In a move to make its platform secure and trusted, OLX Kenya has introduced new ‘phone number verification’ feature mandatory for sellers who want to list their products for sale on OLX.
With the move, the firm expects to reduce the number of fraudulent listings on the platform as well as crack down on the fraudsters. Though the most visited general classifieds platform in the country, OLX has had to run several campaigns to educate users on safety. The firm has also announced that businesses wishing to continue selling electronics on OLX will now be required to produce business permits before their adverts are published on the site.
OLX says the permits will help it manage the number of business adverts on the platform as the site capped business adverts to 13 adverts per week and 50 adverts per account for every seller with an OLX account to enable the site offer variety of different items to their buyers. However, these will also help the firm cut revenue leakages from businesses listing as individuals.
OLX is cutting these revenue leakages from its site starting from the electronics category which is the biggest category on the site but the process will be rolled out to other categories in the next few months. These move is also aimed at increasing the items visibility as some business sellers would put up their adverts but flood the platform with similar items under different business account names reducing visibility for individual sellers on the platform.
According to Peter Ndiang’ui, OLX Country manager, “Our platform is a predominantly consumer to consumer (C2C), with 80% C2C and 20% business to consumer (B2C). Businesses as we know, have a numerous items to sell and are very aggressive at selling on our platform. By letting them sell on our platform without permits, they would post as many similar item adverts under different business names and visibility for our C2C sellers tended to go down. We are now asking them to produce them produce a business permit. We are not locking them out but putting measures to ensure balanced visibility of both B2C and C2C on our platform. The permit verification process will help us offer electronic items from different businesses for our buyers to choose from while giving C2C sellers who form a majority, fair share of visibility.” Said Mr. Ndiang’ui.
Since the process begun, 40% of electronic sellers on the platform have already submitted their permits. OLX hopes all electronic sellers adhere to the new process by end of September, a process that is currently ongoing.