1. @martingicheru

    Earlier on, there was high hopes of making huge money from classifieds (that includes me with http://favhouse.com) but with the entry of big international players, that went into some sort of hibernation even n-soko held up on the charging bit since the market had a new player (read dealfish) who was not afraid of splashing money in a long term.
    Most of these big spenders have the muscle to spend alot, this makes the traditiona small startup to feel cowed and get this feeling that the grass is exhausted.
    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S2


  2. Having attempted to play in this space a number of times, I am slowly coming to the conclusion that successful classified applications in Africa will share two fundamental characteristics. They will be essentially a mobile app or service.
    They will address niche markets/products/categories.There are a number of upcoming apps that share these characteristics that are beginning to emerge.

    Cheki.co.ke Classifieds for Cars
    MedAfrica.org Classifieds for Health
    MFarm.co.ke Classifieds for Commodity Prices
    CrowdPesa.com Classifieds for Financial Services

    I am not sure web platforms like DealFish will remain viable when they stop being free as people will only pay for accessibility and accessibility in Africa is on Mobile phones.

    What do you think?

    Founder and C.E.O

  3. Mugambi Kimathi

    Interesting Article

    in my “opinion” the reason as to why m and e commerce in Kenya is closing shop is that it has not evolved. instead we all jump to online businesses without solid brick and mortar businesses. IMHO kalahari should have been  started by the likes of Nakumatt. They can give great discount and
    know the market well, heck… they even know their customer habits from the smartcard. surly the can offer me a product they know i always buy at great discount.

    I blame the OverHYPE of Online and Mobile Business. Just because we are  techies doesn’t  mean everyone is a techie. My theory on how to be successful online in Kenya.First build a “factory” (business that generates cash) understand it then move processes to an online business.. slowly pushing your
     customers to online.

    It may take a while before you move from brick and mortar -to- hybrid -to-  online thats why you will always need the factory to be running.

    Question for online classifieds ads:-

     a) do we actually do Market Research to see if they work. What do people  want.

     b) How much is the return on investment.  i.e. How long shall you keep running before you get tired of taking photos of cars?

     c) Yes you have simplified the process but have lessened the shopping experience. (Smell, Taste, Feel)

  4. Timothy Mutugi

     That’s a very good article.

     Please also take into
    consideration that dealfish, pigiame, etc.are also in competition with the
    “Bricks” solutions e.g. The Adpost bulletin board at Odeon
    cinema or the bulletin board at Sarit Centre…

  5. Nicholas Mutinda

    The most followed traditional classifieds are digger
    classifieds and nation classifieds. That means that
    they should be the leaders in taking the trade digital. How does
    n-soko rank in comparison to the likes of dealfish, and pigiame?

  6. Josiah Mugambi

    I have always wondered to myself why Nakumatt (or Uchumi
    or Tuskys

     etc) do not have an online store.. or why
    YaYa/Sarit Centre don’t

     cross list their physical classifieds (I
    think they used to once albeit haphazardly) from their noticeboards.

  7. Peter Karunyu

    Me too! I often visit Sarit just to check out their
    noticeboard. With all their revenue, I wonder why Nakumatt is
    yet to do anything

    substantial online. Even their website is ish
    ish. My reasoning is

     that the management there sees an online store
    as a cost center, and

    not a profit center

  8. mulutu jackson

    Has anyone on this list ever approached Nakumatt/Tuskys/Sarit/Yaya/Uchumi with such a
    proposal? and what was their response? They may not have a clear
    understanding of the potential that this channel of business holds.

  9. Josiah Mugambi

    Interesting – regarding Nakumatt..And that gift
    registry *needs* to be online, even as a separate application. Cases of a
    single wedding gift purchased by multiple people abound.

  10. Paul Kevin

    A approach to take will be like
    these guys http://www.beiyangu.co.ke/ ,
    list major supermarket products and soon they will be drawn onto your platform

  11. John Gitau

    I can assure you all
    the mega stores are working on their online strategy.some are ahead of
    others…..some might launch over xmas period…most will opt not to….what i
    can guarantee is they are working on it…..

  12. Peter Karunyu

    If I owned Nakumatt I
    would not let some third party company have access to my catalogue, at least
    not just yet. I would also not buy a solution peddled by a vendor. Instead, I
    would put together a team and have them create the online presence and keep on improving
    it over and over again, untill it was better than Amazon, Ebay and Walmart

    But then again, if I owned Nakumatt I wouldn’t be writing this. 🙂

  13. Dennis Kioko

    Maybe the feel the online population is too small to warrant
    such an effort, however they fail to see that this can be done with minimal
    investments and staff, hence bringing in more compared to investments.

    Even in the US, brick and mortar stores are still performing poorly when it
    comes to online presence. In South Korea, physical stores are however selling
    online aggressively with online presence having a huge stake.

  14. […] Who will own the classifieds space in East Africa was the title of a piece penned back in 2011 when there was a flurry of activity with everyone claiming to be the number one destination. The way things change, the way they remain the same and with blatant replication of business models with no drive for service differentiation, a number of players have hit the dead pool but this has not stopped others – whether from a skin change or as entirely new entities, from attempting to draw blood  cash from what is proving to be a most difficult segment to crack. […]

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