WASHINGTON, December 7, 2012 — CLDmkt utilizes Twitter to help people buy, sell and trade items. Reaching consumers isn’t about flash, bells or whistles. It’s about limiting barriers and applying solutions to where consumers want to engage. With a growing number of people on Twitter, CLDmkt is applying that rule and trying to make buying/selling easier.
John McPheters, founder of CLDmkt, is a native New Yorker and a self-described “cooker of digital confections.” Below he discusses how the idea came to be and what he has learned along the way.
1. What was the genesis of CLDmkt? What need did you recognize in the buying/selling market.
CLDmkt came by way of the realization that I just had way too many things in my apartment. It is just part of the human condition, to amass things and have trouble parting with them. I realized that it had to go. I didn’t want to pay for storage of things I wasn’t even using, and the other possibilities of getting rid of what I didn’t need, want or use was not very appealing. Craigslist and eBay both have a lot of problems for me. I wanted something more transparent, easier, faster, less-stressful and maybe with some added value or benefits, like increasing social media presence.
Instantly, it became clear to me that there was a need to streamline the buying/selling process in general. All of the current models were built during web 1.0 and have yet to update given the speed of social.
This is a need that CLDmkt fills by providing fast/streamlined transactions, in a way that’s fun and social. Also, the added transparency of social makes it much less likely that you’ll get kidnapped in a parking lot trying to buy some concert tickets.
2. Social buying and selling is in the early adoption stage. What factors will lead to widespread adoption?
Adoption, that elusive indicator that means you’ve struck digital gold. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what will cause mass adoption, it could be a variety of factors.
Most importantly to me, people are yearning for it. Naturally social selling will evolve on its own to a certain extent. CLDmkt’s goal is to speed this along. Beyond the natural development factors, I think 3 other things will aid in making social selling a widespread phenomenon.
- Talent adoption, i.e. people of prominence using social to sell products; this is already happening to a certain extent, but more in the form of drive to retail, drive to charity, or even just celebrities providing a better window into the things they’ve used, not-used and are now getting rid of.
- Exclusive product, once there are products purely sold through social selling mechanisms, this will drive people to it to buy, and in turn, that’s where they’ll go when they want to sell. I’m a fiend for many items that are rare and hard to come by, if there was a new place to find these items socially I’d be there in a heartbeat.
- Education, and this is the job of savvy marketers to enlighten the masses on best-practices, but in my mind once people realize how easy it is, it’ll be a go-to for everyone. It takes 10 seconds to list a product for sale on CLDmkt, why not put it up?
3. What are the barriers to the approach, things you need to overcome?
We’ve had a lot of traction so far. I think aside from general adoption, our biggest barrier is getting the mass populace educated about what CLDmkt offers as a solution. It’s just so easy to use that it often comes as a shock to users.
All you need to do is compose a tweet with the right key variables (a brief description of what you are buying, selling or trading) and up goes your product listing. With social in general, there are so few hurdles to speak of, that I don’t think the barriers we have are really traditional in that sense to our approach. It’s just good, clean, social engineering. That said, most of our waking moments are tied up in thinking of new ways to educate our users, and new users as to how best to use CLDmkt.
4. What are your next steps? Do you plan on introducing more features?
We’re consistently introducing new features, as quickly as we can think them up. Our team recently launched PayPal functionality to allow users to finalize transactions through PayPal.
Next up on the list, full retail integration. This will allow our retail partners to list all of their products on CLDmkt.
One question we get a lot, how will retail listings benefit the one-to-one user? For me the answer is in the execution. On partnering retailer sites, users can create a #BUY listing to be notified when sold out items return, or to let retailers know that they’d be willing to buy it at a lower price. Our retail partners can see this, and decide whether or not to deal with consumers at a lower price point, this is a win/win for everyone.
An iPhone app, extended payment functionality, exclusive product offerings, these are all things we’re working on.
5. What success/failures in online business have you learned from and applied to CLDmkt?
Failure, definitely something I’ve become an expert at over the years as well!
I’ve always taken the shotgun approach to business, trying a bunch of things and then seeing what sticks. CLDmkt is very precise in what it offers and it’s forced me to hone in and focus on a core set of offerings to make it as compelling as it needs to be for consumers.
On the success end of the spectrum, I’ve learned that when you connect people based on their own problems/desires everyone wins. CLDmkt is that idea brought to life. Our goal is to provide a tool that will help make people’s lives more efficient.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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