Analytics for Product Prices

Today we added a new feature to Kitely Market: a way to analyze the relationship between product prices and revenue. If you’re a merchant, this will help you optimize your product prices so that you can maximize your earnings.

Prices in Analytics

The Analytics pages now contain a new tab: Prices. This tab shows how products’ prices affect revenue. This information is useful for setting product prices, and for choosing the level of discounts to use in Sales Campaigns.

Analytics Prices

The Y Axis (labeled “Full Product Price”) shows various prices at which your products have been bought. For each price point, the X Axis (labeled “Total Revenue”) shows the total revenue that was derived from products that had that price.

If you’ve sold products using a discount (in a Sales Campaign) then the revenue bars will be subdivided to show how much revenue was made at each discount level.

How to Use This Information

This page can provide insights about how much users are willing to pay for your products. Perhaps you see that low-cost products sell best; or perhaps the other way around. This can help you set prices for your products.

This page is also useful for deciding whether to use Sales Campaigns, and which discount levels work best. For example, if you see that selling a product at a 70% discount generated more revenue than a 40% discount then you’ll know that the higher discount works better.

Note that in order to effectively analyze the effect of different discount levels you should view a single Product (and not the entire Store). In addition, remember that the selected time range affects the revenue shown: e.g., if the time range is 3 months but the product was only on sale for 1 week then you should take that into account when you evaluate the effectiveness of putting the product on sale.

Sales Campaigns in Kitely Market

We’re excited to announce a major new feature in Kitely Market today: sales campaigns! Sales campaigns let merchants offer discounts on their products. Discounts have been shown to be extremely effective in increasing sales in other digital platforms, and we expect them to do the same in Kitely Market.

Are Discounts Really Effective?

Absolutely! The most important source of information about the effect of discounts on sales of digital content is Steam, the online games store. Here’s what Steam’s executives and game developers say:

“Valve co-founder Gabe Newell announced during a DICE keynote today that last weekend’s half-price sale of Left 4 Dead resulted in a 3000% increase in sales of the game […]”

(Source)

“We find that we get several thousand percent increases in units and revenue on the days of the Steam sales, and unit sales are usually about double the normal for a few weeks after the sales are over,” he says [Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer].

“According to indie developer and Super Meat Boy co-creator Edmund McMillen, these promotions can increase sales to an almost staggering extent. His 2D dungeon crawler The Binding of Isaac, for example, saw sales multiply by five when it was marked down by 50 percent, and once it hit the front page as a temporary “Flash Deal” (for 75 percent off), sales multiplied by sixty.”

(Source)

Another source of information is Amazon:

“We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.
The important thing to note here is that at the lower price, total revenue increases 16%.”

(Source)

Based on these reports we expect products that are put on sale to increase their revenue, possibly by a very large amount. We don’t know exactly what the result of various discounts will be, because the content that is sold in Kitely Market isn’t exactly the same as games (Steam) or e-books (Amazon), but we’re very excited to find out. Once we have some meaningful insights we’ll share them on this blog, so that merchants have a better idea of what types of sales work best.

How Sales Campaigns Work

To put products on sale you need to do two things:

  1. Create a Sales Campaign in your store. The Sales Campaign determines the dates in which the sale is active.
  2. Add products to the Sales Campaign. Each product may have a different discount, from 10% to 90%.

If you’re familiar with Steam sales then you might be a little confused right now. That’s because most Steam sales are created by Steam itself, and not the merchants. Steam chooses when to run the sale, and which games to include in the sale. It then contacts only the merchants that it has chosen to include in the sale. In contrast, the sales system in Kitely Market gives control to the merchants: each merchant chooses when to create her own sales, and which products to include in the sale. (By the way, Steam now also has these types of merchant-controlled sales, but they’re not as well known as the Steam-controlled sales.)

Sales Campaigns can last between 1 and 14 days. They start and end at midnight GMT. While a Sales Campaign is active, the products that are included in that Sales Campaign are shown with a big green discount icon:

Products with Discounts

Create a Sales Campaign

The navigation menu contains a new item for visiting the Sales Campaigns page in your store.

