A suggestion for the White Label Marketplace that (I think) could really help sellers

The White Label Marketplace is great and SH has been getting so many things right. I really have to applaud SH for the implementation. But the WLM has one major flaw for sellers that perhaps SH could address.

Because Squadhelp facilitates the transactions, gives support etc., every mention of Squadhelp.com in the WLM can take buyers away from the WLM to check out Squadhelp. Once that happens, sales can be lost because potential buyers see the option to launch a naming contest, the option to browse more domains… and so, unless they’re 100% interested in a specific name/domain- once they leave the WLM to check out what Squadhelp is all about and if it can be trusted- they can be easily distracted and explore other options outside the WLM.

For SH- the current state of things is a win win situation. SH either gets a sale at the WLM or gets traffic and potential customers for SH’s contests or the premium marketplace. For WLM sellers, however, this situation isn’t good. When you have a potential buyer in your WLM marketplace, looking at a domain or browsing around- you want to keep them there in your closed “ecosystem” so they would make a purchase from your brand. The last thing you want them to do is start checking out other sites that offer competition (in SH’s case, both the contests and the premium marketplace domains are a competition for the WLM).

My suggestion is for Squadhelp to separate the support and the escrow from the Squadhelp name. Perhaps form another entity, maybe with a separate site. That way, when the WLM mentions that the escrow and/or support are provided by, let’s say: BuyerServices.com for example, people who check it out will just see a site that focuses on services that aren’t competing with the WLM so they’d be focused on the name they want or browsing the WLM of that specific seller.

I’d be happy to hear feedback from other WLM sellers and SH’s response (@grant).

Thanks for the consideration.

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Just to add- I’m not sure that what I suggested is the right solution but I hope SH can agree that it’s counterproductive for a site to heavily mention a different site when these two sites have competing products or offers.

It does instill confidence when a site reassures potential buyers that it’s using an established and trustworthy site to facilitate things, for example, if a site like Escrow.com was handling transactions then mentioning it would be great. But when two sites are both trying to sell the same product (in this case names/domains)- there’s an inherent conflict of interest and the small shop could end up losing a lot of customers to the bigger and better shop where there’s more variety and options. I’m trying to imagine myself as a potential buyer for a certain domain, seeing that escrow is facilitated by Squadhelp.com. I naturally go to Squadhelp.com to check it out, expecting to see an escrow type site but then I see offers to launch a naming contest and browse more domains. Suddenly I have more options that I didn’t have before and a whole new site to explore. It goes against the most basic principle any eCommerce site has: Keep your potential buyers in your site and interested in your products, so these leads will convert into sales. From the WLM seller’s perspective- references to SH is basically telling potential buyers: “Go check out the competition”.

Perhaps there’s some other solution or partial solution that could help- like not mentioning Squadhelp or mentioning SH as little as possible, just at the bottom at the “powered by” section. If anybody has a better idea or thoughts- please chime in.

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This is the reason why I’m not really sure of the WLM as opposed to even a basic site with just my names. Click the blue button and right there it is displayed Squadhelp logo which is not at all good for a standalone marketplace. Additionally there aren’t any customizable features to make our marketplace unique - not even changeable button colors. Hope they fix this soon.

Good idea overall @moretal.

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@moretal Thanks for the feedback.

The Squadhelp references were added based upon feedback from several sellers because it can instill more trust and confidence in the buyer’s journey. Here are the key reasons we show some Squadhelp information on the landing pages :

  • When a buyer clicks on Buy Now, they go to a Squadhelp branded page. Therefore, we believe it is better to set that context up front so that the buyers are not surprised to see Squadhelp brand when they land on the Payment page.

  • Many buyers are hesitant to make purchases from websites that are not well known. If a buyer Googles a WLM marketplace name, they will likely not find much information such as customer reviews, news articles etc. However if they see that the payment and escrow is handled by Squadhelp, they will likely be much more comfortable in making the purchase especially after seeing thousands of positive customer reviews as well as other credible links such as news stories related to SH.

