Top>Communication on the Marketplace App

Communication on the Marketplace App


 The mission of this project is to provide suggestions for optimizing communications conducted on the marketplace app.

 Mercari has touted the importance of D&I (Diversity and Inclusive), and is striving to develop a service that is easy to use for each and every one of its customers, who are of diverse backgrounds. Mercari’s goal is for all customers to be able to easily communicate with each other and with Mercari employees.

 How people communicate when buying and selling items on marketplace apps differs from how they would communicate at a brick and mortar store. At a brick and mortar store, customers can actually touch the goods and learn about the quality of them first hand. The buyer and the seller can also meet and gauge what sort of person the other party is, giving both parties the chance to decide whether the other is trustworthy. However, when it comes to buying and selling on the marketplace app, communication is neither face-to-face nor in real time. The communication mode used to obtain any necessary information when buying or selling an item is limited to messages containing images and text descriptions of products. In particular, information about the condition of a product, which cannot be conveyed by images, the communication between sellers and buyers, and the notices sent to customers from the offices of the marketplace app operator are all text-based communication.

 In this sense, a large portion of the communication on the marketplace app is text based, and when communications are limited to text it can also cause problems. For instance, with face-to-face communications, you can gain further information by reading the other party’s facial expressions, the intonation of their voice, the way they pause when speaking, but none of this information is available when communication is text based. Therefore, certain information is not relayed clearly and could result in communication friction. This project aims to make the marketplace app a more comfortable space by trying to minimize any communication friction that occurs on the app.


 Through this project we are now working on research to improve the notification text transmitted from administrators to customers when there is a problem with a transaction, especially where this could have a big impact on the customer’s shopping experience, and to approach this from a variety of possible situations.

 When we say “improve the notification text for customers,” what we mean is rewriting the text to be both easy to understand and enjoyable for the reader. To put this another way, we rewrite the text to optimize the balance of two functions that the text performs, the communication of information and the communication of emotion. In order to clarify and detail how to write such notification text, for this project we performed surveys and interviews targeting customers across a wide range of age demographics and customer attributes. In addition, we also investigated what kinds of expressions were hard to understand. We are aiming to leverage the findings, in order to create text for communication that will be easy to understand and enjoyable for the reader.

 Through this project we are also working with another project to rewrite all user-directed CS messages in “Yasashii” Japanese (easy-to-understand Japanese for non-native speakers).Furthermore, we have conducted a survey called “Status of Marketplace Apps Among International Students.” The purpose of the survey was to bring to light any problems that come up when international students use the marketplace app. These findings were shared within Mercari and used to improve the service.


The dilemma of customer service "The trade-off between politeness and clarity in text-Based communication with customers"

Michiko Nakakita and Miyuki Fujiwara, 「カスタマーサポート」のジレンマ: 顧客へのテキストメッセージに見られる「わかりやすさ」と「丁寧さ」のトレードオフ [The dilemma of customer service: The trade-off between politeness and clarity in text-Based communication with customers] (Bulletin of Nagoya University of Foreign Studies No. 11, 2022)