Navigation Menu - Sales Campaigns

The Sales Campaigns page shows all of your Sales Campaigns.

Sales Campaigns Page

This table also shows how much revenue you made from the sale, i.e. from products that were purchased while they were in this sale.

Add Products to a Sales Campaign

After you’ve created a Sales Campaign you need to add products to it. The Manage Products page lets you select products and add them to the Sales Campaign.

Add Products to Sale

In the “Add to Sale” dialog, select the Sales Campaign and the discount amount. Each product can have a different discount.

Add Products to Sale

You can change the discount amount later by selecting “Add to Sale” again, and you can remove products from the Sales Campaign.

The Manage Products page has a new filter that lets you view the products that are included in a Sales Campaign. Here’s a tricky bit: when you use that filter, the “Price” column changes to show the discount that will be in effect during that sale. This is useful because it lets you see all the products and discounts in the sale even before the sale is active.

Show Products in a Sale

Discounts can make product prices drop below the usual limits (which are 10 KC or $1.00). Our sales commission will also be lower, but always at least 1 KC or $0.01.

Promoting Sales Campaigns

So far, the Sales Campaign that you had created is sort of “hidden”, in the sense that users can see the products on sale but they don’t know the name of the sale, and they don’t have a way to see all of the products in the sale. Sometimes this is what you want: perhaps you just want to put a few products on sale, and that’s fine.

However, a sale is more effective if people know about it. This means that you will want to promote the sale. There are several ways to do that.

Promotion Idea #1: Product Ad

You can create ads in Kitely Market for the individual products on sale. This ensures that people will see that the product is on sale. This is effective if you’re only putting a few products on sale.

Promotion Idea #2: Related Products

You might want to put all of the products that are on sale in the same Group. If you do this then in the Related Products section of each of the product pages, the other products that are on sale will also appear. This works because when we choose which products to show in the Related Products section we choose products on sale first, and only then do we show products that aren’t on sale. This means that you don’t have to remove your products from their existing Groups; just add them to one new Group (e.g., “On Sale”).

Related Products on Sale

Promotion Idea #3: The Internet

This one is kind of obvious, but you should let people know about your sale! Tweet, Facebook, IM or blog about it. In order to help you do this, we have a feature that lets you share a Sales Campaign. In the Sales Campaigns page, select “Share” in the “Action” menu. You’ll see this dialog:

Share Sales Campaign

 

You can press one of the Share buttons to share to several popular social media websites. Or, you can copy and paste the URL to other places: blogs, forums, etc.

The URL that you see in this dialog leads to the Sale Page. That’s a page that shows the name of the Sales Campaign, and all of the products that are on sale. This is the only place where users can see the name of your Sales Campaign. So if you share your Sales Campaign URL, make sure to pick a good name for the sale: e.g. “Holiday Sale”, and not “My Sale 3″. You can reuse these names, so you can e.g. have a sale called “New Moon Howl” every month. If you choose not to share your Sale Page URL then it’s okay to pick any name you want for the sale, since users won’t see the name.

Sale Page

Promotion Idea #4: Sales Campaign Ad

You can create an ad that leads directly to the Sale Page. To create such an ad, select “Create Ad” in the “Action” menu. You’ll get the “Create Store Ad” dialog, because a Sales Campaign Ad is a type of Store Ad. Make sure that the dates when the ad is active are the same as the dates when the Sales Campaign is active.

Sometimes you might not be able to create an ad on the same dates as the Sales Campaign, because there’s a limit on how many ads can be active on each day. If that happens then you have two options. First, you can move the Sales Campaign to dates that still have advertising slots available for creating an ad. This requires canceling the old Sales Campaign and creating a new one using the new dates. The second option is to create the ad on slightly different dates than the Sales Campaign: it might start a little later, or end a little sooner, etc. This is safe because we won’t show the ad unless the Sales Campaign is active, but it wastes a little money. This option might be useful if it’s very important for you to have the Sales Campaign active on specific dates: e.g., on Christmas.