Unfortunately adding a generic brand for payment processing and customer service (completely unrelated to SH) is not possible at this stage, especially since the WLM receives several SH powered benefits (e.g. SH branded advertising, 24x7 support team, payment gateway, installment plans etc)

We are also planning on adding an “All Domains Marketplace” on Squadhelp (likely in next 1-2 weeks) which will allow all standard and WLM listings to be searchable on Squadhelp website (under a separate section).

In addition, with our recent announcement for standard listings, you also have the option to keep your landing pages pointed to SH. In that case, the name recommendations shown on your landing page will only be from your own portfolio.

The good news is that sellers now have many different options available in the industry to list and promote their names. There are pros and cons to each option and you have to decide what works the best in your situation.

  • You can build a completely custom branded Marketplace with your own payment pages and no third party branding. However in this situation, you would need to think about how to instill confidence in buyers when they visit your Marketplace. In addition, you may need to incur significant investment in features such as 24x7 chat support, advertising, visual images/ logos, instant search etc.

  • You can add your domains to an open Marketplace, where the landing pages, and the entire buyer journey is managed by that Marketplace.

  • WLM offers a solution that falls somewhere in between the above two. Most of your traffic is insulated because the buyers only see name recommendations and search options from your own portfolio. This minimizes any “leakage” in traffic - and you have to weigh that against the other benefits (e.g. 24x7 support, advertising, visual images, installment plans, ongoing tech improvements, as well as exposure of your names in the “all domains” marketplace).

If many sellers prefer to hide SH branding from the WLM landing pages, we can certainly consider adding an option which allows you to opt out of showing those references on your landing page. However, unfortunately there is no way to avoid or hide SH branding on payment page, chat/emails as well as digital advertising.

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@grant Many thanks for the quick response and the detailed explanation. Yeah, I understand why some people wanted it, because it does make sense to get legitimacy by using an established site- but I don’t think those users were considering the fact that whether they want to or not, SH’s main site is competing against them. I have an idea that perhaps could work:

What if the generic brand wouldn’t be unrelated to SH? It could include Squadhelp’s name but not lead people to Squadhelp.com. For example: Squadhelp Services. Squadhelp Sales. Squadhelp Solutions etc. A simple clean site operating from the corresponding .com could explain that it’s a service that facilitates escrow/domain sales/transfers etc. That name (Squadhelp Services or whatever it is) will be the one that’s mentioned within the WLM instead of ‘Squadhelp’ or ‘Squadhelp.com’ and the url will be mentioned so potential buyers will check out that site instead of Squadhelp.com. In that context- a branded chat by Squadhelp will make sense to potential buyers because they’d know that ‘Squadhelp Services’ (or whatever the name is) are facilitating the transaction and that other site can use Squadhelp’s logo as well. If Squadhelp could actually correspond from that site’s email address instead of from Squadhelp.com for the WLM buyers that would make it even better.

Could that option make sense?

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One problem with what I just suggested is that the domain will be totally new, so that could make some buyers suspicious about the legitimacy of the service.

I guess another option could be to create a page on Squadhelp either as a subdomain, for example: solutions.squadhelp.com, or as an actual page on the site- squadhelp.com/solutions (I’m using the word ‘solutions’ just as an example). There could be a clickable link to that page from the WLM so that page would open on a new tab. That page could explain about squadhelp escrow, sales or what not, but it would be a page that won’t have any clickable links in it that would lead to the main site and it won’t mention Squadhelp.com, maybe just Squadhelp. Most people are lazy so they may not even check out squadhelp.com. Not ideal, but maybe it could help.

One last thought, if all of the above doesn’t apply- perhaps using ‘Squadhelp’ instead of ‘Squadhelp.com’ in the WLM would be better. When people keep reading about Squadhelp.com, they’re more likely to visit the URL. If you drop the .com, it’s perhaps less likely.

Sorry for trying to prevent people from getting to Squadhelp.com! In general, I want you guys to get as much traffic as possible. Just not if it comes from the WLM because then you’re getting direct traffic from domains that are supposed to be independent of SH. :slight_smile:

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Somewhat unrelated but I am looking forward to adding the new features to my WLM names because since I have added them they get nearly zero views, let alone anything else. And I still wish there was a love button but no answer on that.

