With the rise of internet usage in Kenya and the penetration of smart devices, web based solutions for traditional problems have emerged and thrived in the country.
PigiaMe is one such solution which is trying to solve the problem of getting a buyer for the items you want to sell. This classifieds’ platform lets its users get a market to sell and even buy from others, advertisers also get a place to push their businesses. We took the PigiaMe Android app for a spin and here is a review of the service.
First of all, it is good to point out that the platform has both a website and a mobile app; the experience is similar in both of them in every way. PigiaMe’s interface has a light blue and white theme through-out its layout. There is no option to customize it which is not a problem at all since the default one has no issue whatsoever.
When you first open the app, you get directly into the classifieds list which is good to maintain the attention of first time customers. You are only asked to sign up when you need to. The interface does not bring tutorials since the application is so intuitive to navigate. All options are on a side sliding menu.
Not everything is flawless, parts of the mobile app interface such as the profile page simply loads up the website which strangely asks you to install the app when you are already using the app, but that is something a simple update would fix.
The main page is where the classified are located, you get a list feed of them. The list can be ordered in various ways from relevance, newest, oldest, cheapest and most expensive. There is a tab that lets you see items from a specific category of your choice. For more fine tuned preferences, you can simply search for an item; filter options here include category, location, minimum and maximum price, brand and condition. You can even narrow your results to verified sellers only.
All the pictures of the classifieds can get a bit unforgiving on your internet data but the app has a solution for that, on the slide out menu there is a setting labeled ‘Data Mode’. The mode has three levels, normal, light and extra light. The normal one leaves everything at default, which means big images on the classified list, the light mode uses small thumbnails and finally the extra light uses text only lists (you only see pictures after you click on an item to view its description). This is a very convenient feature not only for the data conscious but also for the places that have low network reception.
When you click on a item, you get its slide-show pictures and a share button at the top, below it, the price, description and a neatly arranged ‘item details’ section which tells you everything from sellers location, condition, brand and their membership details; for vehicles, this section holds information about the mileage, make, build year and even transmission type. What makes this section so amazing apart from its neat appearance is that everything in it is searchable. Scrolling lower, you get a big phone icon, tapping on it lets you call or message the seller. There is a chat tab on the slide out menu that holds all your conversations.
To post an item for sale, you first choose the category and the sub-category. You then add the details of your item such as pictures, price, condition and location. One feature I missed in this section is the one that asks you to choose which picture to have as the main one that appears on the classified list, PigiaMe simply picks the first one you uploaded. It is advisable to select your desired main picture as the one you will upload first. Note that you only get to post your advert free of charge for only 90 days. Alternatively, you can pay 1,000 to get your item given more visibility, to be highlighted in the search results and also to appear in the carousel of premium ads. The duration of the premium advert is only for 14 days. That price is very reasonable compared to the 2,000 asked by the competitors.
Finally, if you get stuck navigating, you will need to get the help on your own, the app does not come with a help section, the ‘about us’ part is also missing. I searched within and without the app for information about the PigiaMe ‘credits that are being sold on the platform but I couldn’t find anything. The credits are apparently sold for Ksh.1 each and they are used when posting an ad.
Ultimately, the service is very promising; it gets the core functionality right. The item details section and the list filters are exemplary. The app works flawlessly and so does the website. Only a few kinks here and there but none of them is a deal breaker. If you are in the market for a place to post your classifieds, PigiaMe is one of the best platforms you can get.
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Free classifieds posting
- Reasonable prices for placing premium classifieds, half what the competition charges.
- Convenient data mode
- Neatly organized item description details
- Detailed filtering and searching options
- Has a native application which offers a better experience on the phone and a website that scales well on all devices
- No help section
- Credits feature is not explained even on the main site