Marktplaats adds image recognition, chatbot support

27 Oct 2017

EBay-owned Marktplaats, the dominant general classifieds site in the Netherlands, is in the process of adding image recognition and a chatbot support service to help users compile and post their listings.

Specifically, these technologies help users determine the asking prices of their items. They take pictures or create videos of items, and the image-recognition function shares its opinion on the values of the items, head of product Jonker Roelants, told Emerce.

Jonker Roelants, head of product at Marktplaats.nl (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

“Then we will go through a conversational user interface with a chatbot to create a better ad,” he said.

The chatbot function was added by Marktplaats in a test format earlier this year with the purpose of responding to FAQs. It is currently in the process of launching a live version.

The advice on listing prices is based on data that Marktplaats collects in the course of transactions. The advice aims to help users create listings that sell, based on knowledge collected on what sells items quicker. Marktplaats advises users on key parameters of an ad — a photo angle, word usage, and price.

Going forward, this function is expected to help not just individuals, but professional users as well.

Apart from these technologies, Marktplaats has transitioned to fully-automated, display ads on page headers. The header bidding solution offered by Marktplaats was developed in collaboration with Improve Digital. Next year, this function will be added to the Marktplaats app as well.

Marktplaats is the 14th largest site in the Netherlands in terms of traffic, with 50 million visits in total to its desktop and mobile sites in September (excluding app usage), according to SimilarWeb.

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Anastasia Gnezditskaia

Anastasia Gnezditskaia has joined AIM Group in 2014 as a writer/analyst covering France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Eastern Europe. A Russian living in Antwerp, Belgium, she has a background working for trade publications covering markets and their regulation. She is educated at Moscow State Lomonosov University (MA in psychology) and Central European University (PhD in public policy). After obtaining her doctoral degree, she taught international political economy at George Washington University in Washington DC where she lived for 10 years. Following this she managed international development projects in Africa at the World Bank, and worked as a journalist covering Congress, federal government agencies and commodity markets, particularly shale gas development in North America.