OpenSea — Product Sense 3

OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace, but is it the best? Is it the easiest to use? Here, I’m tearing it apart and answering the question

Sam Polgar
5 min readOct 9, 2022

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The average Josephine heard at least 1 of their friends have bought or sold something on OpenSea. Let's examine what it is and if it's enough to bring me to their platform.

Before using OpenSea

How is OpenSea marketed? What value does it offer?

Let’s take a look at their online messaging…

Messaging

  • Google — The world’s first and largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • Website — The world’s first and largest web3 marketplaces for NFTs and crypto collectibles
  • Twitter — The largest NFT marketplace
  • Instagram — The largest marketplace for NFTs

Value

  • Google — Buy, sell & discover the internet of goods
  • Website — Create, buy, sell, and discover unique digital goods
  • Twitter — Browse, create, buy, sell, and auction NFTs
  • Instagram— Buy, sell and discover exclusive digital items

What am I thinking?

Based on the value marketed, what would I like to achieve?

The logical order for a newcomer, I’d assume

  1. Explore
  2. Create
  3. Sell

How did you find out about it?

As it is the first and largest, it's been around for the longest time. Honestly, I’ve heard of it mostly because of the hacks & bugs

Whilst using OpenSea

Onboarding

  • Explore: I love the different types of collections available; I think it paints a good picture of the different use-cases NFTs serve. What I might do differently is have an explainer page ontop of All NFTs as a n educational prompt to users who don’t know which collection to look at — explaining why they should care about each section
  • Create: When I click create — my MetaMask opens automatically and asks me to sign. I inspect the request and whilst I’m no expert in digital signatures, I’m always cautious when I see this screen. I asked my partner to see if they’d sign the request and the answer was a resounding no!
  • Sell: I’m not sure where I can sell, it isn’t immediately obvious on the website

Direction

  • The learn centre with NFT 101, available in the resources dropdown in the top nav bar gave me a great intro to NFTs from the founder

Comparison

Comparing Rarible, NBA Top Shot, and SuperRare to OpenSea, I feel these competitors have a narrower focus on their target market. Their technology/websites represent the focus with an easier-to-use interface and explainable value proposition. E.g.

  • Rarible: low-fee marketplace, trade NFTs with 0% buyer and seller fee
  • NBA Top Shot: own, sell, and trade official digital collectibles of the NBA and WNBA’s greatest plays and player
  • SuperRare: buy and sell NFTs from the world's top artists

After using OpenSea

Could I achieve what I wanted to?

Without prior information, when I clicked create, I firstly wouldn’t have MetaMask, to begin with, nor would I accept a signed request if I didn’t know exactly what it did. I could achieve buying and found it easy to buy with crypto or by card, but I couldn’t easily find how to sell.

Can you get the value they sold?

It looks like OpenSea is the largest e.g. having the most listings, but I don’t necessarily feel that’s working for them. The lack of focus makes it hard to find individual niches, and it feels like the website is serving everyone but no one simultaneously.

What makes it a success?

The depth of content makes it a success

What would you improve to make it more successful?

As the largest NFT marketplace, I think they can leverage their status and expertise, e.g.

  1. How-to tutorials — OpenSea has the “learn” portal which it shows how to use their website. I think they can leverage their resources to increase their status amongst Web3 by demonstrating best practices in NFTs e.g. creating, selling, making a gallery, etc. Binance has done this particularly well, most crypto-related Google searches view Binance close to the top
  2. Infrastructure — OpenSea can leverage its expertise to be the “AWS” of NFTs — from decentralized IPFS hosting to marketplace websites, etc
  3. Narrow focus (messaging & value). Someone could argue — they’re the largest marketplace, it's OK to focus on different things. However, I think it's confusing as someone that knows what they do. Even if OpenSea does provide services to Auction, Buy, Browse, Collect, Create, Discover & sell — I don’t think their website demonstrates these

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