Classifieds Websites in India-Market size and leaders, an analysis - Professionals - Marketing - TIK Share
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Classifieds Websites in India-Market size and leaders, an analysis

CA Pulkit Sharma


Newspaper classifieds

What does? In simple terms, is a website containing information of business and services along with other details which are not available on classifieds published in papers.

Justdial with a valuation of more than Rs. 10,000 crores is one of the highest profits making classifieds website of India. Gone are the days when newspaper ruled the classifieds market. In last 10 years more than 50% of the newspapers have died from not able to compete with online classifieds.

In not very long past, newspaper classifieds were one of the main sections to look for job openings, services, offers etc. But now what people do is just Google.


Newspapers are losing the classifieds market and online classifieds are capturing it. The change was so fast that newspaper took a long time to understand it. But now damage is beyond repair.


It looks very difficult for newspapers to capture the lost share due to following reasons:

  1. People search subjected information on Google and just because the website is owned by an established newspaper does not bring information on first page of Google.
  2. Brands are already established and it’s very easy to enter the online classifieds market.
  3. Established websites already have huge data to analyze the market and accordingly capture the opportunities.


Advantages of Online classifieds over the traditional newspaper classifieds

ITS FREEEEEEE!!!!! Can something beat it? Yes most of the online classifieds websites are free. Advertisers don’t have to pay anything to get listed.

Here is a bulleted list of advantages advertising in a classifieds website over traditional newspaper classifieds:

  1. Online classifieds are free of cost.
  2. Information stays for longer. If one advertise in newspapers, impact if for a day or two. But advertisements on online classifieds are saved forever.
  3. It’s easy to search information in online classifieds. It’s not possible to do CTR+F in newspapers; neither have we had Google facility in newspapers.
  4. It’s very easy to analyze the data and reach of your ad. With online ads you can easily find, how effective your ad was.
  5. You don’t have to spend a lot on color advertisements with photos.
  6. Quick action is possible compared to newspaper ads.
  7. Reviews matters a lot and reviews are possible only in online advertisement.
  8. Users have the facilities to filter the advertisements according to their requirements.
  9. Advantages of social media. It’s possible to share online advertisements on social media.
  10. Online advertisements are cost effective. If ad posted with full details and unique descriptions, it can rank on first page of Google. Your ad will get more views and publicity without any cost.
  11. Comprises of extensive ad space and structure, Longer messages and use of graphical text.


How Online Classifieds websites Make Money and how the revenue model is designed

IF by reading this article you thought that online classifieds are completely free, you are wrong!!! Though posting your ad on classifieds is completely free but getting attention costs. For example, you can post advertisement on Justdial for free, but to get the clients or customers you need to pay.

Basically the revenue model of all classifieds websites is almost same and this is how it works.

  1. Pay and get your ad on top.
  2. Pay and get referrals. Most of the classifieds websites have the facility for users to input their requirements and then these requirements are sent to users those who have paid.
  3. Classifieds websites also sale users data to earn money. For example, suppose a website developing website require data of all business organization not having websites. Classifieds websites provide the list of all advertisers who have not provided their website names while submitting advertisement.
  4. If we consider even the job portal in our subject, they work purely as HR consultants.
  5. Direct advertisements are one of the main source incomes.

Market size of Online Classifieds and leaders of Market

At a rough estimation online classifieds market stands at Rs. 3000 Crore. However this market is shared by thousands of classifieds websites. Other than Justdial, no other site has such a high valuation. Quikr and OLX have the highest listings, but Justdial is more reliable.

OLX and Quikr are top players in Buy and Sell segment, Justdial is leader in Business information segment.

The market is now becoming more saturated and tough war is going on between Quikr and OLX. The market has matured in last 5 years and new entrants have to come with good marketing budget or better ideas.

The market share of various online classifieds website is tabulated below (Based on Alexa Ranking and other research using Internet):

Classifieds Websites in India-Market size and leaders, an analysis

  1. Quikr and OLX together hold a market share of more than 60%.
  2. Justdial is third on the list.
  3. Holding market share does not mean company is making profit.
  4. OLX and Quikr, yet to fix their revenue model.
  5. Justdial has monopoly on classifieds information over phone.
  6. Classifieds other than top 3 websites (Quikr, OLX and Justdial) holds a market share of 5% and their main source of income is direct advertisements.

Future of online classifieds

Future of online classifieds without any doubt is economically strong. With profit margins of newspapers declining, all big newspapers have started their own classifieds websites on internet. The tough competition will throw low quality websites out of market and quality will prevail.

Mobile phones will play a major role in deciding the winners of this market. Already a huge population use mobile phones to find and search information.  With growth of internet, online classifieds market will grow faster. Still a large population of India is not online and a vast market is left untouched.

Currently on an average 20 crore Indians are using internet and we can estimate what would be the market size once whole nation start using internet.

Stock Guru


Although the classified market is roaring but I doubt the valuation of Quikr and OLx. I do not believe that these companies will be able to give back what is already invested ans wasted in advertisements.

The market size is huge and market is growing at good speed. Internet penetration is at a faster rate than ever, but Indian market is enjoying the free fruits and it will be really difficult to charge them.

No one would like to see a cut in their selling price than how will these sites make money that remains a big unanswered question.