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News Ltd’s Traderoo Powered by Google App Engine

Posted by Joshua Lowcock, Head of Commercial Platforms and Products for News Limited

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Australia Blog)

Editor's note:Today’s guest blogger is Joshua Lowcock, Head of Commercial Platforms and Products for News Limited, an Australian media company. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

News Limited is one of Australia’s largest media companies, spanning newspapers, magazines, online, and subscription TV. We publish over 140 online and printed newspapers in major Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, as well as in suburban areas.

Classified advertising is a key revenue stream across all our markets, but traditionally booking and billing classifieds had been a manual and time-consuming process. We wanted to implement a solution that would allow customers to serve themselves by placing ads online.

Google App Engine has enabled customers to do just that. We chose Google App Engine as the application because it is easy to build, easy to maintain and simple to scale as the user base and data storage grows. Functionalities within the Google App Engine environment, such as Google BigQuery, have also been useful. We can do an in-depth analysis of our ads and item pricing, as well as provide an internal reporting tool, all using BigQuery.

The end result is a self-service, production booking and billing system - www.traderoo.com.au - which we have developed on Google App Engine. It’s proving to be a real winner for both our business and our customers. It’s fundamentally changed the way customers engage with our company, creating a more usable experience and superb responsiveness. It’s easy to use, and gives more control over ad content, as well as the ability to publish ads online immediately. Online ads are free, while print ads are optional and require a small fee, but complement online ads by extending the advertiser’s reach.

When customers book ads using the Traderoo website, they get automatic email notification from the platform that tells them how their advertisement is performing. Traderoo is optimised for PC, laptop, smartphone and tablet, so the browser and ad placement remain consistent, no matter what device our customers are using.

The real advantage for us is that our classified business has achieved faster time to market, lower costs and less overheads in the form of call centre time and manual data entry. The site has been a huge success, and we look forward to continuing to use Google App Engine as we develop Traderoo further.