We live in a world where its all about “instant gratification” .We want information and we want to get it ourselves and we demand it now.
This kind of thinking presents a real dilemma for business that have been around since before the “E-Explosion” of the Internet 2.0.
One company that has recognised the need for change is Private Property and they have embarked on a mission to change their 10-year old company.
Justin Clarke, Private Property CEO stats that “it is very difficult to ‘rebuild the plane while it is in the air” but nonetheless the Private Property IT team was tasked to rethink their offering to the public with a directive to create a new experience from the ground up, while still serving the existing live data to Private Property’s million-or-so unique monthly visitors.
Simon Bray, Private Property COO, added to the enormous task by deciding to host the new site on Microsoft’s Azure cloud environment which Simon confirms “is a first for a large South African portal”. This move seems to have paid off. The result is a brand new Private Property website that was launched on the 1st of June, 2013 which shows significant improvements on every front – including a reduced bounce rate; increased time on site per user; and even the same content being rated significantly better on the new site than on the old.
“Now, our house-hunters can enjoy rich content that is served faster than previously, while our engineers can build on a platform that is scalable and fault tolerant. The new interface is interactive, intuitive and inspirational and we have significantly reduced latency.” Simon adds.
Private Property has also simultaneously released its new iPad app, and is working on the accompanying Android app and revamped mobi site too.
Customer ability to interact with the new portal and app is reflected in the stats:
- 32 502 people have downloaded the iPad app version in one month
- Within this first month, the average user has come back 2.3 times
- Active Users are up to 1 246 per day average (and growing)
- Average time on the iPad app per session is 4 minutes
- 73 876 sessions were made in June (and growing exponentially)
“What makes this site so different is the strong focus on the presentation of rich images, as well as video and virtual tours. Our strong emphasis on displaying a quality score has already increased competition from advertisers to improve their listings, says Justin.
“We set out to do what a portal is supposed to do: introduce sharing of great content and make it intuitive and seamless for the browsers to interact with the advertisers,” he concludes.
I look forward to seeing an Android App in the future and hope there are plans for a BlackBerry 10 app too.