21 January 2011
ShipServ strengthens role as neutral provider of accurate information on marine & offshore suppliers
ShipServ builds on success of reviews and ratings with launch of features to further allow shipping community to review, rate and validate suppliers.
London, UK, 21 January, 2011 – ShipServ, the leading marine and offshore e-marketplace, has reinforced its commitment to allow its community to make decisions on reviewing, rating and validating supplier information, with the launch of new features in the ShipServ Pages supplier directory.
For ShipServ, 2010, was ‘the year of trust’, during which it encouraged the use of Social Media tools to foster strong trading relationships. 2011 will be the year when ShipServ completes the circle by enabling maritime brand owners to verify their authorised suppliers.
In the 2010 industry report The Future of Internet Use in Shipping published by ShipCrunch and ShipServ, trust was highlighted as a key issue when finding and transacting with a supplier online. The results indicated a desire to do more business via the web but that purchasers were holding on to face-to-face and telephone-based trading, often because they had trust issues around working new suppliers.
ShipServ believes that the best way to establish trust online is to inform buyers with a combination of impartial data and peer-to-peer recommendations. This effectively puts the community itself in charge by enabling it to validate and verify information in one of three ways:
- Actual TRANSACTIONS indicate which suppliers are most bought from;
- Customers RATE and REVIEW their suppliers;
- Brand owners can VERIFY their authorised agents.
All of these factors now come together to define a supplier’s ‘TradeRank’, a measure of the supplier’s popularity in the industry. TradeRank has been available for the last 18 months or so and was originally based on a supplier’s trading activity on ShipServ TradeNet, the e-commerce trading platform. ShipServ then looked to the best of the consumer internet – sites such as Amazon, eBay and Facebook – and decided that the industry should be able to indicate which suppliers are most appropriate, introducing Ratings and Reviews in late 2010. Positive ratings & reviews now give a boost to TradeRank.
New for 2011 is the ability for brand owners to manage their authorised agents on Pages. This not only allows brand owners to set up all their agents on Pages but also means suppliers joining the platform cannot claim authorised status unless approved by the brand owner. Verified suppliers will get a further boost to their TradeRank.
The Brand Management feature will be available from February 2011 but ShipServ is already working with some major component suppliers and OEMs who have indicated a strong desire to manage their reputations online by verifying which suppliers are their authorised agents.
“The ShipServ community is a network of thousands of businesses around the world,” commented Paul Ostergaard, Founder & CEO, ShipServ. “With our suite of verification tools, the community is determining who are the best suppliers to do business with – be that through authorisations, reviews or actual orders. It’s an incredibly powerful thing, and makes ShipServ an information platform where buyers know they can trust the information being provided.”
With the community in charge of these three verification elements, ShipServ’s role as a neutral facilitator is clear. Letting its users effectively ‘vote’ through their actions means ShipServ doesn’t decide who are the best suppliers and because of that, it is not itself influenced by buyers, agents or manufacturers.
Buyers know that very active trading suppliers are effectively being trusted by the community with many repeat orders.
ShipServ prompts buyers to review their suppliers and collects opinions so that other buyers can make decisions on where to buy. ShipServ publishes all the reviews it can, good and bad – only inappropriate comments are not included.
Brand managers will be able to check on the claims of suppliers to ensure that those claiming agent status are accurately representing themselves. For marine main parts suppliers and OEMs, the need to manage their brand reputation with customers extends through business needs into issues of quality and safety.
Poor performers get the incentive to improve, good performers can use the results in their marketing and buyers are able to make better choices. But ShipServ remains neutral throughout, making it the most transparent forum for marine procurement data available to marine buyers.
ShipServ helps marine and offshore buyers to find the best suppliers easily, trade efficiently and build trusted relationships. Our products and services bring buyers and suppliers together online, in print, on ship and in person. We offer the largest online trading platform, the most used supplier search engine, the leading ordering guide and the first online ad network. The high volumes of sourcing, trading and search data our community shares every day helps us deliver better results and more accurate information to both buyers and suppliers. No one facilitates the intelligent, trustworthy matching of demand and supply better than ShipServ. For more information visit www.shipserv.com.
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