Antengo CEO: Why Local Classifieds Need to Go Mobile

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Antengo is a local marketplace app that allows users and businesses in a city to post classifieds and engage in local, mobile-driven commerce. The app, which is trying to increase and simplify commerce on a local level, just re-designed their app, hoping to expand mobile on-the-go behavior to tablets. Street Fight talked to Founder and CEO Marcus Wandell about how Antengo is changing local commerce, the role of the tablet for location-based apps and more. 

What does Antengo do that Craig’s List (or other digital classifieds) doesn’t?
Antengo is on-the-go because it’s fully optimized for mobile from the ground-up. It’s the first classifieds marketplace that has been designed and engineered to work amazingly on phones. In the same way that Craigslist evolved classifieds from print to web with an online directory, Antengo evolves them from web to mobile with well-designed and built mobile apps. Some specific ways in which Antengo outperforms traditional web classifieds include: Location-based listings: GPS coordinates associated with every listing enable buyers and sellers in close proximity to find each other while on-the-go. In-app instant messaging system that allows buyers and sellers to negotiate, send one another their updated GPS, and meet up while on-the-go. By Q2 2013, Antengo will also process payments (both peer-to-peer and business-to-consumer), another key differentiator from web classifieds.

How does a service like Antengo fit into the hyperlocal landscape — how is it connecting people and businesses on the local level?
Antengo turns the average consumer’s phone into a mobile business, and gives the mobile business access to a much larger consumer base (by allowing them to signal consumers to their deals). The core value behind Antengo is collaborative consumption in the most hyperlocal sense. For example, I don’t need my bicycle any longer, but one of my neighbors needs a good deal on a bike. Instead of them driving all the way to Target and paying a premium on a poorly-assembled bike, everyone wins if they buy my bike from me instead. Small businesses can also play a role by filling the gaps within consumer offers. When my neighbor is searching for a bike, maybe they prefer a brand-new version of what I can offer, or need some parts that I can’t provide. Then, the local business can join the party by showing up in search results next to my bike.

How can SMBs benefit from an app like Antengo?
Antengo is the perfect local compliment to eBay for an SMB. It’s the alternative to shipping, in that it can drive new business to you at no cost — it’s the most powerful, free mobile marketing tool ever because it also allows businesses to auto-post to Craigslist, Facebook, and Twitter, all in 60 seconds.

How did you alter the app for the tablet?
So we actually started completely from scratch. Not for the back-end stuff, but with the front-end design and all of the features were re-done completely for 90 percent of the app … We really took a focused in terms of re-imagining the local marketplace experience for this new form factor. We didn’t want to get stuck in a mobile mind-set when thinking about this experience because it’s much less location, less on the go, buying and selling dynamic. For example, the listings are larger, the browsing is more visual. There are instances where you can view the map, but we actually release we don’t present all the listings on a map. So really we designed it with the intention of helping the couch-surfing experience, the lounge-time experience and really making that enjoyable for discovering stuff in your city.

What role do you think the tablet plays for location-based apps like this?
I think it’s another important mobile touch point. We will always consider the phone our core device, but this is an important extension as folks are making their way into more relaxed situations or work scenarios. It’s important that we are on the cutting edge of all new device form factors, not just phone, but new computing devices like tablets. I think it’s just another consumer touch point to create a whole new experience around a marketplace and really emphasis some of the cool features from our phone app but also ditch a lot of them and strip it down to very visual, very clean, very interactive buying and selling within your local community.

How do you think location-specific services, like Antengo, will evolve as technology becomes more advanced?
In broad strokes, I think that payments will become totally frictionless, especially as the mobile payments landscape consolidates (currently, there are too many mobile payment platforms to keep track of), and consumer trust in mobile payments will increase, just as it has with e-commerce.

Isa Jones is an editorial assistant at Street Fight.