Writing fake reviews about competitor’s products; returning competitor products pushing their ranking down; buying your own product boosting the rating to “best seller” if you are the seller, are some of the manipulation methods employed on the Amazon platform. Lesson learned: learn from these methods to keep the Encole platform manipulation-proof.
Specifically what should be implemented to prevent fraud and keep a digital marketplace honest. It’s rather what not to implement keeps a platform marketplace prone to manipulation. Simplicity is key.
Encole.com is a professional sourcing platform. Industrial product reviews are not likely to happen on Encole; why, because these users are not consumer type of buyers and sellers. Purchases of engineering components are not emotion-based as many consumer purchases are. Buyers are not going to leave a feedback on a bolt, or a gasket, valve, or a fitting, not going to happen because of two reasons. First, engineering buyers are professionals who don’t want to be seen buying particular components. This is simply because technical buyers keep it a secret who their supplier is or what they are working on. Engineers do not want to leave a footprint on industrial distributor websites such as McMaster, Grainger, or DigiKey; these are not social platforms for sharing. And it’s simply unlikely that engineering buyers will do more work writing a review. Sourcing and buying a product is work already. Writing a review is out of the question. This is good to know, for us developing the next function of the Encole platform.
We are starting to receive a lot of product listing requests from China. Lesson learned here is to review incoming listings from dot ch sources and consider what to do about it. We are not building another Alibaba.
Encole picks up where traditional search engines leave off. No excuses for not being able to find exact components, down to the part numbers. We’ve developed technology that allows to convert billions of PDF datasheets into the Encole interactive catalog. We are adding more products, more users, all in the process now. This opens up loopholes. We are still in a startup mode in Silicon Valley finding a way in this fragmented world helping suppliers organize their products. One thing we found is that an organized catalog with excellent product pages is the best marketing strategy component suppliers can employ.
Industrial supply needs clean product data more than product marketing clogging the space. We thought about machine learning, bringing more traffic, ways for better SEO but there is no substitute for simply delivering relevant engineering solutions to engineering customers.