If you’ve ever bought or sold something on a forum or classifieds websites like OLX or Craigslist, you probably remember how difficult and frustrating it was. From listing an item to finding something you want to purchase from the site, it can require hours of work.
Realizing this was a space ripe for disruption, Carousell built a platform that made selling as simple as taking a photo, and buying as easy as sending a text. Carousell offers a digital marketplace for new and secondhand goods — giving millions of users across Southeast Asia the chance to sell and buy easily.
With 250 million listings and counting, Carousell brings sellers and buyers across 7 countries closer together.
Wanting to know more about their story, we chatted with Arun Kumar, Head of Digital Marketing, and gathered some valuable insights about building a community-based marketplace, creating personalized experiences for buyers and sellers, and using CRM to maximize retention and customer lifetime value.
One of Carousell’s key differentiators is its community of passionate buyers and sellers with varied interests. These sellers include die-hard LEGO fans, bike enthusiasts, comic book collectors, and even sneakerheads. In recent years, Carousell has been building up its cars and property categories to serve its users.
Carousell connects buyers and sellers on its platform by organizing community meet-ups for sellers so they can swap stories and merchandise.
Digital marketing is a key driver for growth at Carousell. The CRM team works with a clear objective of continuously improving user engagement and retention.
The CRM team uses the following strategies to retain users:
1) Sharing Carousell’s value by reminding sellers how much they’ve earned/how many they’ve sold to emphasize the benefits.
2) Deliver personalized recommendations on a weekly basis. Based on users’ likes and browsing behavior, they consistently deliver high-quality recommendations on other items that could interest them.
3) Introduce complementary items. They suggest complementary categories of items that are related to their previous likes or purchases to keep them discovering new possibilities.
They focus on crafting the most seamless user experience for users to sell what they don’t need and help them find what they do.
To accomplish this, their two main communication channels are emails and push notifications, with KPIs revolving around contributing to bottom-line metrics: weekly active buyers and weekly active sellers.
optimization is needed.
Working towards their core mission of improving retention, they partnered with CleverTap.
The team mentioned that CleverTap allows them to understand the incremental impact of all their campaigns, which in turn helps them optimize their campaigns.
Arun shared the details around a recent campaign they did with the objective of user re-engagement. The campaign was called “Buy what you like,” which targeted users who showed interest in an item but didn’t start a conversation in the next 23 hours.
With starting a conversation as a key event for Carousell, it becomes crucial to nudge these users and remind them to start a chat with the buyer.
Their push messaging was highly personalized to each user, including the listing they showed interest in. This personalization has yielded good results in user engagement.
In order to avoid a situation where an out-of-stock item gets recommended to a user, they update inventory catalogs as often as possible. Using CleverTap’s recommendation feature, the Carousell team makes personalized product recommendations to reduce these chances to as little as 5%.
The result has been improved user engagement, accelerated product discovery, and boosted retention while maximizing order value and revenue.
By implementing personalized push notifications, Week 3 retention numbers improved by 71%.
When asked about their segmentation approach, Ailynn, CRM Specialist at Carousell, told us about their extensive segmentation approach. They divide users into the following categories: Active chatters, Active listers, Active users, and Categories explored/skipped.
In addition to the above segments created and tracked via CleverTap, they have a few other segments in place. These segments are created based on:
– Most chatted categories
– Most looked at categories
– Most recent categories
These are ranked by the team internally and only the top rank from each segment is targeted for marketing. This multilayered segmentation approach, paired with relevant communications, are resulting in CTRs that are 4x the industry average.
Carousell believes CleverTap’s AI-powered capabilities will greatly improve the overall user experience and offer them a competitive advantage.
Arun says, “Leveraging on Carousell’s own AI and machine learning work and pairing that with CleverTap’s capabilities in the same domain has helped to enhance the push experience for Buyers on the platform. And there is more to be done to further enhance experiences for more of our users through personalisation. ”
“CleverTap has become an integral part of our CRM team as it’s cleverly designed to answer all the needs of a modern CRM practitioner,” says Arun. “The platform has assisted us in effectively communicating to our users and helped us see marked improvements in engagement rates since adoption. We see them as an important partner in our growth journey that’s less than 1% done.”
Their team intends to stay close to their active community while enhancing the buying and selling experience with the latest technologies. They’re continuously looking for ways to remove friction in the buying and selling process, allowing sellers to list faster and more efficiently, and buyers to find what they’re looking for more easily.