As much as Classifieds have been a global phenomenon that has been growing at an unprecedented rate, in Tanzania, the industry has focused on the growing B2C market to the exclusion of the C2C market.
Initially, in Tanzania, Classifieds were a platform for brick and mortar businesses to access the digital revolution that was changing the way they viewed and interacted with their customers. Classifieds catered to corporate and more established businesses.
Today, the C2C market is highly untapped. For Zoom Tanzania, less than 10% of its business is derived from this segment. And even with the Instagram craze that has given birth to numerous successful entrepreneurial ventures, most of these are for new products or refurbished from abroad.
The average Joe who is trying to get rid of his unwanted stuff doesn’t have the platform to connect with those interested in acquiring them or can benefit them. Neither does he have access to second-hand treasures from others like him. This has forced the C2C marketplace to stay very traditional, relying on the power of word-of-mouth from those they trust. With this void, the question becomes, what does all this mean to a business like Zoom Tanzania?
From the data, we know that Africa experienced the fastest growth in internet penetration in 2018, with the number of internet users growing by more than 20% compared to 2017. Much of this growth was supported by the availability of affordable smartphones and mobile data plans. According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the number of internet users rose to 23 million, a 16 per cent growth from the previous year.
Facebook is still the most used platform with 55.43% of internet users, followed by Pinterest with 18.97 %. Twitter with 11.53%, YouTube with 8.15 %, Instagram with 4.93% and LinkedIn with 0.28 %.
As Zoom Tanzania seeks to tap into the C2C market, the platform is better positioned to create impact and address the C2C challenges related to fraud, spam and the quality of listings in order to cultivate a sense of trust among customers. Using moderation, the platform can ensure quality listings from trustworthy sellers across Tanzania. This, of course, has to be supported by user instructional content, as well as online and offline campaigns that seek to create C2C visibility. With a strong C2C strategy that seeks to balance the bread and butter of the platform and the growing consumer segment, the plan will be successful.
By December 2019, a person moving houses should have the option of selling their furniture and a person who want to declutter should be able to do so, just as Car Dealers and Furniture Centres on the Zoom Tanzania platform sell their items. All this is because Classifieds are for everyone!
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