There are hardly any people in Ukraine who do not know what Prom.ua is. No wonder, because almost every second Ukrainian buys on the marketplace. In 2020, the number of orders on Prom.ua increased from 14.6 million to 18.4 million. In 2021, the monthly audience of Prom.ua reached 80 million people and continues to grow.
In our section “The Way It Works” we are sharing with you how the marketplace is arranged, what it offers to sellers and buyers, as well as exploring the peculiarities of hiring, marketing and corporate culture.
Prom.ua was founded by Mykola Paliienko, Denys Horovyi and Taras Murashko in 2008. Currently it is a part of the EVO group of companies. It also owns such marketplaces as Satu.kz, Deal.by, Bigl.ua, Shafa.ua, Crafta.ua, IZI – a hyperspace of ads, Zakupki.prom.ua – a platform for public tenders, Auktsiony.Prom (Auctions.Prom) – a trading platform, Vchasno – an electronic document management service.
The initial goal of Prom.ua is to allow everyone to start selling online quickly and inexpensively. Marketplace provides tools for the rapid creation and development of an online store without hiring a whole team of experts.
Now there are more than 60 000 sellers on Prom.ua. Every year the number of sellers increases by 11%.
Prom.ua provides sellers with the following channels of work:
- Prom.ua marketplace catalog;
- seller’s site on the platform;
- Prom.Pokupky (Prom.Shopping) mobile application;
- Bigl.ua marketplace with goods from trusted sellers.
The company also encourages sellers to work according to the highest standards. For example, in 2020 Prom launched the All-Ukrainian award for online entrepreneurs called “Ecommerce.Krashchi” (Ecommerce.TheBest). The winners and those who hit the top 500 can be seen by buyers. A banner appears on the catalog page, informing that this seller is among the best on the marketplace.
Conditions Offered for Sellers
Entrepreneurs can work on the platform for a fee or for free. For example, if an entry-level online seller has up to ten products, they can be placed at no cost. In this case, his products will not appear in the Prom.ua catalog. Accordingly, the seller will not have access to the audience of the marketplace.
He also remains without a number of functions. For example, there will be no shopping cart — buyers will be able to order goods only by phone.
Prom.ua offers three paid service packages for entrepreneurs – “Prom Sales Lite”, “Prom Sales PRO» and “Prom Mix”. The cost ranges from UAH 4,900 to UAH 12,000 per year.
Each package includes the creation of a website and the placement of goods in the marketplace catalog with a daily audience of 2.6 million people.
The packages differ in the fees that entrepreneurs pay for the sale of goods. In “Prom Sales Lite” and “Prom Sales PRO” the fee is charged for orders made from the websites of the sellers. These packages function this way because Prom.ua provides traffic to entrepreneurs on their website. With “Prom Mix” the seller promotes the website himself, and therefore does not pay a fee.
Promotion works in the following way: when a seller buys a package, he gets a certain amount of money on ProSale. This is how the promotion function of the Prom.ua marketplace is called. He then chooses to pay per click (CPC model) or per target action — an order (CPA model).
To get on Bigl.ua, the seller has to register as a Prom.ua company, start working and perform a high level of service. Moreover, the goods have to be in stock, to be sold at retail and to be promoted through ProSale (CPC or CPA).
Requirements From the Sellers
At Prom.ua sellers are required to provide:
- the availability of goods;
- the relevant price;
- a good product description (text and pictures);
- convenient ways of payment and delivery for the buyer.
“At Bigl.ua the standards of work are more stringent. If the seller has more than 10% of feedback from dissatisfied buyers, he receives a warning. After three warnings, the goods will be hidden from the marketplace catalog. This will continue until the seller improves the quality of service,” — explains the chief analyst of Bigl.ua Oleksandr Bondarenko.
You can receive a warning for the following reviews on Bigl.ua: “the seller did not get in touch”, “the product did not match the description”, “the order wasn’t delivered on time”, “out of stock” or “the price is not relevant”, “there were problems with exchange or return”.
Prom.ua specialists are ready to help eliminate problems. If the seller does not change anything or does not respond to complaints, the marketplace will stop cooperating with him.
Prom.ua also suppresses the following violations with regard to:
- the buyer — sending an inappropriate description or non-functioning goods, rudeness and poor service;
- other sellers — cheating reviews, making a large number of orders and canceling them to lower the seller’s rating, as well as other actions to spite their competitors;
- Prom.ua — any actions to bypass the system.
The average monthly audience of Prom.ua is 80 million users. Monthly traffic grows is observed year by year. For example, in December 2020, it rose by 40% compared to the same month in 2019. In 2021, the traffic is growing by 17-20%.
Now every second Ukrainian buys on Prom.ua. Among the clients — 49% of men and 51% of women. Top age (60%) — from 25 to 44 years. Kyiv accounts for 32% of all online buyers.
