplaces... (continued)
Days getting longer? Temperatures heating up? Summer is upon us and so is Christmas in July! For the third year in a row, the Bonanza community has independently organized a month long sale from hundreds of Bonanza booths. Discounts range from 10-50% off of normal prices and many sellers are throwing in free shipping to boot! In addition to a month long sale, there are "block parties" planned, Secret Santa fun, prizes and something for everyone. Not only is this a nice opportunity for additional sales but the networking you will get can pay dividends long after July is over.
It's not too late to get involved but make sure and get signed up so you can take part in the festivities.