As a bonus, when you create a Sales Campaign Ad the image that is used in the ad will also appear in the Sale Page, which is nice for branding the sale. (Otherwise only the name of the Sales Campaign will appear in the page.) Note that this image will appear in the Sale Page for the entire duration of the sale, regardless of the dates during which the ad from which the image was taken is active.

If you aren’t a graphics designer then you might want to hire someone to create the ad for you. If you are a graphics designer who can do this type of work then please add your name and contact details in the comments.

This is what the Sale Page looks like when it’s showing an image:

Sale Page with Image

Restrictions

Discounts are effective when buyers can trust that they’re a true bargain, and not a trick. To ensure that this is the case, we’ve put a number of restrictions in place.

First, each product can only go on sale once every 60 days. This ensures that products aren’t perpetually on sale, because that would mean that the discount isn’t a real reduction in price.

Second, Sales Campaigns can last a maximum of 14 days. Again, this ensures that products aren’t perpetually on sale.

Note that it’s okay to create many sales campaigns, even covering every day of the year if you want, as long as you put different products on sale each time.

Third, if a product raises its price then it can’t go on sale for 60 days afterwards. This ensures that unscrupulous merchants don’t raise prices and then immediately put products on sale.

Fourth, merchants may not create “rogue sales”, i.e. sales that don’t use this system. This ensures that products that are shown as “On Sale” have met all of the restrictions described above, which is important in order to keep buyers’ trust.

Wish List Sale Notifications

The Wish List has become much more interesting with this release, because when products go on sale we send an email to users that have these products in their Wish List.

We have a number of restrictions in place to prevent these emails from becoming annoying. First, we send at most one such email per day to each user. Second, these emails will never include more than 10 products; if more than 10 products go on sale at the same time then some products won’t be mentioned in the email. However, users can always check out their Wish List page to see which of the products are on sale:

Wish List with Discounts

Analytics

The Analytics pages now have a new column, “Discount”, which shows the discount level. This is useful to show the effect of discounts on sales.

Analytics - Discount Column

As mentioned previously, the Sales Campaigns table includes the revenue that was generated by the products included in each sale.

Thoughts on Sales

Sales Campaigns open up a huge opportunity for savvy content creators to increase their sales. But with great power comes great uncertainty: how best to use sales? Since today is “Day 1″ of this feature on Kitely Market, we don’t have data that can help merchants decide what to do. But we do have some information from other sources, and we’re not afraid of speculating.

Virtual items in OpenSim (and Second Life) have some differences from games on Steam or e-books on Amazon. Some of these differences may make sales more effective, and some less.

The first difference is that games and books take weeks to finish, so there’s some resistance to buying more and more of them too quickly. Speaking personally, I probably have 20 games I bought from Steam because they were on sale but haven’t had time to play. In contrast, virtual items can usually be used immediately (to wear or to rez), so their benefit comes shortly after the purchase. Advantage: virtual items.

Games and books are usually more expensive than virtual items, so discounting them provides a bigger benefit to buyers. Do buyers look at the dollar amount they save, or the percentage of discount? We don’t know. But we believe that in this case, advantage: games/books.

Game publishers and book authors typically have only a few items that they’ve created. This causes problems when they decide whether to put their items on sale: if they do lots of sales then people might figure this out and stop buying their items when they’re not on sale. On the other hand, it’s tough to forgo sales altogether. This dilemma is easier for creators of virtual items because they often have a much bigger portfolio of items, so they can realistically put each item on sale only once or twice a year, and still have something on sale all the time. Advantage: virtual items.

Should products be on sale often, or rarely? While they’re on sale they’re shown with the nice big green discount icon, which should increase sales. But if users realize that a merchant does lots of sales then they might stop buying his products for the regular price, which could lead to an overall decline in revenue. This would also have a negative effect on the entire Kitely Market, as it would desensitize buyers to sales so sales will become less effective.