About the Company Management
Prom.ua is headed by Denys Horovyi. He is a co-founder of Prom.ua and a development director of EVO. The project’s management team includes heads of key areas (development, commercial department, marketing).
Prom.ua and EVO have regular interactions to keep in touch within the team — from shared channels in Slack (corporate messenger) and weekly meetings to quarterly sessions. At special public talks the company announces major news, and introduces new products and directions to all employees. Anyone can ask the CEO and top managers questions in the process.
Prom.ua has more than 650 people involved. Its structure is as follows:
- Commercial Department. It is the largest department in the company. It has more than 250 employees. The department consists of teams of managers who accompany clients throughout the whole cycle — from introduction to business scaling. The sales department also includes a sales support team.
- Buyer support. This is handled by a separate team. Its tasks include working with reviews and complaints, catching cheaters, and monitoring the quality of service.
- Development. Prom.ua has five development teams. They employ more than 120 people. They are engaged in the marketplace, sellers’ websites and the Prom.Pokupki (Prom.Purchases) application.
- Marketing for sellers. This department trains, launches and promotes new products among sellers. It also prepares marketing activities for entrepreneurs.
- Buyer marketing. It attracts buyers through television and digital advertising, email newsletters, bloggers, promotions and other channels.
- Team of specialists in external and internal communications.
The Corporate Culture
Prom.ua is calm about failures. This policy is called “blameless post mortem” — never shame anyone for anything. “If you have made a mistake, you write to everyone concerned. In the message you explain what happened, why and what you did to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” as the company explains.
The main principles of the company:
- The client is first, then the team, and then you. In the same order you evaluate your actions and arrange your priorities. Prom.ua believes the success of business comes from the ability to create value for the client better than others.
- Mind the meaning. When a process or action contradicts the content — then change the process.
- Invent, improve, simplify. Come up with or draw ideas from the outside world to effectively solve client problems.
- Be quick at the tactical level, patient at the strategic level. Work thoughtfully on the strategy, but act quickly.
- What’s done today is better than done perfectly the day after tomorrow. Speed is just as important in business as accuracy.
- Frugality. Save resources to invest in business development.
- Integrity and openness. In dealing with yourself, each other and clients.
- Respect and trust. Believe in the integrity and friendliness of team members by default. They are also tolerant and recognize everyone’s right to be treated fairly, their own interests and beliefs.
- No blame. Discuss the problem, solve it, do not look for someone to blame. Change processes to prevent unpleasant situations from happening again, do not criticize.
- Feedback is a gift. Prom.ua hears clients and each other. It uses feedback to get better.
- Hire the best, develop yourself and your team. Hire professionals who share common principles.
It is important for EVO and Prom.ua that employees work with the tasks that motivate them. Also, the team has to hire specialists who will strengthen it. Therefore, first the recruiter and the team leader discuss in detail the tasks to be performed by the employee, as well as the qualities necessary for this.
Vacancies are posted both on the corporate website and in popular job search services. Employees can recommend a specialist under a referral program and be rewarded if the specialist they suggest is hired.
First, the candidate meets with the recruiter. Next is the main interview with the manager. At this point, the candidate, manager and team members get to know each other and share expectations.
“It’s cool when both parties are preparing for an interview. The candidate can be advised to learn everything about the project, “try on” the tasks described in the vacancy, to his experience, read reviews about the company and look at the website. It is also important to plan the meeting so that 60 minutes of communication should be spent in a quiet space with a good sound and Internet. You don’t have to be shy to ask all the questions you are interested in. This will help you understand how suitable you are for the chosen role,” explains Tetiana Bezsmertna, People Partner of EVO.
As mentioned above, Prom.ua marketing works in two directions — sellers and buyers. In the latter case, they operate through classic channels — TV, digital, social networks, bloggers, media campaigns, retention newsletters and promotions.
Marketing for sellers aims to attract and educate them, as well as create tools that will help them work better with their buyers. It includes lead generation to attract new merchants to the platform and their maintenance. This includes the use of discounts and promotions.
Prom.ua is also developing a community of entrepreneurs on Facebook. It has more than 16,000 members. They “roast” (editor’s note: it means to get useful feedback on your website, receive critics and suggestions on it) each other’s websites, and are the first to learn the news of the marketplace, share life hacks and feedback with counterparts, as well as with Prom.ua specialists.
Both marketing areas work closely together. For example, Prom.ua is launching a campaign for school supplies. Shopping direction will deliver information about it to buyers. At the same time, marketing for sellers will tell them about the promotion and conditions of participation: what items are needed from them, discounts or special terms of purchase.
Prom.ua continues to bet on the rapid growth of the audience of sellers and buyers. Other goals include innovations and creating more value for clients and entrepreneurs. All this corresponds to the global strategy of Prom.ua — to make the marketplace the most convenient place for online shopping.
Photo credit: Sasha Samusevych