10 years of OLX: The evolution of online classifieds business

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Updated: Dec 24, 2019 1:05 PM

OLX Group India: The online classifieds site, early this year went for an overhaul on the back of a new tagline, ‘Set Hai’

OLX GroupFrom TV to radio, outdoor to digital, OLX claims to leverage mediums on the basis of audience profile and product.

OLX Group India: Remember the Mundi Dance ad – where the whole family was shown nodding their heads or the popular Kapil Sharma’s ‘Shaadi Ke Funde’- Just Married’ ad! Naspers’ owned online classifieds business OLX Group is still remembered, for its quirky campaigns. OLX Group which has completed 10 years in India, started its journey by educating the Indian consumers about the business. “At first it was about creating a need, then we moved towards educating consumers about selling second-hand goods online. Next, we talked about the benefits of selling online. So it has been a complete journey. Today we have reached a stage where not only people are selling goods online but they trust the medium, too,” Sapna Arora, chief marketing officer (CMO), OLX Group, told BrandWagon Online. The online classifieds site, early this year went for an overhaul on the back of a new tagline, ‘Set Hai’. The re-branding exercise was undertaken as part of a global plan.

The online classifieds platform’s marketing strategy has been a diverse one. From TV to radio, outdoor to digital, OLX claims to leverage mediums on the basis of audience profile and product. “For Instance, in the case of ‘Cash My Car’ campaign, we advertised on TV between August-September. We believe in a mix of media and opt for audience reach over medium reach. Hence, in UP, we chose radio, as it is difficult to reach our kind of consumers through digital or TV due to power outages. As for digital, we are open to exploration. We recently used TikTok as part of our ‘shakal dekhi hai’ campaign, which garnered 7.5 million views,” Arora added.

OLX GroupSapna Arora, CMO, OLX India

And now, as per Arora, content marketing is taking up an equally important place in its marketing plan. The company states it is investing in raising awareness around consumer safety such as privacy including personal information and financial data, among others. It has released videos on streaming platforms such as YouTube.

Interestingly, over the years, the company has also branched out by rolling out various new services, as it looked to tap into new categories. Much of these categories have been created with an aim to cater to two kinds of consumers. “We’ve realised that there is a new class of consumers, who is convenience seeking. For example, someone might be comfortable posting her car online on the horizontal platform, then interacting with a set of prospective buyers and meeting them, further, negotiating with them individually. On the other hand, there is another subset of consumers – a relatively smaller group, who even though they want to transact conveniently, they want to avoid the hassle of dealing with a bunch of people,” she explained. As a result, OLX Group launched Cash My Car, besides acquiring, ‘Asaan Jobs’ – a job portal for blue and grey collar segments.

The online classifieds platform claims that at present monthly page views are at 7 billion, on the back of daily active users which stands 4.5 million. The auto vertical contributes to 45% of the revenue for OLX Group, as the per firm. It further states that 22,000 cars are listed on OLX daily. The auto service is currently available in 17 cities. According to Arora, the job portal manages the end-to-end recruitment process for companies such as Amazon, Swiggy among others. “This placement process is handed over to us, we earn a fee as a third party recruiter. As for the auto business more emphasise will be given to tier 2 and 3 cities. Also, certain cities act as feeder markets, so our store expansion plan depends on how we want to operate in certain cities,” she added. The online classifieds firm currently claims to have several revenue streams including business listing on the platform, a subscription model for dealers besides advertising.

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