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Great websites deliver relevant content at just the moment the buyer needs it.
Directories and Online Marketplaces
From Simple Aggregated Lists to Sophisticated
Some of the most incredible opportunities on the Internet today include the ability to aggregate user groups and to monetize information. Whether you are an association seeking to aggregate information for your members, or an industry participate seeking to consolidate visitors to provide meaningful and valuable information, or the next Uber that is planning to launch a new business model marketplace, it all starts with the online interface.
Yet, as you develop your concept, you’ll realize that unlike building a new home, you are very likely engaging in what will be a multi-phase, multi-stage endeavor that is more like building a new multi-use community that is a total solution for its residents that includes various types of residence, services, restaurants and – of course – shopping. A total experience. And just like the best full scale developments, you want your ‘residents’ to feel that the experience is truly intuitive and delightful, everything they need, close at hand, and just when they need it. This is crucial for your success.
The best online destinations are very similar to multi-user communities. To achieve maximum success, you want to work with a partner that can assist you with all phases of development that starts with strategy and ideation and that ends with a thriving and successful digital destination that could be an app, a website, a mobile website or any seamless digital interface combination. Delivered in stages and over time, in a way that meets your visitor needs at launch, and that then continues to grow in an ever more engaging, flourishing community. This is the model from which Amazon has built an amazing success and it is a model that is used by many of the best strategists and digital developers today.
Lean Development Cycle for Quick Wins and Ongoing Success
Generally speaking, we’ll ask you to come to us with some level of strategy. Our business strategists and analysts will work through your plans in a collaborative way to reach a shared understanding. In some cases, there may be some synergistic expansion of your ideas, in a way that protects your intellectual property, as we bring our strategic and technical expertise to enhance or validate your plans.
From there we move through a robust requirements gathering exercise that will include the following elements*:
- Site Strategy/Objectives & User Needs
- Functional Specifications | Content Requirements
- Interaction Design | Information Architecture
- Information Design
- Visual Design
Once that foundation has been developed, we will want to work on the development of a technical plan that delivers your web destination in phases that can be refined based on learning from user experience. From there our approach follows a ‘lean’ and iterative approach.
Marketplaces and Directories: Types of Components and Modules
LocalDirective strategists and technologists have experience with both the technical development of all elements of directories and marketplaces, but importantly, also the operational supporting process that support the digital experience.
Public-facing components or modules can be custom developed or purchased and added as plug-in modules to your website. In many cases, these sites can include some or all of the following:
- Listings: Multi-level listings, some may be free, and some may be purchased.
- Search Function: Keyword or parameter driven.
- Ratings and Reviews: For products and/or sellers.
- Content Sharing: Blogs, white papers, spec sheets and technical papers.
- Videos: Upload training/product videos or embed YouTube videos.
- Social Integration: Connect with social platforms.
- Ecommerce: Provide an option to sell products online if needed.
- Classified Advertisements: Multi-level classifieds, banner ads, featured and sponsored ads.
- Forum: To allow members to interact with each other on topics of common interest.
- Members’ Features: Role-based access to users.
In addition, there will be administrative access that may be a common platform such as Joomla or Drupal, or your requirements and/or growth plans may require a completely custom platform. On to this administrative platform, plugins or custom components may be added to meet your unique requirements.
Regardless of your specific needs, we have the depth of knowledge and experience to deliver just the platform you need, not more and not less, and one that will grow with you and your user base over time.
Choose Success by Choosing LocalDirective as
Your Development Partner
We understand what it takes to build a successful online directory or market place. The strategic advantage LocalDirective brings to the development process is the alignment of technical and marketing departments. Our experience in understanding the market and developing a relevant marketing plan coupled with the expertise of our technical team will help you in building an online directory or market place which offers best user experience supported by an actionable marketing plan to scale at a faster pace. We will help you build an online community with robust architecture which offers better customization to serve the needs of your users and also is SEO friendly to maximize the traffic.
If you're ready to get traction with your Internet marketing strategy, reach out to us through our Information Contact form, or give us a toll-free call, with no strings, at 866-925-9524. We are eager to begin the process of developing your effective online directory or marketplace.
* Adapted from Elements of User Experience approach developed by Jesse James Garrett.