Thanks largely to OLX and partly to Jumia Kenya, online classifieds and e-commerce have taken a strong foundation in Kenya, and as smartphones and Internet usage continue to become the norm in people’s lifestyles, soon buying and selling will only happen via virtual spaces. In the online classifieds segment (otherwise known as online marketplace), OLX reigns the king but starting sometime last year pigiame decided to give OLX a run for her money. As more and more sellers and buyers discover pigiame, it is time to run an OLX vs pigiame comparison under the following sub-headings:
- Brand recognition
- Site aesthetics
- Ease of use
- Control for quality of ads and
- Quality of feedback
Right now the name OLX is synonymous with online classifieds, and to some extent “sell it”. Although OLX has not reached the point where it can be treated as a verb the same way Google, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are being used to describe actions (actually Google has made it to become an officially recognized English verb word defined as to “search for information about someone or something on the Internet using the search engine Google”), it is well on the road to becoming the only right name that means buying and selling anything online in Kenya. Brand recognition for OLX is reaching the levels of OMO and M-PESA – where we have shoppers asking for OMO ya Ariel or M-PESA ya Airtel.
Pigiame is becoming recognized but I personally do not see its potential to either become synonymous with online marketplace in Kenya or even one day become a verb word. Of course it is hard for OLX to also become a verb word given that words such as OLXed or OLXing aren’t palatable, but it has a chance. OLX sounds better, easy to remember and interesting to pronounce. Pigiame, apart from being a little bit longer, doesn’t have what you would allow me to call a “sound bite”. It’s dull. It doesn’t relate. Actually, if I was consulted to suggest a name that could rival OLX, I could have suggested BNS that stands for Buy and Sell (in case you have been wondering, OLX stands for Online Experience).
On Brand recognitions, OLX wins.
The two images above show home page comparison of OLX vs Pigiame. The OLX homepage is free of ads making the site simple and neat, but when it comes to design, proper use of images and graphics, pigiame wins hands down. There is something I haven’t liked about OLX in general, and that’s their lack of taste when it comes to aesthetics. Here you cannot blame the Kenyan team as the general design template seems to be controlled by Naspers, or the founders of OLX as the general design is the same in every country they have a presence.
The good pleasant design you see in pigiame’s homepage doesn’t end there. Just visit the site and click on any ad, you’ll notice that all ads in pigiame are properly presented. The images nicely placed and descriptions well written. I have browsed as many ads as I can possibly do hoping I would get one that doesn’t appear decent and I haven’t found one.
But OLX doesn’t care about how a user places their ads. If the photos are of bad quality, or if the advertiser doesn’t care about sentence construction, they just don’t give a damn.
When it comes to aesthetics – pigiame wins.
Ease of use
Straight from the homepage, OLX is easier to browse. Even if you are a fast timer on OLX, it won’t take you any effort to get what you are looking for, either by using the search bar or simply by browsing through. This wasn’t always the case though. Before November last year, browsing on OLX was not an easy task. Foremost, you were required to scroll almost endlessly in order to find a category you were looking for, and in most cases you wouldn’t easily spot whatever it is you are trying to find.
But today it is very easy to browse through OLX. Pigiame on the other hand is not as intuitive. If what you are looking for in pigiame is not featured in the homepage and the category it falls under is not in the first five shown categories, then you will likely have to use the drop down category list. That’s not easy, but is only half the problem. After you have chosen your category in the drop down list, and if you are used to some automated systems elsewhere, you may end up wasting a whole day waiting for the category to open up. Later after wondering whether it is your Internet that went under, you will realize that you need to have pressed enter before you are taken to that category’s page. Not intuitive at all.
The only time pigiame performs better than OLX on ease of use is on ease of ad placement. If you have a product you want to sell on pigiame, the way they have arrangment their ad placement form makes it easier for users to place ads. Placing an ad on OLX is not really a hard task, and technically it is not any harder than doing so on Pigiame, but the appearance of the form and arrangement of form sections on pigiame makes one feel better when placing an ad on pigiame as opposed to doing so on OLX.
OLX vs Pigiame on ease of use – OLX wins
Control for quality of ads
Some of my friends don’t trust OLX. To them, OLX is a site where scammers go to to execute their scamming schemes either as buyers or sellers. One of my friends declined to place his phone on OLX and later when I suggested that we shop for a listed office via the same platform, he confessed that to him OLX sounds like “con-me”. But generally in life he has a lot of trust issues.
There is a way quality of ads on OLX has contributed to accelerate the mistrust a number of Kenyans have on the site. An ad that is described with weird typos, spelling mistakes and that are grammatically incoherent; an ad that is typed under heavy influence of someone’s native (mother tongue) accent – where in some instances the letter r is replaced with letter l, p with b, or letter n added or deleted at will in some words, the reader of such an ad may not take the ad seriously, and may actually treat the ad as coming from a con artist.
The problems associated with typos and grammatical errors seem not be present on pigiame ads, and this can be attributed to the quality checks ads sent to pigiame undergo. To find out why, I placed an ad on OLX and in less than a minute the ad was live with all the typing and spelling mistakes I had intentionally put. I then sent the same ad to Pigimia me and to my surprise the ad was approved slightly over 24 hours later. Of course that’s way too long especially when you are placing an ad with a heightened expectation to start receiving feedback straight away, but when the ad was finally live, I realized that all the typos and spelling mistakes had been ironed out.
After going through most ads on both OLX and pigiame, I think pigiame is more trustworthy, and thus the winner of this section.
Quality of feedback
The end reason you waste your time placing an ad where is to get feedback and more specifically feedback that can translate to sales. If the people who watch a particular TV station or listen to some random radio station or visit a particular website are not of good quality in terms of purchasing power, then you totally and completely wasted your time placing your ad in that particular platform. For example if you asked me, people who listen to Nation FM have more purchasing power compared to those who listen to Classic FM – even though Classic FM have all gossip lovers tuned in every morning.
When it comes to OLX vs Pigiame, it is difficult to say for sure that feedback you’d get from pigiame is of better quality than those you’d get from OLX; but if the one case scenario that I used in order to come up with this article is anything to go buy, I would like to state here though inconclusively that users of OLX are generally jokers whereas those who use pigiame tend to be serious people – people you would love to do business with.
This inconclusive conclusion can be rationalized by the fact that ads that are placed on pigiame undergo quality checks thus giving them a more professional outlook, an outlook that will at the end of the day tend to attract serious people.
In this section, pigiame wins.
Out of the five categories – OLX won twice while Pigiame won thrice.