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Classified Solution

From classified to clicks – the ever-evolving journey of the classified industry

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Glory Simmons

Classified Solution · 14 min read

evolving of classifieds industry

14 min read

The global online classified market is growing at a 24.8% CAGR in the forecasted period 2023 to 2030. The classified industry has experienced metamorphosis over decades. It has traversed a path that has surpassed the constraints of conventional print-based classifieds and boarded into a remarkable journey of getting into online classified platforms built through classified script.

This remarkable transformation is witnessed mainly because of the rapid advancements in technologies and also due to the dynamic change in consumer behaviour. Let us explore the real journey of the classified industry from its origin to the contemporary era.

Breaking boundaries – the revolution of classified from print to digital

The classified advertisement domain boasts a remarkably extensive lineage. It’s time to unravel the captivating odyssey of the classified ads industry. Here we will trace its origin and will explore its journey till its current era.

  • 17th century – the early origin of the classified industry can be traced back to ancient times in the 17th century where people used classified advertisements as the major stream of communication to sell and buy products. This mode of communication was highly followed in Egypt, Rome, and China initially. People used multiple ways to sell products and some of them are inscriptions on walls, handwritten messages, and public notice boards. These were commonly used to disseminate information regarding trade opportunities.
  • 18th-19th century – the popularity of classified ads increased during this period and newspapers were in circulation. At the end of the 19th century, newspapers dedicated a separate section for classified ads alone. This facilitated readers to easily find classified ads without searching the entire newspaper. The section was categorized into job postings, real estate listings, and personal announcements.
  • 20th century – classified ads became more prevalent and significant advancements are witnessed by the classified industry. In this period, more importance was given to contact information. Newspapers and magazines posted ads with contact numbers that supported users to communicate easily and close the deal effectively.
  • 1995 – the industry started gaining higher attention with the emergence of the Internet. This has set the path for developing online classified platforms. Craigslist was one of the pioneers that supported users to buy and sell through an online classified platform.
  • In the early 2000s – many more online classified ads platforms emerged the market during this period. Today’s leading C2C portal eBay launched its platform and focused on the classified ads industry and grabbed the attention of major audiences through its user-friendly interface.
  • The mid-2000s – many dedicated online classified platforms were launched soon after analyzing its reach in the early 2000s. Sites like Monster and Indeed have made a revolutionary change in the job classifieds market. Likewise, sites like Zillow and Realtors.com worked very well with real-estate classified businesses.
  • The late 2000s to the present – after the hike in smartphone usage, mobile apps were introduced which offered unbeatable user experiences to customers. Dedicated mobile apps like Letgo and the Facebook marketplace have simplified the buy and sell process as users can use their smartphones for buying and selling.

Hope the timeline has provided enough glimpse into the evolution of the classified industry. Surprisingly, the classified ads market continues to evolve and getting adapted to technological advancements and consumers’ preferences.

Print to Pixels – the evolutionary leap of the classified industry

Print classifieds had a crucial role in the classified market and 40% of their revenue was made through newspaper ads. In early 2000, with the availability of the Internet, bigger opportunities were focused on the digital classified market.

Consumers started adopting digital ads than printed ads. The sudden digital transformation has reduced newspaper ad revenue by over half to 18%. The newspaper business model was branded to be outdated and there was a major decline in the print classifieds. We need to analyze what aspects have made consumers look for digital classified ads.

Design enhancements

Visual enhancements made a major difference and have created a huge impact on the way consumers used to view classified ads. Simple design elements were included in the ads initially and still text was highly used. Later on, visual ads were introduced that grabbed the attention of the audience. Today, global video consumption is 85 minutes per day, which shows how video ads can reach the target audience.

Niche publications

Businesses that focus on their niche gain 78% better reach to their target audience. Initially classified ads portal was not focusing on any specific niche. But in recent years, we can find multiple classified scripts that are specifically developed to meet a particular audience group. There are dedicated classified scripts for real-estate classified businesses, job listings, automobile classified businesses, and many more.

Mobile and app-based classified

More than 6.3 billion smartphone users are all over the world and there is no wonder to know that people spend more than 81% of their mobile time on apps. This is quite encouraging for classified ads entrepreneurs to spend on developing exclusive apps for their businesses.

Social media integration

Social media has a crucial part in promoting classified ads business. Around 78% of consumers decide to buy a product only after checking reviews on social media channels. 55% of consumers have discovered new brands only after visiting their social media platforms. By integrating these channels on the classified ads portals, users will be able to share posts regarding products on their social pages and can get instant feedback.

Target online advertising

Target ads have more than 5.3 times the response and support in increasing the CTR. Targeting the right audience is very simple when an online classified platform is used. By making use of analytics and insights, any entrepreneur can easily target his audience and can expect better returns.

