I have always wanted to understand the dynamics of all these classifieds websites that keep coming around. I am sure some of you share the curiosity. So, I got in touch with Pranay Chulet, CEO, Quikr.com. This is an excerpt of the quick Q&A session we had:
With a plethora of classifieds and free listings already out there, how do you make your website stand out?
Like the name of our website suggests, we are Quikr than anyone else in the country when it comes to helping our users address their needs! People come to Quikr to buy, sell, rent or find a variety of things, and they are able to get that done in the shortest amount of time possible using the simplest of steps. We go to great lengths to ensure that our website remains the simplest to use in the industry.
We ensure that the direction of our business is built the right way – we have achieved fast growth while relentlessly ensuring that the quality of ads on our website doesn’t suffer. We immediately remove any inappropriate or irrelevant ads from our website, and never sacrifice user experience just to get a traffic boost. All of us know that you can get traffic by turning a blind eye to certain types of content on your website – we aren’t in that business. Getting traffic is easy; it’s getting quality traffic relevant to your business that separates us from the rest.
When we are at Quickr.com, the website is fairly clean, in terms of advertising for revenue. Moreover, the service you offer is free of cost. Where is the money coming in from?
We plan to have a diversified revenue stream across advertising, listing fees, sponsorships and other forms of revenue. We already have advertising up on our website, and are shortly going to be launching listing fees where ad posters can choose to pay us a fee to get more visibility for their ads. Please note that this will be an optional fee and the sellers will still be able to post free ads if they want. There are a few other revenue channels we are building around helping small businesses grow their business, and you’ll see them scale up on our site in the coming months as well.
What are the ways you get people to come to the website, participate, and then come back again?
In addition to using marketing to drive traffic to our website, we are fortunate to have built a base of users who are loyal to us. They like the platform we offer and hence come back to us again and again. The reason, again, is that we offer the quickest, simplest classifieds experience where a user can post an ad in 30 seconds or find what they are looking for in under a minute. And of course, a happy user always gets you more users by word-of-mouth, which has played a non-trivial role in our growth.
Your classifieds website recently scored Rs. 200 million worth second round of funding in Quikr Mauritius (a holding company of Quikr India) led by new investor Omidyar Network and returning investor Matrix Partners India. What are the key things that helped you convince for investments for the website?
It is no secret that the classifieds opportunity in the country is gigantic in size – what attracted our investors to us was the team that we have built and the way we are going after this opportunity. Our team includes some of the best internet talent in the country. It is the experience and the value system that this team brings that has allowed us to build this leadership position in the market without compromising on our fundamental objective: helping you buy, sell, rent or find whatever you’re looking for in the shortest time possible, in the simplest way possible. That is our ultimate promise to our user, and that is what our investors have backed.
Well, that is some information we were able to gather as for understanding the business of running a classifieds website. India is yet to see that one BIG classifieds website that clicks with the masses to make it a household name. Like Chulte said, “It is no secret that the classifieds opportunity in the country is gigantic in size”.
written by Manali Rohinesh, December 16, 2009
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