WLM for me looks like it is going to be yet another bunch of basic listings when I just dropped a boat load of those because they got zero attention.

I am so sorry I added names to WLM at this point. I hope I have a better chance on Afternic. Not only that, but with SH’s new submission guidelines for approval (August 31), I have basically been shut out of growing my premium domains.

So, I will not grow anything anymore. Just sell. That has been going very well.

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@Commulinks If selling is going well, then you’re already doing great and can perhaps consider investing some of the profits in better domains (not handregged) so you could get more premium listings. And congrats! I had a drought at SH lately until a couple of days ago where I sold my first WLM domain. Luckily I had sales elsewhere, but since I haven’t had success with the WLM until this recent sale… I don’t really know if the WLM is working for me or not yet. So many things about the WLM feel right, I love the look, the installments, the low commission, the 24/7 support. And I trust my domains to sell, but I am concerned about all these mentions of Squadhelp.com. Currently each individual WLM page has 6 or 7 Squadhelp.com mentions (plus the banner and the chat branding). It’s a pretty big downside to basically advertise a competing site on a site that’s supposed to represent your personal brand. BTW, I don’t even understand what these new features that you mentioned mean. Is that related to the new classifications?

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I have been doing that but I can only do a few. Too expensive.

Anyway, I understand your concerns and will just add that it goes both ways. Someone who thought they loved my name could buy yours instead.

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@commulinks Well… not exactly. If traffic bleeds from the WLM to SH, not all of the people will even get to the premium marketplace. Some might launch a naming contest. Some might get to the marketplace, browse there and get overwhelmed. Or see better options which could make them doubt your domain. And if someone gets to the marketplace- good luck getting a sale from someone else’s traffic when there are tens of thousands of domains in the system. Theoretically- sure. You might benefit eventually from someone who will run into one of your names. And people with thousand of domains might benefit from it more. But in general- it’s still a loss of leads. People who specifically got to one of your names and/or your marketplace, often as a result of directly typing your domain because they have interest in it. Some will be fixed on a specific domain so it won’t matter. But others won’t and the whole point of listing domains on a WLM is that it’s your place with your branding and your potential clients. Any distraction that can lead them elsewhere is counterproductive.

As for aftermarket purchases- Godaddy closeouts can be a good place to find interesting ones without going bankrupt!

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The beauty of WLM is that your domains that receive traffic will bring traffic to other domains that would never have any chance of getting any attention. If you are using DAN or Afternic for your landing pages then your other “standard” domains will never be seen.

I totally understand the point that some traffic will be leaked to SH main market, however the advantages IMO outweighs the disadvantages: the mention of SH is important to build trust and IMO it should be made even more clear. I myself would never buy from unknown website with no reviews. For example shopify stores have a lot of trust and they come with phrase like “Powered by Shopify”, similarly websites that are “powered by SquadHelp” should enjoy same trust that SquadHelp have.

That being said I don’t mind if there is an option for users who prefer to opt-out of any mention to SH as long as it is optional, but as @grant said this might be problematic when SH is mentioned at checkout, also the chat option will be disabled.

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@Deepblue Thanks. I think you’re counting on traffic that largely won’t end up being useful since traffic that exits the WLM doesn’t turn into a person who will necessarily visit the premium marketplace. And the ones who will get there- will be browsing tens of thousands of domains instead of browsing just your portfolio. So from a lead that arrived to your store or to your specific domain and could have shopped around your store, you now have someone that you’ve sent to a bigger and better store that among other things offers them to launch a $200 contest and get hundreds of options instead of paying $2000 for a domain. You have to understand that in the context of the WLM, SH is a competitor. They need to be the silent partner in the background, not an entity that’s advertised on every one of your domains, multiple times as the “World’s #1 Naming Platform”, with multiple clickable links that lead your potential buyers there. Once SH has the new searchable WLM place, traffic can arrive from there. But the WLM needs to be isolated and be all about YOUR brand as much as possible. I challenge you to find any serious site that belongs to any kind of brand that mentions a different brand’s website 6 or 7 times on every page of its site and has multiple clickable links to that site. Plus, in this case- the different brand offers competing services. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist because it defies all commercial logic. If it were up to me, I’d perhaps mention Squadhelp once, without mentioning the actual site Squadhelp.com. Something like this:

What’s included
Domain Name: X.com
Secure Escrow Transaction

Buy Quickly and Securely
Trusted by over 30,000 customers, our partner Squadhelp handles customer support, secure payment collection and manages the domain transfer all the way to your account.”

