OLX Advertising platform offers the best go-to market solutions for brands to enhance reach as well as build relevance amongst their target audiences. Their laser-targeted solutions increase efficiency and lead to powerful campaign results superior to any other digital media platform. The OLX advertising platform unlike other services run by e-commerce or social media platforms helps brands target OLX users who already have intent to buy. This allows brands to tap into this highly engaged audience on OLX.
In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U, Sunny Kataria, Head Commercial Excellence, OLX India on the performance of the platform and way forward in this crisis.
How was the OLX platform conceived, why did you feel that there was a need for such a platform?
Once digital began to grow with the internet explosion, we observed that it was a priority for brands to be where their consumers were. It is here that advertising offerings by platforms like ours became important for advertisers and since we already had captive audiences who were using our OLX platform for buying and selling, it was a no brainer for us to launch our advertising platform that helped brands engage with these audiences who already had intent to buy.
In India, the digital ad revenue in the country will be worth almost $7 billion by fiscal year 2024, while the television and print ad revenues are projected to reach about $6 billion and $3 billion respectively. This clearly shows that India is heading towards a digital advertising future. Given the nature of OLX as a classifieds platform, we constantly assist brands in tailoring their ads that meet their objectives. If a client has decided on their creative brief and messaging, we focus on the campaign optimization and set up to meet the requisite KPIs. If the client so desires, we have an in-house team that can help ideate, support with creative and facilitate innovation through formats and custom targeting.
What is the USP of the OLX Advertising platform?
Our offerings are distinct and unique in comparison to other platforms since users on OLX already have intent to buy, which may not always be true for other platforms. Ours being a social marketplace is catering to C2C and B2C, across categories like Auto, Real Estate and Jobs which are not existent on e-commerce. The rich first-party data that we have on purchase of high value items in these categories is unparalleled. Our users are extremely sticky, spending over 16.5 minutes on every visit, with a clear intent to close the transaction.
We have a large base of over 6 million daily active users now and every listed item on an average gets 15+ replies within 7 days from interested buyers. The platform witnesses 2 to 2.5 lakh iPhones, 14k+ premium cars, 5k+ premium bikes being listed every month. Over 12k+ premium white goods and electronic devices and 2k+ luxury properties for sale get listed every month.
We have real data to validate unlike other platforms and there is an actual fulfilment of transactions on the OLX platform.
What were the challenges you faced initially?
In the initial days since digital advertising was still in its nascent stage, engaging with top brands was a bit of a challenge since they did not allocate a lot of their advertising budgets for online. Also, brands were still only beginning to recognize the benefits of online advertising platforms and relied more on traditional means though soon enough all this changed.
The digital transformation happened at a very rapid pace and for any digital platform to remain relevant, it was necessary to reinvent and innovate. The way we are witnessing rapid change with artificial intelligence, voice assistant, home assistance, smart watches, smart glasses, I think advertising is also going to change drastically. Every platform needs to evolve or at least keep pace with these digital innovations. This takes up a lot of our time and resources, however since we are a global company, we look at these challenges and obstacles with keen interest. We draw inspiration from trends globally and try to ensure that we leverage our global scale to enhance our offerings.
In this crisis how effective is online advertising?
The crisis has brought about a formidable shift in how brands communicate with their target audiences. Their channel choice is driven by where consumers are spending their time. Being a digital-first brand coupled with the fact that there is a sweeping shift in favour of digital consumption in India, we have continued to grow our digital presence as a primary mode of staying in touch with our users. During the pandemic-induced lockdown, with most forms of traditional medium becoming unavailable, marketers rapidly switched to digital formats for advertising.
The year started off very well, but suddenly the second wave hit us. How are you seeing the revival of the market?
We witnessed phenomenal growth during the first wave of the COVID-19. During the Covid-induced lockdown, a lot of people moved online and we saw growth— roughly about 30% more daily active users (DAUs) from our previous pre-Covid peak. That has translated into more advertisers coming to us.
During the pandemic-induced lockdown, with most forms of traditional medium becoming unavailable, marketers switched to digital formats for advertising. OLX Advertising also benefited from this with more brands advertising on their platform across categories.
What are the sectors you see that will bounce back?
We anticipate seeing a quick bounce back in the Auto, FMCG and smartphone. We are also seeing an increased participation from OTT brands – a reflection on increased content consumption due to lockdown and users staying in.
Soon we hit the festive period. What will be your focus?
We are very optimistic about the upcoming festival season vis a vis the Auto, smartphone, consumer durables and the ecommerce categories. These will continue to be our focus segments.
In a short time, OLX has been able to partner with many large brands. Top smartphone brands under BBK Group (Oppo, Vivo, OneplusRealme), Xiaomi, Samsung and Honor to name a few. We also have white goods and electronic brands like Whirlpool, ITelTv, Fitbit, Netflix & LG advertising on our platform.
Moreover, BMW, Volvo, Maruti, Bajaj, Tata Motors in Automotive, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal in E-comm to major BFSI brands are joining the tribe. As per recent OLX data, 90% of OLX mobile sellers buy a new phone and hence, mobile advertisers have increased over the past one year on OLX.
What are your marketing strategies to reach out to your TG?
We use a mix of television, online and social media for our media campaigns where the /brand experience is at the heart of all our communications. Our campaigns are based on our platform data that enables us to target our focus industry verticals effectively.