How long should sales last? We allow 1-14 days. Longer sales make it more likely that users will find out about the sale. But shorter sales might create more of an urgency with buyers. We currently think that the average duration for a sale should be a week. This also lines up nicely with Ads, since the minimum duration for an ad is one week.

One particular type of sale is a full-store sale. You could advertise it as, e.g. “40%-80% off everything”. A major sale like this should occur only once or twice a year; last a full two weeks; and use an ad to ensure that people know about it.

Another type of sale would be on a subset of items. E.g.: “Winter Clothing Sale”; “Valentine’s Day Couple Animations Sale”; etc.

And finally, you could try to create some one-day sales that offer big discounts on a single product. This type of sale has been very effective on Steam, but the challenge is to get people to find out that the sale exists before it ends.

Although we believe that discounts will increase total revenue, it’s worth using discounts even if they occasionally result in lower revenue than selling for full price. That’s because the buyers become your customers, and they’re more likely to buy from you again. (In the future we might add ways for merchants to contact everyone who bought from them, e.g. to let them know about new products, updates to existing products, or special offers. We might also let merchants offer discounts or coupons that are only usable by people who have bought from them in the past. Please let us know if you’d like to see features of this type.)

Each product in a sale can have a different discount. You can use this to experiment with different discount levels: e.g., 30% for some products, 50% for others, 80% for yet others, etc. Over time you will learn what works best. One of our planned features (not included in today’s release) is an Analytics mode that lets you easily see all the price levels and discounts that you’ve used, and how much revenue was generated from each one.

If you want to be even more rigorous then you can try using different discounts for the same product. This is more of an apples-to-apples comparison than using different discounts for different products, but it requires long-term planning. In order to get useful statistics you shouldn’t change the discount level for a product in the middle of a sale. This means that you’ll need to use different Sales Campaigns (which must be spaced at least 60 days apart) in order to get such information.

Happy Holidays!

We’ve been working towards the Sales feature for quite a while now.  Even some of the previous big features, such as Analytics and Ads, were created with the Sales system in mind. So we’re glad that we’re finally able to make this feature available, just in time for the holiday season. Let’s make December a month to remember!

Search Kitely Market Sales History

We updated the system today with a couple of improvements to merchant tools and some bug fixes.

Search the Sales History

In Kitely Market, merchants have access to a page that shows their Sales History. One of the most-requested features by our merchants has been the ability to search the sales history in order to find particular transactions, and we’re happy to announce that this is now possible.

You can search for sales in two ways: sales of a particular product, or sales to a particular user (buyer). You can also combine the two options.

Search Sales History

To perform a search, start typing the name of the product or user that you’re looking for. These text boxes use autocomplete, so once you type a few characters the names of possible matches will appear. Click on the product or user that you want to search for.

Show Prices in Manage Products

Another page used by merchants is the Manage Products page, which shows all of the products in their store. We’ve added a “Price” column to this table, to make it easier to differentiate between products at a glance. The price shown in this column is the price of the default (first) variation of the product.

Manage Products - Price Column

Other Changes

We fixed a number of bugs related to analytics, and how search engines see the website. These are subtle changes, so most users are unlikely to notice anything different. However, If you advertise in Kitely Market you may see changes in how sales are attributed to your ads.

We also added support for the upcoming ad campaign for Kitely Market.

Showcase Your Items for Free in Kitely Market’s Ad Campaign

Kitely Market is the leading metaverse marketplace, serving all Hypergrid-enabled destinations as well as several closed OpenSim grids. However, not everyone knows that, so we’ve decided to start advertising Kitely Market on virtual-world related websites to help spread the word.

Our advertising campaign will showcase the high-quality products that can be found on Kitely Market and delivered to the metaverse. If you’re a Kitely Market merchant and you want to get free exposure for your products then read this post to find out how to get them included in our advertising campaign.

What do the ads look like?

Here are some examples of ads that will be included in our advertising campaign.

