He starts off by highlighting a crucial factor needed for any business strategy: Focus on your customer.
“It all starts with having a really good understanding of your business, specifically what you do for your customers,” explains Voogd. “If you stopped existing, what would the customers miss? What do you do that no one else does? Make sure that the job the customers expect you to do is done with distinction! Because, in a time where everyone seems to be trading online, this will ultimately be the key differentiator that will make you more successful.”
And with over 100,000 ads posted on Gumtree in a day, 8.6m monthly unique users, 56.9m visits per month and over 1.7m ads live on site, it seems that Gumtree is definitely leaning in the right direction – despite reports of fraud and scam.
Undeterred, Voogd seems to have made it his mission to steer Gumtree towards a more positive perception with consumers and business. This also means tweaking the site here and there.
“We’re now seeing 13,000 cars posted on Gumtree each day and we’re by far the biggest C2C car listings site in the UK. So we try and make the experience as good as possible in ‘motors’ and in ‘general stuff for sale’ as those are the most popular categories on the site. It’s worked so far, so my advice to other businesses would be to get led by your customers! They’ll show you exactly what it is they want.
“That also includes the ability to sell or buy from wherever they are, when the mood suits them. People have been buying and selling items from each other as long as we can remember – the only thing that has changed is where we buy and sell from each other. It used to be at home or at marketplaces and ports, then in the media, newspapers, now everyone really enjoys using the internet. Consumers not only want mobility, they demand it, whether you’re a small, local or big business!
“Always check on with your users! They can be brutally honest, but will always give you good ideas or a good indication of where to change the product next. And make the experience fun!”
Fun, indeed, much like eBay, there are some unique artifacts floating around on the site! We decided to take a peek:
- A male was looking for two female Europeans to share his very “manly apartment”;
- An unused Viagra notepad;
- A mentalist for hire who can supposedly summon demons;
- A mobility scooter that doesn’t even work anymore on sale for £100;
- 100 empty beer bottles; and
- Two Range Rover Sport Lumma CLR-RS, only three of which were manufactured in the world.
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