A sharp focus on C2C commerce helps OLX India achieve pole position
OLX.in, an online classifieds player claims to have achieved 55 times growth in traffic in last 22 months. OLX created the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) selling market segment in India that didn’t exist earlier. Personal used goods comprising mobiles, computers, electronics, furniture, general household goods, cars and bikes are the top categories on OLX.in, comprising 70% of the new ads being listed and 92% of sellers in these categories being individuals.
Talking about the growth, Amarjit Batra, CEO of OLX.in said, “Our market developments efforts over the last two years have paid off handsomely, with our brand awareness and recall being almost four times of our closest competitor. We have penetrated not only the big towns but all the small towns too.” Amarjit says their strategy of connecting C2C was very different from the usual model that was followed by most online classifieds players, which brought together the businessman and the consumer. “This was a new concept that we introduced in the country and have spent considerable time and money in educating the market and the masses,” he says.
Citing some impressive numbers, Amarjit says OLX.in receives anywhere between 55-60 million visitors on their site per month. OLX entered India in 2006, and after setting up, started the C2C focus from 2009 onwards. In 2011, they aggressively targeted the ‘for sale’ category and very consciously looked at second-hand goods selling on the site. Today Amarjit says the strategy has paid dividends and 100% of the content listed on the site is user generated. They have different category of listings to cater to both paid users and free users. “People who come to our site once in a while can list the products for free, but we have users who use us regularly and find value in paying for our services as well,” explains Amarjit. He steers clear of giving us the revenue numbers, but says that OLX.in had a CAGR of 653% in the last two years, which is significantly ahead of the 32% CAGR for India internet over the same period.
The closet competitor OLX has in India is Quikr, which was launched in 2008. Both these online players have used mass media as the battlefield to garner customer mind share. We have all seen the ‘Bech de’ TVCs that OLX has been aggressive with. They have been equally aggressive with other media like radio, outdoor, mall activations, best-seller programmes and so on. Social media has been another important area of focus for the venture, and Amarjit says OLX has been the top trending topic on Twitter atleast 15 times in the last four months.
OLX is equally aggressive in the mobile classifieds space and Amarjit estimates an approximate 50% of the traffic to OLX coming from the mobile phones. Of this, he assumes 20-25% people would be ones who have no access to PC and purely use their cell phones for consuming internet. Mobile traffic for OLX.in grew from 5% of overall traffic in January 2012, to now 52% of overall traffic in July 2013. OLX mobile apps have exceeded 3.2 million app downloads in India, and is amongst the top ranked and rated apps across all mobile app stores. “The OLX Android app, while being among Top 25 free apps on Google Play store, is India’s most popular ecommerce app with 4 times higher ranking and 10 times more reviews than our closest competitor,” claims Amarjit.
Since Naspers’ investment into OLX in 2010, OLX has entered multiple markets including Brazil, India, Portugal and Pakistan. However, India is a top growth market for the Latin American company and Amarjit says the entire energies of the organization is focused here. The OLX India team comprises of 40-members, who take care of customer experience, product development and marketing.