The great mobile transformation

Mobile transformation is happening in all areas. At Leboncoin the mobile audience has overtaken the desktop usage. General Manager Antoine Jouteau gives an insight to how they’ve met the challenge.

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook said and it is something I could imagine myself saying.

Over the last three years in France, as with most of online media in the world, users are becoming more and more addicted to browsing on their mobile, checking emails, interacting with friends and buying things. This usage has swiftly become the norm for everybody now.

While Leboncoin remains a strong leader with a well-loved brand, increasing revenue and a core cemented market share, nevertheless this phenomenon has an impact on audience and UX. As at Q1, 2015 our mobile audience had overtaken our desktop usage. This trend is here to stay and challenges our company in many ways:

  • Mobile users have demanded new and adapted features (geo-localization, social functionalities etc.)
  • KPIs on mobile have started to slightly encroach upon our revenue and audience
  • Our internal organization (product, sales) has been overly focused on desktop approaches vs. mobile.

Rather than despair, I decided to look at this situation as a huge opportunity. In response, my management team and I launched a big transformation project to become multi device, we named it “Miami device” (a little French humor and wordplay). Our vision was that our UX would be seamless across all devices in six months. In detail, we aimed to:

  • Transform our UX from desktop to multi-device
  • Encourage a modular organization
  • Evovle from a top-down decision process to a responsible and agile process with empowered middle management
  • Go from 100 per cent business decisions to 50/50 business and technical decisions

To support this new organization, we selected seven key projects organized by small teams, with a maximum of resources and decision autonomy, agile methods, as well as ambitious and pragmatic KPIs.

And the results have been very encouraging! The number of releases on IOS and Android has multiplied, feedback from users is very good (with more than four stars on the Google Store for instance), we are testing responsive pages on desktop, geo-localization is about to be launched, native advertising formats are live, and the energy from product teams is higher and higher every day. Miami Device has been well received both internally and externally. Of course it’s not perfect, but now, the multi-device vision is central to the organization.

This transformation project marks an important turn for Leboncoin, changing our way of thinking, becoming more mobile, more agile, leaning on our strong and high level technical skills. A must-have to reach our ambitious goals and improve user and customer satisfaction.