Interview with Jozef Wallis from Booxscale
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, by
We spoke to Jozef Wallis, Co-Founder and COO of Booxscale. We wanted to get an understanding of how Booxscale works for online marketplaces and classified platforms, and how it gives them access to rich, streamlined, quality content and leads. He also gave us his insights into the AdTech market, and why he feels that the AdTech space is better served by the Booxscale solution. Here’s what he said.
First of all, what’s the correct pronunciation of Booxscale?
Lots of people ask this! It’s pronounced Book-scale i.e. bookings at scale.
And what does Booxscale do?
Booxscale is an aggregation AdTech platform. We bring together all of the on-demand digital marketplaces along with either their listings or service area information (e.g. a plumber who works in SE16 London only) into a single platform and feed. Our vision is for Booxscale to enable the end consumer to access the most relevant, hyper-local search results available. To do this, we’ve integrated our feed with publishers, directories, apps and technologies. To be clear, we don’t own or operate a destination site (a.k.a an online portal) but rather, we are a B2B distributed network of integrations that provide conversions for our marketplaces. This can be summarised as follows:
Great! So who is your target audience?
We have two. Firstly publishers including (but not limited to): publisher sites, social networks, directories, technologies and search engines. We help them to generate more revenue, sticky, usable content, and data from our marketplace integrations. From this, they are able to service information and booking links for hundreds of thousands of SMEs like hairdressers, plumbers, taxi firms, cleaners etc.
Next, we have marketplaces. Typically marketplaces focus on specific niches such as food delivery, or tradespeople. This sector has experienced continued growth with new marketplaces starting up every day. Services are being provided across a broad spectrum of areas from taxis to nail services, cleaning to building, and food delivery and spa days. Booxscale aggregates all feeds - including those in the same vertical - to provide an attractive single feed solution for publishers that ordinarily wouldn’t want to integrate with multiple providers. We also plug marketplaces into integration layers with the latest emerging technologies like Voice Search, making it easier for them to benefit from these channels in a more cost-effective and connected manner.
What pain points do you think that Booxscale tech addresses?
There are three main audience segments whose pain points we’re addressing:
1 . Publishers Publishers like Facebook or Google, for example, could gain a lot from integrating into the Booxscale ecosystem. We provide a one-stop-shop for them to connect with over 250,000 bookable on-demand SMEs via one integration. This not only creates a new revenue stream and enhances a publisher’s offering, but it also connects users at scale with the services they use most frequently.
2 . Marketplaces Marketplaces often don’t have the time or resources to undertake the task of integration services with publishers and new technologies to get their offerings in front of all relevant audiences. Our solution provides not only this but it also forges a direct relationship between the two that wouldn’t ordinarily exist.
3 . The Consumer For a consumer, it’s not always the case that the most relevant service appears in a search. This can be at best frustrating, and at worst, it stops consumers from returning to a publisher to look for certain services. The Booxscale network resolves this by giving consumers access to a rich and curated network of relevant services in their area.
Do you target established marketplaces over new/emerging ones?
No, we target marketplaces of all shapes and sizes. Booxscale is vertically agnostic and consumers who are signed up to one marketplace tend to be signed up to many. As a result, we can offer publishers and platforms the best choice of services and providers wherever they are located. Having a breadth of marketplaces is key to cementing us as the most relevant aggregator in the space.
Why was there a need to disrupt this industry with AI, and what have been the key benefits of doing so?
In terms of the Booxscale team, we’re made up of a consortium of marketplace experts. In my own experience, I’ve founded a number of marketplaces so I have a first-hand understanding of the challenges faced when it comes to scaling. At the forefront of this challenge are customer acquisition, retention and value creation.
Increasingly, consumers are moving toward a cloud booking experience. They order a takeaway on their laptop; they amend the order on their tablet; they check when it’s en route from their phone. They also intuitively connect with services through tools like voice search and chatbots. Using multiple tools and devices for a single transaction is a trend that our solution aligns with. We’ve created a hub where multiple channels can be adopted at the same time which utilises AI and Machine learning to continually improve.
Do you make a distinction between classifieds and marketplaces?
Yes, or rather, we make a distinction between marketplaces and on-demand marketplaces. An example of an on-demand marketplace is something like UberEats, providing food deliveries on-demand. Classifieds or traditional marketplaces are more similar to a directory like Gumtree or Amazon.
Classifieds are more like publishers who appear on a directory with bookable marketplace listings that are powered by the publisher’s feed. Classifieds, or publishers, connect listings with a place that provides the service you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a plumber on a directory, our feed would show you relevant results from the networks i.e. marketplaces offering plumbing services.
How closely do you think that data insight and customer acquisition are linked?
They’re hugely linked. This has been proven through our personal experiences at Booxscale. We have some of the richest data available on marketplaces because they serve so many consumers within the same space. Data insights are a big part of how marketplaces should go about scaling.
Is there anything else we should know about Booxscale?
Good question! I guess only that emerging technologies are becoming really interesting. Marketplaces came in and aggregated the supply within the industry, and Booxscale aggregates this marketplace together. What we have at the moment is lots of tech inhabiting the same space, and if you’re not creating something that’s trying to connect them, it can make for a very fragmented experience for the user. This is ultimately something that Booxscale is trying to relieve.
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