Benefits of contemporary classified script

benefits classified scripts

The evolution in the classified ads industry has assisted aspiring entrepreneurs to commence an online classified ads platform instantly using a best classified script. These classified scripts offer innumerable benefits, endowing users with unprecedented convenience. The features and additional tools elevate the experience of both advertisers and platform admins. The true benefits of digital transformation is being by the contemporary classified industry.

Accessibility

The advent of online classified platforms has shown an unparallel accessibility, by granting individuals to buy and sell within the platform just by owning a stable internet connection. The convenience has broadened the scope of the audience and potential clientele. It also surpassed the limited reach of print classifieds.

Wide range of categories

Contemporary classified scripts are renowned for their comprehensive categories supporting multiple domains like real estate, job portals, electronics, professional services, and many more. the diversity empowers users to get access to multiple categories.

Search and filter options

65% of consumers prefer online classified platforms as they easily find products of their preference in less time with the help of search and filter options. By mentioning their search criteria like price, location, categories, and any specific keyword.

Multimedia support

The main advantage of transforming to online classified portals are they are not restricted to text and images alone. Users can have a visual aid to understand more about the product and this will help them decide on their purchase. 49% of marketers agree that visual marketing is very crucial in their marketing strategy. In a HubSpot survey conducted in 2018, 54% of consumers stated that they prefer video content about a brand or business they want to support.

Communication and messaging

Communication was the crucial part that was a little lacking in print-based classified ads. Consumers can contact sellers but only through their phones. The seller may be available only during his working hours. But with online classified platforms, multiple communication channels like in-app chat, live chat, messenger, and many more are available. More than 56% of global in-app chat users have agreed that they have collected all required information about the brand through their live chats (Facebook – report).

Users’ reviews and ratings

All classified scripts are integrated with reviews and ratings that will facilitate users to share their feedback and their experience with the brand. This way online classified platforms have attracted more audience as they give them a freedom to express their opinion. These features have a crucial role in building the business as 89% of consumers put effort into reading reviews and ratings given by consumers before they decide to buy a product.

Mobile apps and notifications

With the ascendance of smartphones, many online classified platforms have pioneered the development of mobile apps that will facilitate users to effortlessly access their services. In 2021 alone, more than 230 million apps were downloaded by consumers. These sophisticated mobile classified apps often feature push notifications that let consumers be informed about new arrivals and offers, regardless of their physical whereabouts.

Safety measures

In pursuit of bracing users’ safety, contemporary classified apps diligently institute innumerable security protocols. These encompass serious user verification procedures, sophisticated algorithms that are mainly utilized to detect fraudulent activities, and a comprehensive reporting system. All these measures are meticulously designed to diminish scams and deceitful activities.

Geolocation and local focus

As per the latest consumer poll, 61% of consumers accepted that they prefer to buy products from sellers who are located nearby their location. Getting on-time service is one of the main reasons. Online classified portals are integrated with geolocation mapping that will assist consumers to search and find nearby sellers. This facility can be offered through a robust classified script.

Paid advertising options

The basic ad posting for any user is completely free in many classified portals. At the same time, contemporary classified scripts will offer supplementary opportunities to every seller to amplify their products’ visibility through paid advertising options. This will support sellers to have a prominent display of their products, strategically positioned banner ads, and many more premium offerings that will elevate the significance of their listings. This will capture the attention of the discerning audience.

Challenges of online classified ads industry

challenges of classifieds ads industry

There is no industry or market without challenges. An entrepreneur needs to confront all sorts of challenges. The classified ads industry along with its evolution, its challenges also increased. Let us identify those challenges so that we can find solutions to them and run our classified business effectively.

#1. Trust and safety

The main formidable hurdle that is encountered by online classified ads portals is establishing trust and assurance of users’ safety. Classified platform users may need to face counterfeit listings, deceptive schemes, and untrustworthy sellers. This will be a persistent threat.

Solution

Classified scripts must ardently implement strict verification protocols. It should also provide transparency through users’ ratings. These measures will elevate the trust and will make users feel comfortable to engage, transact, and stay connected with the online classified platform.

#2. Spams and scams

Online classified platforms often become targets for scammers and spammers who employ deceptive tactics, fraudulent activities, and misleading information to deceive innocent users. Urgent attention is needed from classified platform owners to tackle the threats and keep users safe from spam and scams.

Solution

To overcome this security issue, platforms need to deploy sophisticated algorithms coupled with manual monitoring to eradicate all fraudulent activities. This comprehensive approach can proactively safeguard the credibility of the online classified platforms among users.

#3. Competition from other niche platforms

The projected revenue for the worldwide online classified market is anticipated to reach $32.33 billion. This proves that the market is having fierce competition. Any startup would struggle to survive among this tough competition from other niche platforms that meticulously cater to specific markets or segments.

