The evolution of the online classifieds marketplace has been heavily influenced by technological advancements in relation to the internet’s fast expansion and increased commercial use as the number of internet users in emerging nations grows.
The online classified advertisements market size is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.8%, with a value of $380.92 billion by the year 2030. This surge is due in part to an increase in demand for social selling services which assists in the development of timely results on social media, further allowing businesses to take advantage of one of the most cost-effective and targeted forms of advertising. With the rise of the internet era, classified advertisers are providing more on-demand services, resulting in consumers moving away from traditional forms of advertising to a more digital focus.
The classified ads market is extremely competitive due to a large number of competitors in the industry. In order to stay competitive, companies must stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry. In this article, we will review 5 future trends in classified ads that will keep companies competitive in the space.
1. The Growth in Mobile Advertisements
It is projected that in 2027, in the classified advertising industry, 49% of total ad spending will be generated through mobile devices. Many factors have contributed to driving growth in the market including the rise in the use of mobile wallets. By 2025 it is estimated that 4.8 billion mobile wallets will be in use which is almost 60% of the world’s population. This is a rise of 74% from the end of 2020. Mobile wallets use is growing rapidly across the world in emerging markets with regions such as North America, Latin America, and Southeast Asia leading the way. This poses an opportunity for classified advertisers to promote their offers and allow consumers to make purchases in a faster and more secure way.
Furthermore, smartphone users are projected to grow to 7.69 billion users in 2027 in comparison to 6.57 billion users in 2022. This rising figure corresponds to an increase in mobile applications designed specifically for classified advertising. As a result, these online classified advertisers are competing for the same audience which further emphasizes the importance of having a mobile presence in order to remain competitive in the industry.
Displaying classified ads on mobile devices can also provide many technical advantages such as cross-device compatibility and personalization opportunities.
2. Enhanced Videos and Images
When it comes to online purchases, the usage of product images and videos has been shown to help buyers make an informed choice. In the real estate industry, for example, 84 percent of home buyers said they would not even consider a property without photographs of the property. Classified advertisers are now able to display high-resolution images and videos in order for purchasers to help narrow down their options in a more timely manner so as to avail of the most suitable property in their price range.
Images of products in classified advertisements can easily be shared as they come in small sizes which are supported on all social and digital platforms. Videos, on the other hand, provide a larger impact on online search as they have both aural and visual engagement factors which allow the viewer to obtain more information. Depending on the type of classified ad, the product, and what the overall focus is both photographs and videos have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Videos require more advanced technology than photos, however, they bring a more effective way of telling a story that is suitable for real estate classifieds. Photos, however, have reduced production costs and can be processed quickly which is more suitable for car classifieds.
Utilizing innovations such as drone photography can enable classified advertisers to capture impactful aerial images and videos for their target audience without the necessary skills or cost of a professional photographer. Using drone footage on classified websites and social networking platforms can boost brand awareness, especially when videos are used to boost online engagement.
3. The Transition of the Online Classifieds Business Model
Historically, classified advertisers earned profit through the promotion of ads by users who advertise on their site or in their applications. Many classified ad services are changing their business models into marketplaces in order to diversify their revenue streams.
By adopting a marketplace business model, classified advertisers can earn interest in sales, commission, and placement fees. This benefits both sellers and purchasers as oftentimes the online classifieds website will take responsibility for delivering and regulating the payment for items, further guaranteeing that transactions are straightforward and secure. An example of this is one of Adevinta’s brands, Jófogásone – a leading online classifieds site in Hungary, which offers door-to-door delivery after a transaction has been completed.
Furthermore, in order to avoid fraudulent listings, several classifieds sites, such as eBay and Gumtree, have partnered with escrow account services to give buyers and sellers a safe means to exchange high-value commodities.
4. First-Party Data
In an industry report, 44.8% of classified advertisers responded that big data was seen as the most important industry consideration for the coming years. Big data enabled classified advertisers to precisely determine target audiences, forecast customer behavior, and ultimately helped the online classifieds market evolve more efficiently.
With third-party cookies being phased out by 2023, classified advertisers must evolve and develop first-party data strategies in order to obtain similar, if not better, and more accurate customer data. For online classifieds websites, this could include requirements for buyers and sellers to sign up to the website to be able to communicate with each other. Obtaining this information will assist classified advertisers in enhancing the overall customer experience and building trust.
5. Artificial Intelligence
There are many ways that online classifieds can utilize artificial intelligence and many companies are increasingly investing more in AI technology. For instance, in job classified sites, AI and machine learning have the capability to analyze candidates CV’s, their qualifications, and experience to determine if the candidates should be sent to recruiters. This can greatly reduce employee and operational costs. Similarly, in real estate classifieds, AI is used to find accommodations for users based on their previous requests, preferences, and demographics.
The online classified advertisement domain is also a target for spammers due to its huge economic potential, and this has become one of the most significant difficulties impeding the continued growth of online classifieds. AI technology can be used on classified sites as a means of spam detection by filtering out spam postings from those which are legitimate. Utilizing AI in this way will create a sense of trust that can often be a challenge in the online classifieds industry.
The online classifieds industry continues to grow and evolve with new competitors entering the market annually. Many of these competitors utilize tactics surrounding the trends discussed in order to gain a competitive advantage and improve their market share. With many challenges and opportunities within the industry, and major growth predicted in the coming years, it is an exciting market to be involved in and one to continuously keep up-to-date with trends.