Despite been many challengers, Trade Me has remained the number one stop for online shopping in New Zealand since it first rose to power in the mid-2000s.
Originally designed for secondhand trading between consumers, the site’s continued popularity has caused more and more businesses to jump on board and peddle their wares in front of keen buyers.
Unfortunately, the site wasn’t built for volume sellers, and sellers can spend hours managing listings, sales and feedback. Between that and the hassle of organising warehousing and dispatch, managing inventory, and keeping track of payments and invoices, it doesn’t leave much time for the task of actually developing a business.
That’s why Christchurch resident Peter Montgomery has started Tradevine.
Launched to the public in March after a year in development, Tradevine is a software platform designed specifically to help Trade Me sellers streamline their operations so they can focus on selling.
Montgomery says Tradevine takes a ‘big picture’ approach to ecommerce, offering deep integration with Trade Me as well as other partners like NZ Post and Xero.
"We try to make the synchronisation as seamless as we can,” Montgomery says.
"We’ve spent a lot of time making the user experience special. The approach is slower and more expensive, but it pays off.”
The 12-person company’s most recent success was pairing up with Brightstar to offer integrated warehousing and dispatch, sparing users the trouble of arranging storage and shipping for their goods.
Montgomery says the next step is a partnership with Shopify, a website which lets the user create his or her own ecommerce store.
Eventually there are plans to take the service international, integrating with sites like eBay.
"We’ve got to be careful about how far we go. The more you add the more complex it becomes, the more support you’ve got to add, so you’ve got to really finely balance how far you go without introducing a level of complexity that takes you to a tipping point.
"I’ve got a really strong team who can tell me how to do that.”
Go here to check out Tradevine’s website.