First Look: New Uniregistry Market at NamesCon 2016

(l-r) Darren Cornwell, John Smrekar, and Jeffrey Gabriel introduce Uniregistry Market at NamesCon 2016
(l-r) Darren Cornwell, John Smrekar, and Jeffrey Gabriel introduce Uniregistry Market at NamesCon 2016

NamesCon 2016 attendees got the first in-depth look at the brand-new Uniregistry Market, which was launched during Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling's keynote yesterday.

"Until now, the buying-and-selling workflow wasn't super-clear, said said Uniregistry VP of Product John Smrekar. "Deal completion is a challenge for domain-name sales," said Smrekar, noting that closing the deal has always been a manual process. "Uniregistry market is now our opportunity to address all that," said Smrekar. Uniregistry Market shares the back-end of the DNS, so its connection is organic rather than Frankensteinian. Uniregistry Market's system guides the buyer and seller through deal acceptance and domain-name transfer. Not only does the new Uniregistry Market carry forward the functionality of the existing tools, but "we get to address all the missing tools," said Smrekar.

Smrekar noted that "sellers are, in fact, buyers", so the new system puts buying front and center. Smrekar said that he and his team didn't want deals slipping through the cracks or parties backing out, and a smoother process would keep the deal momentum going: "Speeding up that timeline is a really important thing." Uniregistry users will be able to do more deals and make more money.

"The primary objective in all this, said Smrekar, is that "everything should be mobile. Everything at some point will have a mobile component added to it, he said, because "missed opportunities happen when you're not available," like when you're traveling or away from your computer.

Jeffrey M. Gabriel, Uniregistry's VP of Domain Name Sales, walked the audience through the process, starting with buyer contact. "We tested different landers in different countries and markets." The account creation process can be abandoned partway through and still generate a lead. That process must eventually be completed in order for the new buyer to check out.

Gabriel said that the Market tool should help buyers and sellers become active parts of the industry. It's about education, said Gabriel, echoing what's quickly becoming NamesCon 2016's dominant theme. Part of that involves contextualizing the market. Gabriel pointed out that the Indian market made up 13% of Uniregistry's leads, 1.45% of their sales, and 1.5% of their dollar volume. Indonesia and the Philippines, on the other hand, had more leads but far lower dollar volume. China? 2% of their leads, but 44% of their sales and 57% of their dollar volume. As a seller, statistics like that will affect how you manage your time: Gabriel said that it makes sense to focus on the heavy hitters, but "I don't want to throw away one and a half percent." Uniregistry Market lets you filter your leads by location so you can prioritize based on your own market knowledge.

"There's only so much time in a day," said Gabriel. "Instead of spending six or seven minutes on every lead, why not spend 10 seconds each on [smaller leads] and spend 15 minutes each" on the bigger or more qualified leads? The expanded inbox allows users to see all the pertinent information for each lead, and quickly engage in conversations. "Your attention is totally focused in the right place," said Gabriel: "When I was included in the design of it, that's all I was thinking of."

Form and Function

"I'm not into making something look pretty," said Gabriel, but there are always lots of internal stakeholders making input into the product. The end result, in this case, was something he described as "beautiful." With that, Gabriel introduced Darren Cornwell, Uniregistry's Director of Products.

"At no point in the process do I not know what's going on as a user," said Cornwell. It's a complicated world, he said, and your domain-name transaction experience shouldn't be part of that complication.

Uniregistry Market has a clean, simple UI.
Uniregistry Market has a clean, simple UI.

"Secure and simple" were the watchwords for Secure Simultaneous Exchange (SSE), said Cornwell. A seamless, transparent exchange can now take place once buyer and seller agree to a domain-name sale: with a glint in his eye, Cornwell said, "It's an exciting thing, you're buying a name!" He stated again, "at no point in the process do you not know what's going on."

Resolving ownership conflicts are also dealt with in the new Uniregistry Market. If you add a name in the system that already exists, automatic communication is sent to everyone involved. The goal is for buyers to know that every name they find on Uniregistry is real.

What about those big-ticket names? "Domains are expensive things," said Cornwell, so the Market will accommodate for payment plans: that's coming in Q2.

The Uniregistry Market app is now available for iOS, so you can buy and sell names on the go. The whole experience will be less byzantine and more transparent that what the industry has gotten used to. "People don't want to be messed around with," said Gabriel. "The beauty of our system is you can see what we're doing. We're not hiding anything from you."

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