Creating a new marketplace for parents with Baby Swap or Shop

“You know. Ebay – for baby stuff!” And just like that, there was the entire premise of Baby Swap or Shop.

 

Before Facebook Marketplace was a thing (very nearly before Facebook itself was a thing), Baby Swap or Shop was designed to fill a niche that even Ebay wasn’t quite fulfilling. For new parents needing to save money on expensive baby items, and for parents that suddenly found they had an extraordinary amount of children’s clothes, toys and equipment they no longer needed, there had to be some way to bring supply and demand together in a new way. Ultimately, there had to be a way of making the whole of advertising, buying, selling, and swapping pre-owned items easier and cheaper.

Baby Swap or Shop was created out of this concept. The founders, Carrie and Shane Webster, has just had a child, and realised just how much a newborn needs – but also, how much is needed as their child grows. And it wasn’t just about saving money, but the opportunity to reduce waste and help other parents in a similar position.

The name and initial logo came about very simply, and from their, we worked together to define what was required from the service in terms of a fully-functional online marketplace, and a strategy to bring buyers and sellers together via social media. Our strategy, to create Facebook Pages each focused on a local area and utilise those existing social networks, resulted in growing our fanbase from literally zero to over 100,000 people within 6 months. Almost unheard of at the time for a start-up brand with practically no advertising spend.

That acted as a proof-of-concept needed to establish the brand as a serious business proposition and led to us developing the website over a number of years to provide the online marketplace, attracting external investment along the way.

The evolution of the BSOS homepage mirrored the change in market, user experiences, and business focus
(click for larger versions)

We developed Baby Swap or Shop at a time when sites like Ebay and Gumtree were at their strongest, and Facebook was starting to reduce the impact of organic reach, harming the ability for brands to achieve organic growth, whilst simultaneously developing Facebook Marketplace, giving users the benefits Baby Swap or Shop was designed to offer, on their own platform.

As much as Baby Swap or Shop developed over the years to counteract these changes, it became extremely difficult to compete.

Screen layouts for the Baby Swap or Shop website

“Denise has translated the Baby Swap or Shop concept way beyond my expectations with particular attention to detail and shows vast knowledge in technology and social media, which has enhanced the website even further.”

CARRIE WEBSTER FOUNDER, BABY SWAP OR SHOP

Ultimately I stepped away from Baby Swap or Shop as the focus changed from the core online marketplace concept, to more of a specialist social media agency working with brands in the Baby & Toddler sector, something that happened as a happy accident of the brand becoming so well-known and influential within that industry.

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