Wigix is beta no more! By the time most of you read this (I'm writing this on Thursday evening) we will have launched our latest and greatest release. As part of the release we are announcing some key marketing and PR activities that we expect will draw in a significant number of new users to our sites, particularly buyers. You'll see these both on our homepage tomorrow morning as well as via an upcoming email announcement.
This new release also brings about some substantial changes to our seller policies as well as our overall business model that warrant some mention here. First off, we have decided that we want Wigix to be the most trusted marketplace on the internet, and therefore we have instituted new trust and safety requirements for all sellers. Going forward, all sellers must verify a certain amount of financial and personal information in order to sell. There are a number of choices offered for each of these, so we hope that most of our sellers will be able to satisfy the minimum requirement. For those of you who are existing sellers, your current orders will still be valid and you can also place new orders with no restrictions. However, you must meet the new trust and safety requirements within the next 30 days in order to continue selling on Wigix; if you don't then your orders will be deleted at that time. One other thing that I also need to bring up is the fact that our new policies will end up preventing a number of non-US members to place sell orders. I apologize to any of you that might fall in this category, but this is a trade-off that we need to make right now in order to ensure that we have the safest marketfplace with the least potential for fraud. However, we will continue to explore all the available options for allowing more of our foreign users to sell on Wigix.
The other big change with this release is that we have decided to make our marketplace completely free, i.e. the promotion we've been running for the past few months will be a permanent change. One of our hopes here is that this will help us further differentiate ourselves from other marketplaces, and we also hope this will incent our sellers to price their items even more competetively in order to attract buyers. Now, I know that a number of you are page owners and/or CE's and are probably wondering how these change affects our revenue sharing arrangement with you since we are no longer charging transaction fees. To make up for this we have begun to introduce 3rd-party affilate links (e.g. Amazon, Walmart) on a number of product pages, and we are aggressively expanding our use of these links to cover as much of our catalog as possible. In nearly all cases we will make more money when buyers click on an affiliate link to make a purchase vs. if the transaction occurred on Wigix...and we will continue to share the revenue we make from those affiliate sales with our page owners and CE's. We will also be inserting these affiliate links on pages even if those pages contain listings from Wigix sellers. This is a change from what we have done previously. Although some of our sellers may be taken aback by this, we feel that by always providing affiliate links this not only assists buyers with making good purchase decisions but it also provides sellers with a good "measuring stick" in terms of how to price their items...in particular, new items. I think most everyone would agree that if an item is being sold by Amazon for less than an individual seller that it's highlyunlikely for a buyer to purchase from the latter.
There are numerous other changes that we've also made; among them:
- We've redesigned the homepage as well as most of the key landing pages in our top nav - Buy, Sell, etc. The new pages have been designed with more help and "how to" content, making it easier for new users to understand all the features and benefits of Wigix.
- If you are inside of one of the product pages and happen to have an open sell order for that item, you can view/modify your order directly from that product page.
- For store owners we've introduced a new Storefront module within MyWigix where you can easily navigate to all your store-related functions.
- We've made a number of efficiency improvements to make our site more responsive and snappier.
- We've improved the flow and provided additional help and notifications for "bundled shipping" requests...both for buyer and seller.
As always, more detail on these changes can be found on our What's New page.