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The makings of a niche classified

An offer we couldn’t refuse

Felix Erken, MD of Junk Mail Publishing approached us in 2008. Felix and co. already dominated the print industry, but it became clear to them that print’s future was slowly starting to fade.

Competing online was as important as ever. Their first big leap of faith was to commit, at high risk, to the online market. Felix needed us strategically placed within his organisation, so a partnership was laid on the table.

At the end of the day with classifieds you have no peace of mind. It is an industry brawl and no true winner emerges.

So we said YES!

The weight of print was heavy

The perception of what a classified is was still rooted so much in print. Searching on the web is not the same as paging through a magazine.

The listings in a classifieds mag are structured to conserve space on a page, having a 5000 page omnibus is infeasible and colour prints are more expensive so classifieds adopted a certain look and feel over the years. A rather dire look at that.

On the web those are not the limitations that apply. Adverts can be showcased, promoted and a positive experience can be cultivated.

We needed to embrace digital completely

The anatomy of a print advert


Auto Mart Case Study

classified ad in print
1992 - 2014

A single, small photo (sometimes even optional), a description as long as modern-day tweet, and then a means of contact.

That was the culmination of an ad's existence.

Online, it's about so much more

Auto Mart
Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TSI GTI DSG
  • Auto
    Transmission
  • Hatchback
  • 2014
    Model
  • 1.4l
    Fuel
  • Petrol
    Mileage
  • Colour

One needs a tool, not a brochure

At any given time, Auto Mart has over 50 000 user submitted vehicles online. Browsing through the list or finding the vehicle you want is really like finding a needle in a haystack.

We wanted visitors, especially return visitors, to establish a mental map of the platform's layout.

Small displays for website and apps

Everyone knew mobile dominance would happen, but it was a gradual event. Somewhere in 2013, visitors using phones surpassed those using desktops. It's therefore that we adopted a mobile-first strategy in building the platforms - it paid off well.

And yes, we achieved a South African industry first by doing it with responsive design.

The Success

More than tripled site users in three years.
Site being in the top 50 in South Africa