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Apps: Carousell

E-commerce, online marketplaces in particular, has always been a source of conflict among users. While the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, a lot of people are still apprehensive in using online marketplace apps and services. For one, user trust is constantly put under strain due to flaky buyers and dubious sellers; also, potential users find going through the procedure of putting up items for sale, or manually combing through specific tags and metatags for a good find too much of a hassle. Carousell intends to cut through all that malarkey.

Since its launch in Singapore in 2012, mobile classifieds app Carousell has sought to provide users with a different and more personal online buy-and-sell experience. 57 million listings and millions of dollars in VC funding later, the team behind the app was able to improve upon a good idea, making it even better.

For those who are not familiar with the app, and for those who haven’t visited in a while and are wondering what changed, we take a look at the main features of Carousell.

Better experience is better design
Whether it be browsing Carousell via desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, the app interface comes as very neat: just a thumbnail gallery of listings, a search bar, a tab for categories, and well, a carousel of featured products and specials.
Scrolling through listings can be a trip down the proverbial rabbit hole (in a good way). To put it simply, it’s easy to get lost in more than a million listings in the Philippines.

Browsing is similar to that of Instagram or Pinterest, and keeping tabs on an item is as easy as favoriting it. Clicking on an item will show more detailed information about it including purchase details (whether the item is up solely for meet-up or for shipping, location of the item, etc.).
If a user likes another user’s collection of items, he/she can follow that user so that he/she will be notified if that user puts up more stuff for sale.

Quick and easy selling
One of the best things about Carousell is its ease of use. It can take as few as 30 seconds to put up an item for sale. Sellers just need to tap the “Sell” button on the main screen, take a photo of the product, and specify an item title and price. A detailed description of the item is optional. Users don’t even need to leave the app to take a photo of their item—Carousell has an in-app camera complete with photo-editing functions.

Message to purchase
Carousell leaves the transaction proceedings up to the users via in-app private messaging. This allows buyers to contact sellers directly and finalize transaction conditions like payment options, meet-up details, and willingness to swap the items. To push through with a transaction, the seller just needs to accept a buyer’s offer and it’s done: no fees, commissions, or facilitation charges.

Carousell’s intuitive message inbox organizes messages as either for buying or selling, and whether an item has been sold or is being sold.
A more personal marketplace
Aside from liking, following and messaging, one of the more recent updates to the app is Carousell Groups.

Carousell Groups connect users with similar interests into a specific group. All the related listings of group members go up the group’s feed, which helps sellers reach a more specific audience, and buyers find what they’re looking for, more efficiently.

The Carousell team also manages Collections which is a curated list of theme-based items. This is a constantly changing list of items based on the season and trend.

And to help buyers find items closer to home, one unique feature in Carousell’s search engine is the range limiter. This gives buyers the option to filter out listings that are not geo-tagged in close proximity, with the limiter ranging from half a kilometer to nationwide.

When the shopping is done, and the transactions have been completed, users can let other users know about their experience with a buyer through the Feedback section. This serves as reference for people who are interested in an item the seller is offering, and want to know if the seller is credible or not.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE July 2017 issue
Words by Robby Vaflor