OLX in Kenya has done great. Today online sales is synonymous with OLX to the extent that anytime someone whispers of selling anything, friends are quick in recommending OLX as the platform to make the sale.
Sell-it is the slogan. This stems from the fact that ever since OLX was introduced in Kenya, every promotion, every ad on TV, online, in the newspapers, over the radios, etc have promoted the sell-it slogan. You want to wed but you are short of cash? Just sell the items you don’t need. You want to upgrade your furniture? Just sell it. You want to buy new music instruments? Sell-it. Erick Omondi has perfected this act by combining comedy and sell-it promotion in order to encourage Kenyans to sell the items they either don’t need or at times items they make/produce for sales.
The sell-it promotion has reached a new height with the launch of “OLX uza ushinde promotion” where the grand prize winner will walk away with a car purchased from OLX worth Kshs 2million. The promotion will also offer other users a chance to win daily prizes of an Android tablet worth Kshs 30,000.
I was pessimistic of the success of the sell-it promotions by OLX Kenya until I visited my long term best friend in Nairobi who had earlier bought a second hand refrigerator at Kshs 10,000 to find the fridge missing. When I enquired he informed me he had sold the fridge for Kshs 14,000 on OLX – lucky him.
But not everyone is as lucky. Personally I’ve posted three items on OLX but none has sold out.I believe there are many like me who have not been able to make any sales as the number of those who visit OLX Kenya website to sell far out number the number of those who visit the same website to buy. OLX Kenya, to me, has been structured like this auction site in Nakuru where only those who want to sell their cars go to every Sunday with hardly any buyer around the vicinity. Car sellers are known to wait for hours to make that sale but almost always go back home disappointed.
Every time I see any of those OLX Kenya “sell-it” ads on TV or in my Facebook feed I always wonder, “Is someone supposed to buy from OLX Kenya?” Normally people think of buying than they think of selling, but how many of these buyers think of OLX as the place to make the important purchase? We have to give it to OLX for making the sellers think of OLX whenever they plan to sell any items they don’t need, but who do they sell to if buyers have not been made to think of OLX whenever they think of buying?
I have friends who call me with questions of where they can buy second hand this or that -mostly laptops, phones, or even home entertainment systems. Sadly I’ve never recommended to them to visit OLX. This is because OLX is hardly in my mind as platform where someone can make purchases – I only think of it as a point to make sales. Flip-side, some of the friends who have asked me of where they can buy second hand this or that have been prompt in recommending OLX whenever I tell them I have this or that to sell.
From the above what is clear is that OLX is in minds of Kenyans as a selling platform but hardly anyone thinks of OLX as platform to make a purchase. It is a good strategy for OLX Kenya to aggressively promote their classifieds site as the online market place where sellers can dispose of their items easily and freely, but I think it’s time they also aggressively promoted OLX as a buy-it site.
Actually if there were many happy buyers who used OLX as their point of purchase, it won’t be necessary for OLX Kenya to constantly promote OLX as a selling point as where there are buyers, sellers will always find their way. The best business strategy is a strategy that creates demand rather than supply. OLX has so far managed to create supply without paying attention to the demand side of the equation.
OLX Kenya, please start promoting buy-it slogan just with the same energy and resources you have promoted the sell-it slogan; and I’m sure OLX Kenya will be the biggest, largest and default online market place (not online selling place) in Kenya.