Kitely-Market-728x90Kitely-Market-300x250 Kitely-Market-200x200

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitely-Market-160x600

How does this work?

We created several templates for the different ad sizes that we’ll use. Each template includes an empty area where merchants can insert an image of one or more of their products. Create ads by combining these templates and your products, and then send them to us (the details are explained below). We’ll include in the advertising campaign several dozen of the best ads that are submitted to us.

All the ads will lead to the Kitely Market front page, overlaid with a message that introduces the visitor to Kitely Market and its benefits for buying and selling content on the metaverse.

We don’t guarantee that all the submitted ads will be used in the advertising campaign, because we can only show a limited number of ads. We’ll select which ads to use based on how good the products in them look; uniqueness (we want to highlight a diversity of items); and effectiveness (how often the ads are clicked). We may add or remove ads from the advertising campaign at any time, or change their frequency of rotation. We may also discontinue the campaign.

We promise that any submission that you send to us will be given serious consideration, and that we’ll let you know whether it has been selected for inclusion in the advertising campaign. Note that ads that are selected for inclusion may not appear immediately on the websites that we advertise on, because there’s a rotation of ads and it may take some time before your ad’s turn comes up.

How do I create ads?

1. Select and pose your product

  • Select the product that you want to include in the ad. Most ads will show only one product, but you may also choose to display several products in a single ad if you can make them look good together.
  • The ad must show the items as they appear in-world, after having been delivered from Kitely Market. You can create a montage of several items, but don’t modify the items to include elements which they don’t come with. An exception is made for elements that are necessary in order to show the item. For example, in order to show a piece of clothing you must show it on an avatar, and the avatar will need to wear other pieces of clothing in order to avoid being naked. If you’re uncertain which additional elements are acceptable then ask us via this forum thread.
  • Only products with a General or Moderate maturity rating may be submitted. See our Maturity Rating Guidelines for information about maturity ratings.
  • The slogan we’re using in the ad campaign is “We deliver to the Metaverse”, so only products that are sold in Kitely Market with the Export permission may be submitted.

2. Capture and process an image

  • The most important criterion for inclusion in the advertising campaign is that the products should look good in the ad. Place your product against a white background; set the viewer to Ultra graphics quality; turn on anti-aliasing; and then capture the image. After the capture, crop the image so that the item appears with no visible cropping artifacts, and its edges are anti-aliased. The image must not appear fuzzy, jagged, or otherwise deformed.
  • The image must not include any logo, trademark, or brand name. Only a clean image of the items.

3. Download the ad templates

We’ve created four ad templates, corresponding to the four ad sizes that we’ll use. Download the templates as a ZIP file here. Note that the ad templates are copyrighted and property of Kitely; you may only use them for emailing us proposals as described below.

4. Insert the image into the templates

  • Select which ad templates to use. Ideally we would like to get each ad in all four sizes, but if your products don’t fit then you may choose to use only some of the templates.
  • The templates are Photoshop files. You can edit them using either Photoshop or Gimp. Insert your image into the layer called “PLACE ITEM HERE”. The item(s) must be centered between the logo and the slogan.
  • Don’t change any of the other layers.

5. Send us your ads

Send us the final ad image(s) via email. You may send us multiple submissions if they’re for different items, but please don’t send us multiple submissions for the same item with slight changes; submit only the option that you think looks best. If you do send multiple submissions then send only one ad per email.

Submission emails must include the following information:

To: kitely-market-ad-campaign@kitely.com

Subject: Ad Submission – Your Name – Product Names

For example:

Ad Submission – Ilan Tochner – Beachball, Plastic Bucket

Message Body:

In the message body you give us legal permission to use your submission in our advertising campaign. We also need to verify that the items you included are indeed sold in Kitely Market with the Export permission. Insert the following text into the email, replacing your details in the underlined sections:

I, Your Full Name, hereby grant to Kitely Ltd. the non-exclusive, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and cost-free right and license to use any and all parts of the images sent in the attached modified templates for the purpose of promoting Kitely’s services in all formats and on or through any media.

