“Does marketplace have life in Russia?” Or “How do we try to compete with Yandex.Market”

    Today we will tell how they launched their product aggregator or market place on the Runet (we will continue to stick to the term “aggregator” - it sounds more Russian somehow). In the article we will try to answer the questions: why and how we did it, and what we get in the end. We’ll open all the numbers for traffic, orders, etc. We emphasize that the project is still in the development stage - we have been doing it and are doing it in a quiet mode of operation, allocating our own resources for this, a little over a year, and much more needs to be done.

    We hope that teams thinking about this kind of business can learn something interesting in this material. For others, the tapki.com development story itself may also be useful. Perhaps experienced SEO guys will be able to give some advice in the comments, because, in our opinion, we have something wrong with indexing a large number of pages. All the figures and graphs that are given in the article are honest, "as is". Note that this is the first article in the series - we plan to do regular publications.

    To make it clear how we came to the decision to develop this type of business, we will share our thoughts on this topic a little. The latest market news prompted us to write this article - well-known companies announced that they would become aggregators (KupiVip, Sapato, etc.). We think that the main reason for the interest of large market players in creating aggregators is that they can attract more potential buyers to their sites by increasing the number of goods sold (theirs and, more importantly, strangers). If you look at the current situation, you can see that companies that have reached some critical scale in e-commerce, for example, LaModa, Wildberries, KupiVip, Ozon, Yulmart, are striving for a model for creating large marketplaces (you can give another example - Amazon.com).

    According to our information, the largest and most profitable aggregator in Russia today is Yandex.Market: about 20,000 stores are registered on it. Even if we assume that at least 15,000 of them actually act, then all the same this is a huge amount (60,000,000 goods!). Another reason for the successful development of aggregators is the desire of a modern user to receive information of interest to him in one place.

    For us, the business of “aggregation” is not entirely specialized - while developing mobile applications for retail companies, we came to this idea, let's say evolutionarily. At a certain time, we began to think about what we can do in the field of aggregating information from retail companies (goods, stocks, etc.) in this area. As developers, we are confident that mobile applications will appear in the near future for all large and medium-sized players in the retail market. Our experience, as mobile users, showed that few people would put on their phone a lot of applications for each store or brand at the same time. After all, working with so many applications, as well as receiving a push notification from each, will be simply inconvenient. This prompted us to try to create such a solution,

    On the market, of course, there are very strong players (monsters), for example: Yandex.Market, price.ru and others. It was perfectly clear that it was practically useless to compete with them. It is unlikely that we will be able to take a leading position in the market. We just want to make a convenient service for people, which at the same time would be more profitable. Therefore, for ourselves, we decided to concentrate on two key points: to focus on mobile technologies and to promote primarily the brand, not the goods. At the first moment, everything is clear. We will comment on the second. If you look at Yandex.Market, you can see that there are categories such as "Electronics", where there is a product card and store offers. And there is Yandex.Wardrobe, where the emphasis is on the seller (brand) itself. We chose the second option for ourselves - there is a product category and brands are presented in it, and already inside the brand are goods, news, promotions, etc. Why is that? There are two reasons. The first one - communicating with various companies, we learned that many of them were not very happy about the idea of ​​being in Yandex.Market (and similar sites) next to small shops that might not comply with the RRC (recommended prices). Branding, news and company promotions and working with a loyal audience are important to them. The second reason is quite commonplace - a combination of the names of one product from different companies is a rather complicated organizational and technical task, for which we simply do not have the resources. Market (and similar sites) next to small shops that may not comply with the RRC (recommended prices). Branding, news and company promotions and working with a loyal audience are important to them. The second reason is quite commonplace - a combination of the names of one product from different companies is a rather complicated organizational and technical task, for which we simply do not have the resources. Market (and similar sites) next to small shops that may not comply with the RRC (recommended prices). Branding, news and company promotions and working with a loyal audience are important to them. The second reason is quite commonplace - a combination of the names of one product from different companies is a rather complicated organizational and technical task, for which we simply do not have the resources.

