Announcing the company’s plans for the new marketplace on Sunday 20th January, Ilan Tochner, Kitely’s CEO had the following to say:
We are currently developing an advanced content marketplace. Since most OpenSim users are familiar with the Second Life marketplace, we asked our users what they like and don’t like about it. Using these insights we intend to deliver a great user experience that addresses the main usability issues with existing online marketplaces. At first the market will be used only for buying and selling inside the Kitely grid, but eventually it will be used for selling to multiple grids from a single online shop.
In order to attract good content creators we are now offering various benefits for merchants that bring their content to our market before it opens to the public.
The Kitely Marketplace will combine features familiar to those used to using the SL Marketplace or markets such as the (now defunct) Apez and Metaverse Exchange: items can be browsed on-line, then purchased (using Kitely Credits (KCs) or US dollars), prior to being delivered directly to the purchaser’s in-world inventory.
Additionally, the Kitely Marketplace will function more like e-commerce sites such as Amazon, where items can be searched for using attributes, rather than a rigid category hierarchy, making the search process and drill-down easier and more flexible for both merchants and consumers. Kitely will also allow for multiple versions of a product to be listed as a single item, thus simplifying the lists, viewing and reviewing of products. For example, rather than having 5 individual listings for an outfit which is available in 5 different colours, a merchant will be able to create a single listing for the outfit, which includes the 5 different colours, allowing consumers to buy any of the five from the one listing. Kitely call this capability “variations”, and it was a major attraction within the old Metaverse Exchange marketplace. Reviews and ratings for any variation of a product will be recorded in the one listing.
Merchants will be charged a one-off fee of 100 KCs for listing an original item on the marketplace, and a one-off fee of 25 KCs for each variation on that item also listed. There are no ongoing fees associated with listed items or their variations once listed. So for example, in the case of an outfit with 5 colours as mentioned above, the merchant will be charged 100 KC when creating the initial listing for the outfit (which will obviously include one colour variation) and then a one-off fee of 25 KC for listing each of the remaining 4 colours. Further charges will only apply if the merchant uploads additional variations (additional colours) to the item.
Commenting on this approach, Ilan Tochner stated, “The listing fees are designed to prevent low quality content from being added to the marketplace and were supported by our mentors group so that high quality content can be more easily found. This can increase sales for high quality items that are currently hard to find in marketplaces, such as the SL Marketplace, that include many low quality items that aren’t likely to be bought. Those low quality items make it harder to find desirable items which in turn means that good content providers see less money coming in. One way merchants can view listing fees is as a type of low-cost advertising that helps increase the visibility of their wares by eliminating a lot of the noise that prevents finding it.”
Kitely will charge a 10% transaction fee on content sales. Purchases made using US Dollars are paid directly into the merchant’s PayPal account (without going through Kitely), therefore PayPal’s fees will also apply.
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