Items included in the ad:

URL to Product 1
URL to Product 2

Etc.

For example:

I, Ilan Tochner, hereby grant to Kitely Ltd. the non-exclusive, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and cost-free right and license to use any and all parts of the images sent in the attached modified templates for the purpose of promoting Kitely’s services in all formats and on or through any media.

Items included in the ad:

http://www.kitely.com/market/product/123456/Beachball

http://www.kitely.com/market/product/123456/Plastic-Bucket

Email Attachments:

Rename each modified template file to Your NameProduct Names (WidthxHeight).psd . Attach these files to the email.

For example (in this example only 3 of the 4 ad sizes were used):

Ilan Tochner – Beachball, Plastic Bucket (728×90).psd
Ilan Tochner – Beachball, Plastic Bucket (160×600).psd
Ilan Tochner – Beachball, Plastic Bucket (300×250).psd

It Takes a Village

Several people from the Kitely community volunteered their time to help develop this campaign. We want to give special thanks to Dot Matrix, who helped modify our company logo to create the Kitely Market logo, and to Tocy Sweet, who helped create the templates’ graphical design and the example ads shown above. We also wish to thank the various other people who participated in the Kitely Community Meetings during which we discussed how to best present Kitely’s benefits to potential merchants and buyers.

Kitely Market Presented in OpenSim Community Conference 2014

Virtual Reality is coming and it’s kickstarting the Metaverse. By the nature of the Metaverse, multiple virtual world platforms will compete for market share. This means that the Metaverse will be based on many technologies, which will make it difficult for content creators to reach and support all of their potential customers. Mass-market end users will need content delivered directly to their avatars on whatever virtual environment they are using, instead of being sold downloadable files that they have to install themselves, as other 3D content marketplaces do.

This is where Kitely Market comes in. Kitely Market is a virtual goods marketplace that is designed to enable content creators to serve avatars from all across the Metaverse from a single online store. Its mission is to create a critical mass of content, merchants and buyers to help the Metaverse evolve from a collection of separate systems to a unified market that can attract more merchants, buyers, money, activity, and interest for everyone.

The following presentation introduces Kitely Market, discusses its many benefits for merchants, consumers and businesses across the Metaverse, and concludes with some insights gained from Kitely Market’s first year in business.

Here is the video:

Here are my slides:

Related Products and Improved Management Tools in Kitely Market

We updated Kitely Market today with improvements that help merchants manage a large collection of products more easily. Merchants can now use the Manage Products page to quickly find the products they’re looking for, organize them into groups and then perform operations on those groups of products. We also added a “Related Products” feature, which uses this new grouping functionality.

Improved Management Tools

For merchants, one of the most important parts of Kitely Market is the “Manage Products” page. This is where merchants can view all of their products, edit them, and add new products. Previously this page always showed the merchant’s products in reverse chronological order, with no ability to search or filter the products. We’ve now added the ability to search and filter using:

  • Text search
  • Category
  • Group (groups are explained later in this post)
  • Status (Active, Inactive, etc.)
  • Different sort orders (Newest, Best Selling, etc.)

Manage Products

We also added a new sort order, “Name”, which sorts results alphabetically by the product name. This sort order is available in the main search page, too (where regular users can use it).

Another improvement to this page is the addition of a “Select All” checkbox, which selects all of the products in the page. Previously merchants that wanted to select all the products had to click the checkbox next to each product individually.

And finally, in addition to all of these features, the new page works much faster than before!

Product Groups

We’re introducing a new feature today: “Product Groups”. Groups are a way for merchants to organize their products: merchants define groups, and then assign products to these groups. As mentioned in the previous section, the Manage Products page now allows filtering products by group.

Groups aren’t user-visible: they’re for the merchant’s use only.

There are two places where products can be assigned to groups:

1. In the Edit Product page. Click “Change Groups” to open a dialog where you can choose which groups the product belongs to.

