In the past, classified ads were part of the newspapers which offered advertisers cost effective, small type notices to be displayed under specific categories. The media industry has witnessed switch from print media to digital media and has proven itself quite lucrative for players providing classified platforms. Growing number of sites are providing specialized classified marketplaces online catering to niche categories including products and services such as boats, pianos, pets, and adult services. Classified platforms market includes both business to consumer (B2C) and consumer to consumer (C2C) categories. Despite of several advancements in the online classified platforms, the market is currently at a nascent stage, primarily due to large number of consumers spending time on the print media; however, with increasing internet subscribers and growing number of subscribers on social media platforms, the market for online classified platform is expected to hold promising revenue opportunity during the forecast period.
Classified Platforms Market: Drivers and Challenges
Online advertising of a particular product or service through classified platforms enables consumer to explore and compare a particular product or service in a better way than print advertising. Few of the classified platforms also provides 360 degree view of products which enables consumers to better understand the dimension and esthetics of a product, thereby enhancing consumers’ experience. Moreover, with the proliferation of business applications on mobile platforms, classified ads platforms is providing greater opportunity to both buyers and sellers in terms of saving time and cost.
As classified advertisement platforms offer free services for posting an advertisement, few of the classified platform websites displays clutter of information and lack of genuine content. This is acting as a challenge for classified platforms market. Leading players in this market need to focus on building intelligent algorithms in order to have genuine content on the platforms without comprising scale of their business.
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Classified Platforms Market: Segmentation
Segmentation of Classified Platform market on the basis of ad models:
This model offers a wide range of categories such as mobiles, electronics & accessories, cars, bikes, furniture, pets, books, fashion, jobs, real estate, and home services. Although, players in horizontal model are capable enough to drive large audience base on their platforms, they often lack specialized product offerings.
Vertical model focuses on single categories such as cars and real estate. Usually these kind of business models charge consumers for listing their products on the platforms. Vertical model comprises advertisements of all the entities in the ecosystem of a particular industry.
Classified Platforms Market: Key Deals
In January 2016, Quikr India Private Limited acquired online real estate portal Commonfloor.com for US$ 200 million. This acquisition would help CommonFloor access to Quikr’s 30 million consumers, while QuikrHomes will benefit from CommonFloor’s structured data.
In December 2015, OLX, Inc. raised US$ 13.5 million in series B round of funding. This funding would help the company to expand its business in smaller cities of India.
In November 2015, Quikr India Private Limited acquired Indian Realty Exchange (IRX), a mobile first aggregator of real estate agents. IRX tags agents and brokers with real time projects and location and also assist users connects with them to buy and sell property.
In July 2014, 58.com, commonly known as China’s Craigslist received a funding of US$ 736 million from Chines internet giant Tencent. By doing so, Tencent has 19.9% share in 58.co. The agreement allows 58.com services being integrated into Tencent’s network.
In October 2013, Stuffle, a mobile location based marketplace for used items, has raised a “seven-figure” founding round led by Tivola Ventures, and Leverate Media.
In August 2012, CityGrid Media; a leading online media company that connects web and mobile publishers with local advertising agencies, acquired Felix for US$ 30 million.
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Countries in European regions such as France and Norway are witnessing increasing popularity of horizontal classified ad models. Majority of consumers in the Europe are using classified platforms for searching second hand merchandise across a range of categories. Countries such as U.K and Germany have witnessed increased popularity for online classified with vertical business models.
In the North America and Latin America regions, the market for online classified ads is yet to go as a mainstream business. Few of the enterprises in the countries such as the U.S. and Brazil, prefer advertising their product or service on print media as against online digital media.
Although overall e-commerce market in Asia-Pacific region is booming, online classified platform market is witnessing moderate growth. China and India are witnessing increasing popularity of online classified ad in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
Craigslist Inc., Finn.no, Gumtree (ebay), Quikr India Private Limited (CommonFloor.com), OLX, Inc., Rightmove plc, Backpage.com are some of the key player of the global classified platform market.
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