The fight for supremacy in the online classifieds space has intensified recently, with aggressive mass media marketing of the two key players â€“ OLX and Quikr. While the former is a Latin American startup with a couple of years' launch lead (OLX), the other is an Indian startup. Both companies are well-funded, though. OLX has reportedly raised around $28.5 million till date from a group of Silicon Valley VC firms and the Indian company has raised almost twice that amount. And the two seem to have left Craigslist (otherwise synonymous with the classifieds business globally) trailing despite the latter having an early-mover advantage. Well, relatively, of course, as Sulekha, Clickindia and other local classifieds have also been there for some time. Here, we will take a close look at the two classifieds beyond their marketing taglines â€“ OLX's Sab kuch bikta hain (everything sells) and Quikr's Sell anything Quikrrrr.
While the Argentina-based classifieds site OLX was launched in India back in 2006, Quikr, the site run by Quikr Mauritius Holding Pvt Ltd, was started by Pranay Chulet (CEO) and Jiby Thomas (VP, marketing) in 2008.
As of now, OLX is present in 96 countries and claims to have more than 100 million unique visitors globally every month. The latest Indian figures are not available but one year ago, the firm claimed 6-8 million unique visitors in the country, having tripled the mark, compared to 2010. It is currently present in 500 cities across India and supports Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi languages, apart from English.
On the other hand, Quikr claims to get 24 million visitors each month across 65 or more cities in India, and there are over 20 lakh ads on Quikr.
Here's a feature-by-feature comparison of both the sites and their offerings.
Quikr offers classified ads in 12 categories (which are further split into a number of sub-categories) including electronics & technology, home & lifestyle, real estate, cars & bikes, jobs, services, entertainment, education & learning, pets & pet care, community, events and matrimonial. OLX offers the ads under 8 categories (again divided into a number of sub-categories) which include sale, community, classes, vehicles, real estate, services, jobs and matrimonial.
Both sites have a search bar for users to look for the products they require. We have tried searching for a two-wheeler (both motorcycle and scooter) in Mumbai and got 4,132 results for the same on Quikr while OLX has come up with a whopping 11,919 results.
On Quikr, the results appeared as a list which can be further filtered by location, locality, ad type (buy or sell), condition (used or new), brand and individual/dealer posting. In contrast, OLX has shown a similar list but also offers a gallery view. These, too, can be filtered by location, locality, price, make (brand), seller type (individual or business), year of manufacturing, mileage and condition, which means you get more criteria and, therefore, more relevant results.
We have also found a new feature on Quikr that enables users to sign up and receive special alerts (for free) that would match their requirements. For instance, if you are looking for a mobile phone, you can enter all the details like category (in this case, electronics and technology), sub-category (mobile phones), city, locality, whether you want to buy or sell, the required brand and your contact details. Once it's done, the site will send you all relevant contacts via SMS and e-mail.
Both companies offer mobile apps on a number of platforms. OLX has mobile apps for the iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and BlackBerry platforms while Quikr apps are available on Android, Symbian, Windows Phone and Java (for feature phones) platforms, but it does not have apps for iOS or BlackBerry. The Quikr app also comes pre-loaded with a number of handsets, such as Nokia C2-03, Micromax A85 and Huawei Sonic.
With the OLX app, users can search for ads around them (using their location); view ad descriptions with full screen photos; reply to ads from within the app; sell products and also manage buying, selling and community activities from 'My OLX' (their accounts). One can also take a product snapshot with his/her camera phone, enter description and price, and post the ad instantly.
The Quikr app enables users to get instant alerts about latest jobs, products on sale and happening events (in their locality); allows them to SMS, call or e-mail right from their phones to complete transactions; click pictures and post those with the ads (similar to what OLX offers).
Note that even without the apps, both sites can be accessed from the user's mobile browsers.
We have also compared OLX and Quikr apps statistics on Google Play. As of now, the Quikr Android app has a rating of 3.9 (with 465 reviews) and around 5,00,000 downloads in the past 30 days. The OLX Android app has a rating of 4.2 (with 5,761 reviews) and around 5 million downloads during the same timeframe. But then again, OLX's numbers are not limited to India alone.
What does Google Trends say?
There are no easy ways to get the right grip on traffic and search statistics, and different traffic tracking sites seem to throw up very different results. So we have taken a random pick and placed the two sites on Google Trends to see who has an edge as far as search traffic is concerned. As the graph shows, Quikr, which came from behind to surpass OLX soon after its launch, has been overtaken again by OLX over the past one year. Although both have seen growth, OLX seems to have accelerated a bit more.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)