OLX Shop feature goes live
After not minding whether we list items we intend to sell anonymously or through our user accounts, online classifieds sites are now allowing users to set up their mini shops that they call either shops or mini websites, OLX calls it OLX Shop. The e-commerce portals like Fargoshopping, Jumia Kenya and the others have always allowed businesses to create their own mini portals from where they can manage their respective online enquiries and sales, and recently we heard of Pigiame entrepreneurship project that allow users to operate their mini Pigiame portals either for free or for a fee of Kshs 6,000 every six months.
Joining the new trend is OLX that today sent notifications to a number of OLX users an SMS message alerting them of the new OLX Shop feature. The SMS read;
Introducing OLX Shops! Now you can open an OLX Shop for your items. Sell your items and indicate that you are a business when posting.
One factor that is driving the online classifieds to opt for the entrepreneurship/business portals within their platforms is the thorny issue of fraud. Since the classifieds typically allow anyone to sell mostly anything, whether that anything exists or not, fraudsters have taken advantage of this weakness to post non existent products, and when unsuspecting public put up enquiries, they use their skills to defraud them of money.
An online business portal within the online classifieds platform provides the classifieds like OLX a chance to filter out fraudulent listings or rather have some level of control on postings that are made within the platform. Pigiame for example introduced a verified badge feature that it gives businesses that have posted regularly within the platform, a system that has allowed Pigiame to obtain sufficient verifiable information about the business. The verified badge is thus a communication tool Pigiame is using to alert the public that a particular seller on Pigiame can be trusted.
With the introduction of OLX Shop feature, I can expect that a similar badge will be introduced and once introduced OLX may go a step further to make listings that are done by those who have verified badges more prominent in the platform- or conduct an awareness campaign to encourage the public to always give verified sellers a priority when doing online shopping on OLX.
The introduction of OLX Shop feature comes a few weeks after OLX officially introduced the OLX Agriculture and Food category, where OLX encourages farmers to sell their produce through the OLX platform thereby eliminating middlemen. Weeks after introducing the new category, users seem to have responded very positively given the thousands of postings that are now live, with most people selling items ranging from fertilizers, manures to fruits, cereals, fish and chicken products.
If you are impressed by the introduction of OLX shops and you want to set up yours, the only thing you need to do is to indicate that you are business when posting an item for sale. I have attempted to do just that but for some reason I can’t see the “indicate your are a business” button. I will update this article when I get the work around.