Flush with funds, investors and venture capitalists have been increasingly eying the online classifieds space, allowing portals to use these funds for promotional activities aimed at enhancing their user base, according to an industry report released here today.
Online selling of used goods increased by more than three times in the last year, while online buying of used goods doubled during the same period, even as the amount of unused goods sitting idle at homes stands at Rs 56,200 crore, a Ficci-KPMG report on media and entertainment stated.
Online classifieds portals like OLX and Quikr are frontrunners in the race to cash in on the potential of this number, the report stated.
India has the maximum number of listings on OLX and the site gets 80 per cent of its traffic from mobile phones, the report stated.
Propelled by large scale advertising by online classifieds players in the mass media in 2014, direct consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer deals are on the rise. While job and matrimony still remain the top categories, users seem to be more open to buying and selling a range of used products through online classifieds, the report stated.
“JustDial is another strong player in the horizontal classifieds space with 11.8 million listings. Yet, as the number of paid customers stands at just 2.2 per cent of the total listings, there is considerable potential for increase in revenue”, the report stated.
The size of online classifieds segment stood at Rs 2,280 crore in 2014 and it is expected to grow to about Rs 5,940 crore by 2019 with a year-on-year growth of 21 per cent, the report stated. Recruitment is the largest category in the online classifieds segment, with a 62.5 per cent share. With the economy growing, it is expected that an additional 87.37 million jobs would be created this year, the report stated.
“Many headhunters are increasingly tying up with job portals to scout for talent online. However, a major challenge that remains is the authenticity of user profiles. With websites now employing qualified resources to ensure that fake profiles are not uploaded, this picture could change for the better, moving forward,” the report stated.
The second largest category online is matrimony, with more than 100 specialised matrimony sites catering to niche, community-specific audiences. This category is expected to grow at a compounded rate of over 65 per cent to touch Rs 1, 500 crore by 2017, the report stated.
Realty classifieds which contribute seven per cent, could potentially become the largest area in the verticals classifieds owing to large spends in conventional media like television and print, the report stated.
Auto classifieds, which have still not moved online at the pace with which jobs and matrimony have, also saw an investment of USD 100 million, the report stated.