Inara Pey has a post up regarding the new DX Exchange marketplace for Second Life : DX Exchange offers SL Marketplace alternative. The post details a lot of the ins and outs of the new Marketplace but it also points out some of the challenges facing DX Exchange.
The DX Marketplace has an aim :
It is our ambition to create a special place for Pro designers, who make good quality goods, of their own creation to display their collection. A place for them to stand out from the crowd of products and designers inSL.
For the customers, it has to be a tidy, well organized place where they can be sure to find only goods of ‘good standing’.
From a merchant point of view Inara states :
all goods can be sold at 0% commission for the time being (commission will eventually be 4%)
I’m not convinced that undercutting the commission from the SL Marketplace by 1% is really a selling point because commission is only due when an item is sold. I’m sure merchants are happy to pay an extra 1% commission, which in reality costs them nothing, for volume of sales. The reason commission doesn’t really cost merchants anything is because they know if they make a sale that commission is due, so therefore they build that into their pricing. Customers pay the commission in all reality, not merchants. Obviously commission will dictate pricing in many ways, but 5% for free listing is pretty low already. There’s not much wiggle room here.
This would be different if listing fees existed, but they don’t.
However Inara does point out something about DX Exchange’s Marketplace that is interesting :
There are some important points to note about this site when compared to something like the SL Marketplace. In particular, the engine used to power DX Exchange is Magento, and the stores within it are pretty much self-contained e-commerce sites contained within the DX Marketplace “wrapper”. This is important on two counts:
Merchants have access to virtually the full range of Magento e-commerce tools. These include not just product listing and sales reports, but options such as customer tracking, , creating and generating custom reports, running a store newsletter and / or blog, a range of CMS functions, setting custom search terms for product finding, and so on. In fact, far too much for a review such as this to cover.
Each store actually stands as its own e-commerce site, with its own dedicated URL (if people want to use it), its own shopping cart and its own checkout.
I believe that DX Exchange’s advantage may well be in those dedicated URL e-commerce sections rather than as a direct competitor to the SL Markeplace as a marketplace on its own.