    We started to implement the project in April 2014 and named it - http://tapki.com . The name itself turned out by chance, one day in the morning they began to discuss its options, made a list, and then, during lunch, one of the guys suggested this name, and we hooked on it. The domain really had to be redeemed for not very expensive from American squatters. In general, tapki is a derivative of the word “tap”, which means “touch”, “touch” and is well suited for mobile applications.

    There were several immediate reasons that prompted us to take up this project. First, we had all the necessary infrastructure to launch the project (thanks to Microsoft, we received a cloud grant for Microsoft Azure resources - this is very valuable). We have developed a large number of projects in the retail sector, and therefore we were ready for server solutions in terms of processing large amounts of data. And to make a unifying project for our customers was, in general, not very difficult.

    The second reason is our main successfully developing business - notissimus.com - a company developing mobile applications for online stores and retail companies. About how we developed it, you can read a large article here. Application development is a rather specific business, not aimed at a mass audience, requiring us to conduct projects, etc. It is worth noting that we try to automate the development process as much as possible, but still - this is not an application builder and our direct participation is required (in this, by the way, there are pros and cons). We tried (and continue to try) to enter a more scalable market, aimed at reaching a wide audience of both consumers and online stores.

    Third, it’s quite commonplace when the company leaves an application for connection to tapki.com - we actually get a slightly warm client with whom it becomes easier to conduct a dialogue on the topic of mobile applications.

    The development of the service took about 6-8 months in the “abstract” mode and today the site (tapki.com) and mobile applications (Apple iPhone / iPad, Windows Phone, and Google Android, oddly enough, have not yet been mastered, but are planning to complete it) work on it in the next couple of months). We will not dwell on the functionality here in detail - it is quite simple, although we spent a lot of time on optimizing server computing and have not yet decided the issue of search until the end (we will most likely run sphinx). The client selects the product category (for example, shoes) on the website or in applications, sees the logos of brands (companies) and, having clicked, he can look at the assortment, news-promotions, store addresses, etc. Well, of course, make an order. The order arrives by mail to our partner (store) for further processing. As a source of information, we,


    Tapki.com mobile app screen example

    The main goal of our service is to reduce the time a person spends studying assortments and stocks from many companies. Using the tapki.com mobile application (and site), you can easily see what activity is near you, for example, the pulse of stocks in your area; there you can find all the current offers of local shopping centers that host tapki.com partners (stores). This fits very well with the omnichannel concept: you can see the necessary product and its availability online with reference to your specific location. And all this happens, as they say, at your “fingertips” on your mobile phone. Today, mobile devices are great at helping retailers build personalized communications with customers when they are within walking distance of their outlets.

    We are now talking about technologies such as, for example, iBeacon. To combine the growth trends of the mobile segment and the desire of marketers for personalized communications with the client, iBeacon technology just helps.

    What is its essence: if the company buys an iBeacon beacon and places it near the entrance to its store, the application will be able to show a push notification when a person falls into the signal range from the beacon (10 meters). IBeacon combines the advantages of mobile gadgets and applications in relation to customer and outlet locations, that is, in fact, it is a kind of bridge between online and offline, and this, in our opinion, is currently the current market trend. Mobility and personalization - this is where, in our opinion, the market is now moving. We wish to learn more about iBeacon technology on our article on Habré .

    However, with all the boom in the field of mobile, in fact, far from all retail companies can afford to develop mobile applications, and besides this, there is, after all, a competition for a place on the smartphone screen, which is very, very expensive. And we give the opportunity through our project tapki.com to work with such an audience.

    Of course, tapki.com is very difficult to compete with such giants as, for example, Yandex or Yulmart. However, as elsewhere, everything has its pros and cons. Our advantage is that we will never sell our goods ourselves - this is a key aspect. We will deal exclusively with services. Objectively, now we have little traffic, but we are developing. Ozon.ru, Amazon.com and KupiVip.ru have, of course, already gone far, but they have a dilemma: in addition to theirs, they also sell affiliate products. Therefore, in the end, there will always be a conflict of interest - any player wants to first sell their product, rather than promote someone else's.