Solution

Any startup would need a perfect marketing strategy to reach the target audience. One should analyze his competitors’ platforms and should identify their USPs. By understanding the consumers’ pain points, the platform should focus on features that will satisfy users’ needs.

#4. User experience

More than 45% of consumers have admitted that they abandon online platforms that offer poor user experience. Still, many classified platforms have convoluted navigation, cluttered layouts, or inadequate mobile optimization. This has the risk of dissuading users and they may easily abandon the platform and will move to competitors’ sites.

Solution

Users need to make sure that their classified scripts support streamlined navigation, and uncluttered layouts, and also should be mobile optimized. This will provide an environment to users where they can seamlessly engage with the portal which in turn leverages the platform’s functionalities.

Latest trends in online classified ads industry

latest trends in online classified ads industry

In the ever-evolving market of online classified ads, staying with the latest trends is paramount to success. With technology advancements and a continuous shift in users’ expectations, every classified platform needs to adapt to the latest trends to offer a seamless experience and enhance safety measures. Let us analyze the latest trends that are in online classified platforms.

Mobile Optimization

As a result of the dominance of mobile devices, online classified scripts are prioritizing mobile optimization with their platforms. By recognizing the shift to mobile usage, online classified platforms need to focus on designing a mobile responsive interface that can adapt seamlessly to different screen sizes.

Location-based services

Geolocation targeting is supporting online classified apps in a better way. It leverages the power of location data mainly to provide a seamless user experience based on the user’s location. Users can easily find products from their immediate vicinity which facilitates localized trading.

Enhanced-personalization

This is the most ascendant trend within the domain of online classified ads. Platforms can utilize users’ data, browse history, and their preferences to offer bespoke recommendations. This trend elevates users’ engagement with the platform and optimizes the conversion rate.

Integration of multimedia

There is a strategic integration of multimedia elements within every classified platform. This includes captivating images, immersive videos, and other attractive features. This will easily attract the attention of prospective buyers. Users will get well-informed details about the product which will help them to take their final decision about the purchase. It elevates the engagement level of the platform by offering a dynamic and visual environment.

AI and chatbots

AI tools are highly used in multiple niches. Technology has become unavoidable to simplify all business operations. AI chatbots can be integrated with the classified scripts that are harnessed to automate business tasks, and customer support services, address user inquiries, and offer instantaneous assistance in real-time. The cutting-edge technology enhances user engagement, streamlines communication channels, and escalates overall customer satisfaction.

Sustainability and social responsibility

This is an era that shows high awareness of sustainability and social responsibility. Users grow an inclination towards applications or platforms that prioritizes these noble principles. To gain users’ attention, many online platforms are embracing eco-friendly practices, educating users about reuse and recycling products, and building rapport with local communities.

Modern Classified Systems

modern classified platform

The contemporary classified ads industry has taken a new face to retain audience attention in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. Short videos are used as a unique marketing strategy to reach the target audience. Already online classified platforms were using videos but this is not about normal videos. It is all about short video which differs from the normal one in duration, attention span, content format, and purpose.

Short Video forms are ruling the world

Short videos in the classified ads industry take a significant role in leveraging the business and act as a powerful tool in increasing the conversion rate of the platform. Some of the significant benefits of using short videos are listed below.
Attention-grabbing content – short-form videos are found to be more engaging than long videos. Two-thirds of consumers (around 66%) have admitted that they prefer watching short-form videos 2.5 times more than long-form videos. They seem to the videos to be precise with catchy content.

  • Enhanced storytelling – classified ads marketers can tell compelling stories in a concise format. Through carefully crafted visuals and audio, short-form videos can evoke emotions and can easily convey brand narratives.
  • Shareability and virality – viewers easily share short-form videos that can go viral anytime and get unbelievable audiences to the classified platforms. The integration of social media channels, it makes simple for users to distribute short videos on their social media pages which will increase the platform traffic.
  • Mobile-friendly videos – all short-form videos are mobile-optimized and cater to the rise of micro-moments. With the proliferation of smartphones, short videos gain better accessibility and reach audiences at various touch points.

Conclusion

The metamorphosis of classified ads from print-based advertisements to online classified portals transcends geographical constraints, enabling sellers to target specific audiences, and optimizing the outreach efforts for better results. The digital landscape facilitates dynamic interactions and instantaneous communications between buyers and sellers.

Ultimately, the transformation of the classified ads industry symbolizes the journey of technological advancements and our ability to adapt to the changes in consumers’ preferences. It paves the way for a better and promising future that benefits buyers, sellers, and the admin of the platform.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author

Glory is a creative content writer whose writing has a deep connection with users and can provide SEO-friendly tech-driven content. Being a freelance content writer, all her writings meet the demands of any online business, solopreneur, start-up, and brand.