MIH Internet Holdings, the Naspers owned company that specializes in pay-television and Internet subscriber platforms, is to fortify its position as market leader in classifieds advertising with the launch of kalahariads.net. The free classifieds service combines the group’s extensive print and online classifieds offerings into a user-friendly, feature-rich portal that provides customers with access to the widest classified network in South Africa.
Says Oliver Rippel, CEO E-Commerce of MIH Internet Group for Africa and the Middle East, “Naspers has investments in several highly successful and lucrative properties abroad which offer online classifieds, including OLX, BuscaPÃ© and Allegro. We have streamlined the South African operation by taking key international learnings and combining them with our experience in print and online classifieds locally to deliver a compelling service. We plan to make it the number one classifieds service in the country.”
Continues Rippel, “Our research into this arena has shown that users want free access to a safe environment in which to trade; that provides them with great deals at a local level. kalahariads.net delivers this. The reach of our offering will cement its position as a leader in the classifieds advertising space.”
Paul Casarin has been appointed as General Manager of the South African owned and managed kalahariads.net. “The group’s strong interests in Internet investments have placed us in the ideal strategic position to enable all our print and online classifieds services to collaborate via one powerful portal so that buyers and sellers need not visit multiple sites in order to trade. Netads24.com, the online extension of the print classifieds business, other online properties in the group such as Wheels24, Careers24, Property24 and the exclusive online classifieds business, Dealfish, have all made significant progress in delivering these services to South Africans. kalahariads.net pulls all of these into one classifieds destination on the Internet,” says Casarin.
The strategy is in line with global trends in the classifieds advertising market. Findings from a study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project showed the number of online adults using classified advertising websites in the US has more than doubled in the last five years and that on any given day about 10% of Internet users now visit classified advertising sites.
Focus on SMEs
A recent World Wide Worx study entitled SME Survey 2010, sponsored by the National Youth Development Agency, revealed that 60% of emerging small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses in South Africa have Internet connectivity.
To grow the online trading environment and to provide these entrepreneurs and SMEs a digital leg-up, kalahariads.net is providing SMEs free online profiling pages to market themselves to the extensive kalahariads.net user base.
“This provides an ideal marketing initiative for cash-strapped SMEs looking to promote their products and services regionally to potential customers who can search the classifieds for what they need,” says Casarin.
Benefits to Consumers
As a Naspers company and working with the Media24 stable, enables kalahariads.net to maximise its firm foothold not only in electronic media but in print too. Consumers placing classified adverts in any one of Media24’s 53 newspapers around the country enjoy the benefit of the advert being automatically placed online on kalahariads.net.
Convenience, ease of use, speed and flexibility are some of the main benefits of trading using online classified advertising. Posting adverts on the strictly-moderated kalahariads.net is absolutely free, and remain on the site for up to 90 days – unless extended, again completely without charge. The site also boasts added benefits such as a leaflet feature which allows users create professional looking adverts with tear-off slips to print out and place on community notice boards.