Kitely Market is an online store for content that can be used in virtual worlds. Kitely Market makes it fast and easy to buy or sell virtual items such as avatars, clothes, buildings, creatures, etc.
Every Kitely user can create a store in the Kitely Market and add products to it. Stores have the following properties:
Store name - the name of the store.
Banner image - a banner that is displayed at the top of the store page. This is used to display the store's branding.
Thumbnail - a small image that is displayed in places where multiple store images need to be displayed (e.g., when people search for stores by name).
About - a description of the merchant, the store, and the policies of the store.
Products and Variations
The items that are sold in the Kitely Market are called products. A product can optionally contain multiple variations. Here are some examples of variations:
Shirt - available in multiple colors
Hat - with or without a feather
Car - available in multiple colors; with or without spoilers
Writing animation - left-handed or right-handed
Each product has at least one variation, and possibly up to 20 variations. Each variation can have its own price, permissions and images.
The use of variations has several benefits (vs. using separate products for each variation):
Easier searches - In markets that don't use variations, if you search for "shirt" you might see 10 identical shirts that differ only by color. This means that it takes longer to go through the search results and find shirts that have different designs. However, Kitely Market shows each product only once, so a Shirt product with 10 variations will appear only once in the search results (we automatically choose the variation that best matches the user's search criteria).
Better sorting by sales - we sum together all of a product's sales from all of its variations. This improves a product's rank when users sort by best-selling products. Also, if the merchant adds a new variation at some point (e.g., a new color), then that variation will be easier to discover because it will benefit from the high sales rank that the product's other variations already have.
Better sorting by rating - similarly, we average together all of a product's ratings from all of its variations. We also show all of the product's reviews together, from all of its variations.
Products have the following properties. These properties are the same for all of the product's variations.
Product name - the name of the product.
Status - whether the product is currently included in searches, and available for purchasing:
Active - the product is shown in the market, and can be purchased.
Inactive - the product isn't shown in the market.
Editing - the product is currently being modified. The changes aren't visible in the market yet. If the product is Active then the previous version continues to be shown in the market.
Suspended - the product has been disabled due to a violation of the Kitely Market terms of service.
Category - the type of product, e.g. "Shoes" or "Tables".
Maturity - determines which users can view and buy the product.
Created - when the product was created.
Product description - a description of the product, its features, and any usage notes.
Variations have the following properties. Each of the product's variations can set these properties differently.
Variation name - the name of the variation. This should be a very short text, e.g. "Blue" or "Spoilers". The variation name is often shown together with the product name, for example: "Long Shirt [Blue]".
Price - how much the variation costs. This is explained in more detail in the section "Prices" below.
Permissions - tell the user what he or she can do with the product: Modify, Copy, Transfer or Export. The permissions Modify, Copy and Transfer are automatically determined according to the variation's inventory items:
Modify - enabled if at least one top-level item in the variation has the Modify permission
Copy - enabled only if all the items included in the variation have the Copy permission
Transfer - enabled only if all the items included in the variation have the Transfer permission
Kitely Market also supports a special permission that the merchant can set manually: Export. This permission is explained in more detail in the section "Export Permission" below.
Images - one or more images.
The product as a whole must have at least one image, but individual variations aren't required to have images. If a variation doesn't have an image then Kitely Market will automatically display an image that belongs to a different variation. The choice of which alternative variation to use depends on the order of the variations in the product: we use an image from one of the previous variations, and if they have no images then we use an image from one of the following variations. This is helpful when variations look identical, in which case uploading more copies of the same image would just be a waste of time. For example, variations might be different only in their permissions and price.
Attributes - attributes describe the virtual item, and are used when searching for items. Some examples of attributes are: Color, Department (Men/Women/etc.), Occasion (Christmas/Birthday/etc.). Attributes are explained in more detail in the section "Attributes" below.
Variation Items - the inventory items that actually make up the variation.
Variation Demo Items - inventory items that make up a demo version of the variation. This is optional. If the merchant does add demo items then buyers will be given the option to try out the demo for free before buying the product.
Products can have attributes that describe them: for example, their Color or Material. Attributes make it easy for buyers to find the items they want. For example, users can click on the attribute "Blue" to see all the blue products in the market. For an example of how this works, take a look at theBest Buy TV shopping page. Notice how the left side of the screen contains attributes: TV Size, TV Type, etc.
Products can be sold using either US Dollars (USD) or Kitely Credits (KC). Merchants have the following options when setting the price of a variation:
USD - users pay USD. The money (minus Kitely Market Fees) accumulates in the merchant's USD balance, and will be transferred to the merchant's PayPal account following a withholding period.
The merchant can choose to Allow KC. When this option is enabled (which is the default), people that buy the product and have enough Kitely Credits to cover its price will pay for it using KC instead of USD. If they do so then the merchant gets KC deposited into their Kitely account, instead of getting USD into their PayPal account. We recommend keeping this option enabled because it allows the maximum number of users to buy the product (since some users will only buy products using the KC in their account). However, if a merchant already has more KC then they can use then they may choose to disable the Allow KC option.
Prices in USD can be set between $1 and $1000.
KC - users pay Kitely Credits (KC), and the merchant gets KC deposited into their Kitely account. Prices in KC can be set between 10 KC and 200,000 KC.
Setting a price in KC may be used for selling low-cost items, because when selling using USD the minimum price is $1.00. In contrast, when selling using KC the minimum price is 10 KC, which is about $0.03.
Using this option allows anyone to buy the product, even users that don't have enough KC, because during Checkout we allow users to automatically purchase additional KC if they need them.
Kitely Market allows setting an Export permission on variations. When this permission is enabled, users are allowed to take the item out of the Kitely grid. This means that when users export their world to an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file, the item will be included in the OAR. It also means that users are able to take that item to other grids via the Hypergrid or have it delivered directly from Kitely Market to an avatar on another grid.
Items without the Export permission can't leave the Kitely grid. This provides the maximum content security, and it's the default.
Tip: one possible strategy is to create two variations of the product: a cheaper variation without Export, and a more expensive variation that permits Export.
How is Kitely Market Different from the Second Life Marketplace?
Many of Kitely's customers are familiar with Linden Lab's Second Life Marketplace, so it's useful to explain how Kitely Market is different.
The first difference is the use of variations. In the Second Life Marketplace, when a product has multiple variations the merchant has to create multiple products. These products may be linked by using "Related Items", but each product still has its own number of sales; rating; and reviews. In contrast, in the Kitely Market the merchant can create just one product with multiple variations. This makes it easier for buyers to find the precise variation that they want. In addition, the product's variations combine their sales, rating and reviews.
Another important feature in Kitely Market is attributes. The use of attributes has allowed us to make the categories tree relatively simple. For example, we have only one category for Clothing, instead of having categories for Regular Clothes, Wedding Clothes, Goth Clothes, Christmas Clothes, etc. Users who want a specific type of clothing can click on the Clothing category, and then use attributes to specify the type of clothes they want.