    Initially, we tried to work on payment for actions - CPA. In our opinion, this is a non-life model. It works properly only in those services that have payment by credit cards (since the moment of the transaction is very clearly recorded). After we filled up the bumps in the implementation of work on CPA, we realized that we are closer to a model similar to the Banki.ru service: they earn as an interface between many banks and consumers. In fact, they are aggregators of banking information. This attracts the attention of the user because it is convenient for him to receive consolidated information in any one source. In fact, we are building a similar aggregator. In our opinion, the CPA model in Russia does not really work if you do not have card payments.

    While our service tapki.com is still in beta stage and is developing. At the moment, about 270 stores are taking part in it, per day this number is increasing by 5-7 new ones. We have no restrictions on the size or popularity of the company when connecting, as We focus on the brand itself. Therefore, in our project, large well-known brands, such as oodji, befree, FC ZENIT, Bukvoed, etc. coexist with lesser-known shops. But we don’t see anything wrong here, because we do not compare and will not compare products at a price, giving each partner the opportunity to present himself as profitably as possible. By the way, this is our difference from our competitors - the distribution of orders is about 60% - well-known retail chains by 40% - small and medium-sized online stores.

    We are currently looking for customers on our own, we offer our services to each store. Although some have already begun to come themselves. Now per day we transfer about 10-15 orders to different stores. The total amount of orders transferred to stores from the tapki.com service in rubles per day is shown on the graph.


    Statistics of orders in rubles by days

    If we talk about the prospects, we would like to connect about 13,000 - 15,000 stores in Russia to the project, then enter the markets of the Eurasian Union of Goods. Tapki.com currently has around 1,500,000 products.

    The average attendance of tapki.com today is about 1,100 unique visitors a day, although at the end of 2014 it reached 1,500. The reason for this decline is that they did not immediately create a mechanism for storing goods that go out of sale at partner stores. As a result, they “grabbed” 404 errors from search engines, which very seriously pessimized search traffic.


    Project attendance from the first days of launch

    Now we began to correct these errors and traffic began to grow gradually - we came up with a special mechanism that allows you to translate this category of goods into the archive and as a result the product card with information about it, but without price, is stored in this archive. By the end of this year, we plan to achieve attendance of 20,000 - 30,000 per day only from search engines (these are our expectations, but let's look at the result).

    Of course, mobile applications are necessary and important, but they are not enough for such projects in Russia. A site is required. Unfortunately, we did not immediately understand this, but realizing it, we did it and did not regret it. Why? The specifics of the project implies a large number of product cards (now there are about 1.5 million with books, and the number is growing) and no one has canceled the low-frequency search traffic. In mobile applications, the contents of the applications themselves are not indexed and the search is carried out in fairly limited textual descriptive blocks. Therefore, the site is needed and now it gives us a tangible effect on the growth of both the audience and new companies. In addition, it’s easier for a person to quickly go to the site to see what kind of project they’re talking about than to search and install applications that are generally oriented towards a loyal audience.

    Tapki.com was originally an internal project of Notissimus. Now the project has no monetization, but we managed to attract foreign investments in the amount of 3 million rubles - we found an investor in Moscow. He liked the idea, and with his support we will develop it more actively.

    In the near future, we will finalize the tapki.com website and finally exit the beta version, in July release a mobile application for Android, improve the search and make it relevant.

    We are a fairly open company and are ready to talk about almost all the intricacies of our development, disclose our financial indicators and statistics, share our failures and talk about how we managed to overcome them. Recall again that we plan to describe all this in the following materials of this blog.

    Thanks for attention! We will write a sequel and hope that it will be more saturated with numbers from our experience. You can follow our life in a more “lively” mode via twitter or through my facebook account .

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