Gumtree turns a new leaf with biggest rebrand in 10 years

New ‘modern, vibrant’ look, and beefed up digital experience capabilities revealed as part of brand strategy refresh

Example of the new brand creative from Gumtree
Example of the new brand creative from Gumtree

Gumtree Australia is taking the wrappers off its biggest “customer driven rebrand” in 10 years, revealing a new look and major changes to website functionality.

The new-look website includes enhancements to the user experience, such as an enhanced interface speed and simplified process for buyers and sellers, 24/7 support, and a new payment option.

Gumtree CTO, Roisin Parkes, said it is Gumtree’s most significant move in 10 years. The rebranding and website redesign efforts coincide with the company's 10-year birthday celebrations this year.

“It reflects the level of innovation and development that we’ve been doing behind the scenes,” Parkes told CMO.

Gumtree's Roisin Parkes
Gumtree's Roisin Parkes

Gumtree Australia is a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers in the local community, and is visited on average by more than seven million Australians each month via desktop and mobile sites, as well as iPhone and Android apps.

Parkes, who came onboard in May as its first female CTO, has taken a leading role in the changes to the site.

The latest rebranding and redesign involves what Parkes said is a “modern and vibrant new look” that was tested with the Gumtree Australia community.

“The rebrand has been based on user feedback we have within Australia,” she said. “We have a new logo. We have a brand new look and feel, which is very modern and contemporary. We have been doing testing within the Australian market on our new logo and the new style and the new colours, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far.”

The new logo - the picture of a ‘green tree’ which is similar to the Gumtree UK logo - features a new brand and colour palette inspired by the Australian landscape and designed locally.

“We’ve made some tech improvements as well, mainly around the buyer and seller experience. For sellers, for example, we have streamlined the selling flow so we have the capability to save drafts as well,” she said, adding the company has also automated the categorisation selection.

Technology advances also include an improved search functionality and speed, including make, model, colour attribute selection in cars; clothing and shoe size attributions and smart category redirects for certain keywords.

“For the buyer side we’ve made it much easier to find an item. We’ve enhanced the attributes in cars that allows you to find an item based on make and model of a car, for example," Parkes continued. "Within clothing, you can actually find by size now, which is very handy. And we’ve got some smart category redirects.”

Other enhancements include a speedier selling experience including saved drafts and reminder and a more streamlined selling flow; as well as photo attachment capability on My Messages.

Gumtree has also launched a dedicated jobs app, and increased choice with payments, including a new option to pay with cash or via peer-to-peer payments with PayPal, when picking up a Gumtree item.Customer support has been beefed up with the introduction of 24/7 live chat and greater visibility of the customer community support offering on the site.

“On both the buyers and sellers side, we’ve added the option that when a buyer and seller meet to purchase the item, we’ve added the option to pay by PayPal, as well as cash, and we’ve also enhanced the customer support option. We now have 24/7 live chat available,” Parkes said.

Overall, the goal of the new website functionality was to move to more seamless transactions, Parkes said in discussing the journey and reasoning behind the platform.

“We’re constantly innovating on our product. We have seven million unique users every month, so we have to make sure we continue to provide a quality site and experience for our users," she said. "We also have a wealth of insights from those seven million users - and that’s something we can use to drive and personalise our advertising experience as well.”

Gumtree senior marketing manager, James Walmsey, said the rebrand is being supported with a multi-channel campaign across TV, outdoor and digital. It kicks off with a new TVC screened across a mix of premium programs such as MasterChef, Australian Ninja Warrior, 9 News & Game of Thrones, which takes viewers on a journey around the world exploring some of the globe’s most vibrant marketplaces seeing how trading is in people’s DNA. The final scene lands in a suburban street in Australia and cuts to a transaction taking place between two Gumtree users.  

“So many Aussies have had great experiences with the platform over the past decade – it’s our job to tell their stories, their wins and the way Gumtree can help through every life stage; whether it’s finding a job, buying a car or selling their possessions," he said. "Gumtree is more than a trading website, its Australia’s local marketplace – a community focused destination that’s rich in human exchange and experiences."

There's also a consumer PR campaign to showcase the stories behind the transactions. To do this, Gumtree partnered with X-Factor and Getaway host, Jason Dundas, who embarked on a road trip around Australia, interviewing Gumtree buyers and sellers and heroing some of the unique ways the site has had an impact on people’s lives to create six individual short films.

Currently, Gumtree is one of the top 20 digital destinations and one of the top shopping apps in Australia, but Parkes said the company has “ambitious plans” to crack into the top ten.

Asked about emerging technologies that could help, Parkes highlighted augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) space, as well as machine learning.

“There’s definitely a few things that we’re seeing in the market, and in fact, we’ve been experimenting with our own Facebook Bot, GumBot,” she said. The chatbot allows users to interact with the GumBot and is already available in FaceBook Messenger.

One of the exciting use cases involves when a seller wants to sell a car and is able to take a 360-degree photo, both inside and outside the car.

“For buyers, it’s a real immersive experience to be able to put on the VR headset and see what it would feel like to be inside a car," Parkes added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

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