View Groups (One Product)

This is the Change Groups dialog:

Change Groups (One Product)

As usual when making changes in the Edit Product page, this change will only take effect once you click “Accept changes”.

2. You can also assign products to groups in the Manage Products page. This page lets you select multiple products and change their groups at once. To do so, select some products, and then select from the Actions menu: “Change Groups”. The changes you make in the Change Groups dialog will affect all of the selected products.

Batch Change Groups

Unlike the Edit Product page, changes you make in the Manage Products page affect the products immediately (there’s no need to click “Accept changes”).

Managing Groups

The Manage Groups page lets you add, rename and delete groups. You get to the Manage Groups page by clicking on a link in the Manage Store page:

Link to Manage Groups

This is what the Manage Groups page looks like:

Manage Groups

Related Products

When users view a product in Kitely Market, the product page now optionally shows a section called “Related Products”. This section displays up to six products, which are chosen randomly from among all of the groups that the viewed product belongs to. For example:

Related Products

Thanks to Groups, the Related Products feature is very easy to use. For example, suppose a merchant has a group called “Patio Furniture”, which contains all of their patio furniture products. When the merchant creates a new product of this type, they only have to add that one product to the group. This single action automatically causes the new product to appear as a “Related Product” in all of the other products in the group, and vice-versa. There’s no need to explicitly mark each of the products in the group as a “Related Product” of the new product.

We’ve integrated Related Products into Kitely Market Analytics: there’s a new channel type called “Related Products”. When users click on a product that they see in the “Related Products” section, and later possibly buy that product, the sale is attributed to the Related Products channel.

Related Products - Analytics

Kitely Market to Support High Fidelity

High Fidelity

Kitely Market was designed from the beginning to be a multi-platform marketplace. To that end, a year ago we announced our content liberation front initiative for helping Second Life content creators prepare their content for sale to buyers outside of Second Life. At that time Kitely Market only worked inside the Kitely grid, but a few months later we expanded its scope significantly by allowing sales to avatars on any Hypergrid-enabled OpenSim grid. Today we’re announcing our intention to expand the scope of Kitely Market even further: Kitely Market will support delivery to the next-generation virtual worlds platform High Fidelity, once that system becomes mature enough to accept deliveries.

If you are a Second Life content creator then Kitely Market and the content migration tools that it provides can help you prepare your content for monetization outside of Second Life. You can use Kitely Market today to sell to hundreds of Hypergrid-enabled grids from one online store, and soon you’ll be able to use that same store to sell to users of other virtual world platforms as well. As Kitely Market adds support for more virtual worlds, your items will gain a larger market. To get started, see: The Content Liberation Front

Content Liberation Front update

Kitely Market is one of our main assets and we’ve been working hard to make it into the best multi-platform virtual-goods marketplace. There are many more features that we want to add to Kitely Market, so we need to prioritize what we work on. We’ve therefore decided not to spend time implementing the marketplace listing export functionality that we had described in our Content Liberation Front blog post. To date no merchant has requested to get this data, and we feel that investing our resources to support this functionality doesn’t make business sense. If there are any merchants that were counting on this data then they can send us a request (by email) and we’ll send them their listings’ metadata as a tab-delimited file. Since creating this data requires a time-consuming manual process, and we want to be able to focus our energy on the continued development of our services, we will only accept such requests until November 1, 2014.

Please keep in mind that this change affects only the listings metadata, but it doesn’t affect your ability to backup your actual items (the products themselves). You can backup your items whenever you want, in several ways: first, you can put them in a box in a Kitely world and export that world to an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file that is saved on your computer; second, you can send the items via the Hypergrid to your avatar on another grid.

Promoting Products in Kitely Market Using Ads

Today we added another major feature to Kitely Market: ads. Ads are important to allow merchants to promote their products, since Kitely Market contains thousands of products and it isn’t always easy for even exceptional products to stand out. The new ads system is fully integrated into Kitely Market’s advanced analytics component. This means that merchants can now easily advertise their products, and track the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

How Ads Appear in Kitely Market

When users browse Kitely Market, ads appear above the regular search results. Unlike other marketplaces, Kitely Market supports two types of ads: Product Ads and Store Ads.

