Non-Commodity Marketplaces Require Greater Information for Discernment

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What is a Non-Commodity item?

Commodity items on department store shelves

First, a commodity is defined as a mass-produced unspecialized product. You might think of something like corn/wheat, but more specifically products found at your local department store. Commodity items do not require a lot of detailed inspection or consideration to compare alternatives and determine if they are worthy of purchase.

Stomper 4x4 toy truck from 1980’s listed on eBay

Non-Commodity items are more unique, historical, or rare. They are items that potentially are no longer available from original sources. Non-commodity items are things like:

Non-Commodity items are the legacy of manufacturing, the craft of individuals, or available property.

Non-Commodity Marketplaces

Non-Commodity marketplaces are the locations where people connect to exchange non-commodity items. Non-Commodity marketplaces are:

There are many non-commodity marketplaces both offline and online. Those marketplaces are critically important to the flow of goods and the fulfillment of participants. Those participants gather frequently to buy and sell items. Some of the largest online marketplaces like eBay have millions of active users.

Outdoor market showing busy crowds shopping

Online marketplaces are interesting because the owner of the website determines most factors regarding the manner in which the marketplace operates. Participants interact with each other and the inventory within the marketplace based on decisions made by the owner. The owners define how information is presented, which characteristics are the focus of attention, and participant behavior within the marketplace. Having that great power and responsibility is a significant opportunity to influence the health and growth of the marketplace.

Discernment when Shopping Online

Discernment is defined as the ability to judge well, and judgement is defined as the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. Most humans exert significant energy in an effort to make good judgement. This is especially true in searching for and purchasing items. Some purchasing decisions are more important than others, but most humans want to leverage their money wisely when purchasing items.

Opening a wallet full of money for purchasing items

Shopping discernment for non-commodity items requires an increased amount of information and consideration. Frequently a person has to consider:

  • Where can I locate the item I desire or where could I begin to look for it?
  • What are my options for locating and how many of them are available?
  • How quickly can I look through the available items and find what I want?
  • What is the item’s quality/condition and does it meet my requirements?
  • Who is the seller and can they be trusted?
  • Are there other alternatives or discoveries that should be considered?
  • If the item isn’t present today could it be listed in the future?
  • How do I get the item and if it’s being shipped when would it arrive?

Discernment is required in those considerations and many other questions. The availability of information, the organization of it’s presentation, and the processing of that information is crucial to efficiently shop online. In online non-commodity marketplaces the website tools are increasingly important to enable effective discernment. Non-Commodity marketplaces have a responsibility to provide shoppers with useful shopping features.

Bidiom Facilitates Discernment in Non-Commodity Marketplaces

Bidiom is focused on innovating marketplaces. The focus is targeted within the niche of online, non-commodity marketplaces. Many opportunities exists to improve the features that would facilitate enhanced discernment during the shopping process. We are working on a few major areas of innovation.

Enhancing the presentation of information is the first major area of innovation. Items consist of information like title, pictures, description, and other meta data. Currently those informational elements are displayed in relatively primitive ways. Alternative presentations of that information could enhance the shoppers ability to discern items.

Improving the process of examining search results is the second major area of innovation. Most online shopping follows a process of search, view search results, and visit an item detail page. Other alternatives exist for beginning a search process, evaluating the contents of the marketplace, and examining select items for a more in-depth inspection.

Enabling advanced actions within the shopping experience is the third major focus of innovation. Shoppers have a collection of actions possible during the shopping session. Sharing and purchasing are obvious actions however there are many others. Many actions are present within the shopping experience but few of them have been explored to improve the shopper’s capability.

Process improvement

Implementing features within these areas enables significant improvement in online shopping of non-commodity items. Interacting with these features and leveraging the process improvements allow a shopper to mature from a beginner to a more advanced shopper. Non-Commodity marketplaces have a different set of requirements. Bidiom is delivering compelling innovation to non-commodity, online marketplaces to power the next era of online commerce.

Innovating Marketplaces