That’s it. One mention in the right context just to make people aware another entity is involved and what it does. No banners about naming. No clickable links. Keeping the potential buyer’s focus on the domain/WLM. There’s no ideal solution as long as Squadhelp’s name is involved, but at least the WLM’s landing pages won’t look like advertisments for SH.

@SmartWebby Forgot to thank you for your input. Thanks!

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@moretal

If you would like to completely isolate your traffic, the best solution is to set up your own Marketplace with no external/ third party links. You can do this with a fully custom solution, or use some ready made offerings that come with built in Marketplace features. Of course, this solution can give you absolute control but at the same time, you would need to invest in building or managing several elements of Marketplace yourself (e.g. support, tech/UX, logos/visual images, advertising/ retargeting etc). In addition, you would need to think of ways to build more credibility with the buyers for your own brand.

Outside of that option, we are not aware of any Marketplaces that will allow you to keep the traffic of your domains entirely within your own portfolio.

WLM allows you to keep most of your traffic - the only clickable link to Squadhelp is in the bottom of the footer (in addition to the Buy Now button). However it is absolutely possible that some visitors will eventually end up on Squadhelp, while researching about Squadhelp.

In today’s digital age, we do not believe calling it “Squadhelp.com” or “Squadhelp” or “Squadhelp Solutions” makes much difference. For a customer who wants to learn about Squadhelp, they can type any of these keywords on Google and they will likely end up on Squadhelp homepage.

We will continue to look for ways to keep the WLM as insulated as possible from potential leakage, but at this point we believe including Squadhelp references on the landing page offers a more trustworthy experience for buyers.

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@grant Thanks. The problem is that if you look at a WLM page it almost looks like a promotional site for SH. As you scroll down the page every few seconds there’s a reference to Squadhelp.com and praises for its services, including two references to it being the Number #1 Naming platfrom which isn’t relevant to the WLM. Plus a FAQ section where the first answer is again, all about Squadhelp. Squadhelp is mentioned way way more than the actual WLM site’s name-which the users can only mention in very few places! You are correct, and there’s only one clickable link. My bad. Still, I think all these mentions are way too much and I’d appreciate the option to hide all these mentions and leave a bare minimum, such as the example I gave in my last post.

Efty is one example of a WLM solution that doesn’t involve such heavy branding by the powering site and has minimal to no leakage. One mention at the footer and that’s it. Visitors have no distractions and they can just browse the different domains or check out. Again, don’t get me wrong- I love a lot of things about SH’s WLM and will continue to try it out and see if the results work for me but I really think that if a WLM solution is offered- it can’t be turned into an advertisment for the powering site, especially when that site is offering competing services. I understand that there’s merit to establishing trust about the secure payment and some sellers wanted you to highlight that, but mentioning Squadhelp.com every 2 lines is way way way too much. The WLM’s design looks super professional and trustworthy and having to keep hammering in the fact that Squadhelp is handling the transaction and that it’s a trustworthy site and a #1 naming platform is overkill and counterproductive to the sellers, IMO. If I were a buyer, I think I’d be more reassured about the WLM if I saw one or two mentions max instead of repeated attemps to convince me how the site that powers the site that I want to buy from is great. Confident sites don’t need to try so hard to convince people of their legitimacy. They communicate it once or twice and let the quality of the products/services and the interaction with their reps speak for themselvelf.

Again, thanks a lot for the replies. I hope you guys will be able to offer a setting for people like me who don’t want their WLM to have so many mentions of Squadhelp.com

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@moretal, in my view it’s not realistic to expect SH would remove its branding from the WLM.

