Kijiji, meaning ‘village’ in Swahili, is a free community based classifieds website from eBay Inc. The site, operational in India since November 2005, has gained popularity through viral and word-of-mouth promotions from its users. The site lists classifieds for 12 different cities across the nation and is currently available in 200 cities across the world.
Explaining the concept of Kijiji.in, Jiby Thomas, Head, Kijiji India, said, “The website is meant to simplify peoples’ lives and facilitate in getting services and other stuff in a city without much efforts. With an interactive forum, the city specific contents can be customised according to a particular city.”
Explaining more on the promotional activities employed by the company, Thomas said, “Word-of-mouth is the best way to promote our product. By realising the uses of our services, many of our users are spreading the word among their friends and relatives.”
Thomas further said that since their company was a small one, they were not planning to have the large scale advertising employed by other companies, but revealed that the company had placed banner ads on various Internet portals and was also using online direct mailers to spread the word.
Revealing more about the revenue model employed by the website, Thomas talked about their tie-up with Google AdSense and also about the various revenue models adopted by Kijiji’s employed in other countries like charging a listing fee for increasing the visibility of ads and also allowing banner ads on the site.
Currently, only Google AdSense ads are placed in the Indian site, while the other revenue models might be considered in the future by the company.