Product Ads promote specific products. A Product Ad is tied to one particular product, and shows that product’s thumbnail and details. When the ad is clicked, the Product Page is shown.

For example:

Product Ads

Product Ads

Store Ads promote an entire store. Store Ads look similar to banner ads: they display a custom image that the merchant has uploaded, and they take up as much room as three Product Ads. When the ad is clicked, the Store Page is shown.

For example:

Store Ad

Store Ad

Creating Ads

To create an ad, go to the Manage Ads page by selecting “Go to > Manage Ads” from the navigation menu. Then click “Create Product Ad” or “Create Store Ad”, and fill in the ad details in the dialog.

It’s also possible to create Product Ads from the product page, by clicking “Create Ad”. That’s just a shortcut that automatically fills in the current product in the dialog, so that you don’t have to enter it yourself.

Prices

The price of an ad depends on its duration and where it appears. The location where an ad appears is called its Placement. There are two types of Placements: in the Front Page of Kitely Market, and in a Category.

Product Ads (size 1)

Placement
Price
Front page $0.33 / day
Top level category $0.15 / day
Internal category $0.10 / day

Store Ads (size 3)

Placement
Price
Front page $1.00 / day
Top level category $0.45 / day
Internal category $0.30 / day

Although these tables show the prices in USD, ads may also be purchased using Kitely Credits (KC).

Analytics

When you buy an ad, it’s important to know if it was cost-effective. Ads have two benefits: they can lead directly to sales, and they can increase brand awareness (which increases sales in the long term).

Kitely Market has outstanding Analytics, and we have fully integrated ads into the analytics component. Ad analytics appear in two places:

First, there’s a dedicated Manage Ads page that shows all of the ads in your store, and each ad’s performance: how many times it was viewed (“impressions”); how many times it was clicked; and how many sales resulted directly from the ad. The number of impressions is a measure of the effectiveness of the ad in promoting your brand.

Second, the main Analytics page has a new type of Channel called “Ads”, which shows product impressions and views that resulted from ads.

There are some more details involved with how ads work. For those who are interested, see the Ads documentation page for more information.

Other Improvements

We’ve updated to OpenSim 0.8.0.2, which contains several bug fixes.

We’ve updated to Mono 3.10.0, which contains several bug fixes and performance improvements.

We fixed a bug that prevented multiple clothing layers from working in some cases. This fix is effective, but it only works in Kitely for now because the real bug in the viewer, and we just implemented a server-side workaround. We reported this bug and how to solve it to the Firestorm and Singularity teams, and Firestorm has already fixed it, so it will be part of the next release of Firestorm. At that point all users of OpenSim (and Second Life) will get this fix.

Kitely Donates $250 to help OSGrid Recover from its Crash

OSGrid is OpenSim’s official development grid, and its existence is crucial for testing new OpenSim versions. Unfortunately more than a month ago the hard disks that were used to store all of the grid’s data crashed, and OSGrid has been offline ever since.

Recovering from that data loss has cost more than $4800, and the people that manage OSGrid have asked for donations to cover the expense. We’ve therefore decided to step up and donate $250 to OSGrid. If you’d like to support the development of OpenSim then please donate some money as well, by clicking this image:

OSgrid-donation-ad

A Minute of Your Time Can Help Bring More People to Kitely

Hypergrid Business is now holding its fifth annual OpenSim grid survey. Please help us attract additional people to the Kitely community by answering this short multiple choice survey. Last year many of you participated in the survey and, as a result, Kitely came out on top for “How do you rate this grid overall?”.  Your support helped Kitely grow and become the leading commercial provider of hypergrid-enabled regions. It also helped convince content creators to list their items in Kitely Market, which has given people from across the metaverse access to high quality content they couldn’t have easily acquired otherwise.

Thank you!