The whole point of introducing this feature was to build the SH brand. To generate backlinks to SH. To increase SH’s store of data. The 7.5% commission is secondary to all these benefits for SH.

The only way SH would ever allow you to keep the WLM and opt out of their branding would be if they offered a paid option.

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Thanks @BrandLander. The branding can’t be removed completely. But featuring Squadhelp.com so dominantly on each WLM page is just too much and can feel almost desperate from a potential buyer’s perspective of the WLM. A confident and legit vendor doesn’t need to keep praising its powering site so many times throughout each and every page of their site. When you keep trying to convince someone that you’re legit and trustworthy that’s when they can get more suspicious and look into it more. Act confidently, say what you need to say once and the potential buyer will probably never give it another thought and focus on their shopping.

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I completely agree. There are 9 mentions of SH on every WLM sales page:

  • Secure Escrow via [SH]

  • Buy Securely via [SH]

  • Trusted by over 30,000 customers, our partner [SH] handles secure payment collection and manages the domain transfer all the way to your account.

  • Escrow Service By [SH]

  • Secure Payment and Escrow Service via [SH]: World’s #1 Naming Platform, Trusted by 30,000+ Customers Worldwide

  • The Payment and Escrow process is handled by our partner, [SH]. With over 30,000 customers worldwide, [SH] offers a peace of mind guarantee to Domain Buyers.

  • The payment is held securely by [SH] until the domain is successfully transferred to your ownership. If for any reason the domain can not be transferred, you will receive a full refund for your purchase.

  • Powered by [SH]

This goes too far and comes across as tacky / tasteless / overblown to me. It certainly won’t help sellers to convert traffic into sales. Probably the biggest thing it does, as you said, is to direct traffic away from the WLM to SH.

From a buyer’s perspective, it just seems like a giant ad for SH rather than increasing my trust in the sales process.

I think mentions of SH should be reduced to 3 max, and these mentions should be tasteful and discreet.

Efty’s white label option: 0 mentions of Efty
DAN’s landing page: 3 mentions of DAN
SH’s WLM: 9 mentions of SH

By referring to itself 9 times on every sales page, SH seems to have forgotten the meaning of “White Label Marketplace”.

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@BrandLander Exactly! It’s even more times than I thought. By the way @grant, I realized why I mentioned multiple clickable links. Becuase there are also the two banners that open up the ShoppersApproved.com reviews. Which is… more information and praise about Squadhelp! So, yeah, I think @BrandLander hit the nail right on the head. It’s not a White Label Marketplace when the WLM site’s name can be mentioned in very few spots while the facilitating site gets tons and tons of mentions and praise. Each page is really a big ad for SH.

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I would like to add some final points related to this discussion. The Squadhelp references are not intended to be a SH advertisement or a secret attempt to divert any traffic from WLM. We believe the references (including customer reviews) help build better buyer trust, and like anything we do ongoing A/B testing to see what content works the best in closing sales.

We are absolutely ok with any of the following options:

  1. We can go back to exactly how things were when we launched the WLM. With just a small link at the bottom of footer, and no other references to SH at all.

  2. We can reduce the references to SH

  3. We can keep things the same for now, and adjust based upon our ongoing testing.

We will monitor this thread for some time, and we will go with the option that most sellers prefer. Clearly there are different points of views regarding the value sellers see in this type of content, and we are happy to adjust based on what works best for most sellers.

We also understand that ultimately there is no single solution that will work perfectly for all sellers, which is why we strongly recommend exploring other alternatives as well - so that you can make a more informed decision about what solution works best in your situation.

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@grant Thanks, Grant! Really appreciate the consideration. I think if you could give sellers all these options that would be best. So each person could choose what they think is best. Otherwise some people will feel like they didn’t get the option they wanted. I think sellers love and appreciate the WLM and want to use it. It’s definitely one of the most visually impressive solutions out there that also offers sellers a lot of benefits such as the Lifestyle images, installments, low commission, analytics etc. So customized options is the way to go, I think, if possible.

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