Building a Mobile Marketplace

Architects, builders, and interior designers have a variety of vendors to work with when helping customers choose fixtures, furniture, and flooring. These professionals either need an expensive showroom and office or they must cart around heavy binders full of product photo’s and descriptions to show their clients. But, this practice is limited to what can be physically compiled and carried and it’s hard to keep the information up to date.

Just like consolidating a library of books online, product images, descriptions, and specifications can be easily contained on a mobile marketplace. Designers, architects, and building professionals only need a mobile device to show and search for thousands of products. And, customers can browse the products on their own time.

Import.io customer RepZio has developed a platform for building mobile marketplaces. They use Import.io to get the images, descriptions, and specs for populating marketplaces for their clients, such as the one below.

 

 

How to build a mobile marketplace

As an example of how to use Import.io to build your mobile marketplace, I set up my own interior design website. Since I’ll features products from at least 30 vendors, I needed to quickly and easily get the product images and descriptions onto my marketplace. I could use the vendor websites, but I’m not going to recommend everything they sell, so I want a custom experience for my clients.

One of the vendors I chose to feature is Stanley Furniture. It’s easy to get all the data I need in a few minutes. Just navigate to the page where the data is contained, copy the URL and enter it into Import.io.

 

 

 

In this extractor, I’ll get the images and product name.

 

 

The product description and specifications are contained on the detail page for each chair. So, I click on one of the chairs and copy that URL, then enter it into Import.io.

 

 

 

I link the list extractor with the detail extractor to get descriptions and specs for all chairs on the list.

 

 

 

Then, I upload the images, names, and specifications to my website:

 

 

And choose the chairs I want to feature:

 

marketplace

 

Now, I can take my tablet or even smart phone to client sites and browse through a customized mobile marketplace showing hundreds of products without breaking my back, lugging around binders.

 

mobile marketplace

 

Keeping your mobile marketplace up-to-date

Another feature of Import.io is Change Reporting. I can be alerted when one of my vendors removes or adds products.

For instance I received this change report when Stanley Furniture removed one of the chairs from their site. This is very helpful as I would not want to convince a client to use a chair that is no longer being offered.

 

 

We can help you get your own mobile marketplace up and running. Contact Import.io to get started.

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