Do-it-for-me service popular in Kenya, Nigeria

10 Oct 2017

Do It For Me (DIFM) is OLX’s paid service for busy or inexperienced users, which enables them to hand over the tasks of listing, phoning, negotiating, selling and delivering their pre-owned vehicles to so-called OLX Sales Champs.

OLX Nigeria first launched the service two years ago to increase site adoption after it noticed hesitant and ineffective usage among users. OLX Kenya, which has been searching for ways to generate income on its well-trafficked site, launched the service in Nairobi in April this year – in its auto category only.

“Some do not even know how to take and post good pictures or write persuasive descriptions of their items. So, they suffer poor sales and eventually are discouraged from using the platform,” Lola Masha, Nigerian country manager, explained at the launch of DIFM two years ago.

Uche Nwagboso, OLX PR manager in Nigeria (photo from her LinkedIn page with thanks)

Busy executives are also prime targets of the upsell.

In both countries, the service is gaining traction. OLX Nigeria communications manager Uche Nwagboso said in an email to us that from launch till now, “DIFM service buyers have grown eight times and the number of Champs have doubled, thanks to a growing workload”. In Nigeria, a Champ costs a non-negotiable fee of N3,000 ($8 U.S), plus a commission on the sale.

More than 1,000 vehicles have been listed by Champs for (mostly) busy individuals since the launch of DIFM in Kenya, Peter Ndiang’ui, OLX country manager in Kenya, told us in an email. “The DIFM sales ratio has grown to 14 percent per month,” he said (meaning 14 percent of all cars sold – editor).

In Kenya, the auto category is the most active OLX category. In September, OLX.co.ke received about 4.8 million visits (source: SimilarWeb). To use a Champs costs Sh2,000 ($19.70 U.S.) in booking fees plus an after-sales commission.

The service, though only available in Nairobi, is generating the platform more listings and revenue. In the near future, the company plans to make it available in other parts of the country. A recent survey by OLX showed that 47 percent of its users want the company more involved in transactions on the platform. (OLX Kenya also considers rolling DIFM out to the real estate category. Our report here.)

Ndiang’ui mentioned another benefit of the service: “Previously, we didn’t know how many vehicles were sold, because we were not involved in transactions. This service now gives us the opportunity to track the number of vehicles sold by our Champs.”

DIFM offers convenience and safety to users and ultimately improves user experience for the brand. Should it continue to gain traction, it may well be picked up by OLX sites in other country markets, since they are free to innovate as they deem fit.

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Adegoke Seun

Adegoke Seun Oyeniyi is a business intelligence and media consultant specialized in helping foreign companies understand or penetrate African markets. He is also an award-winning business writer with Ashoka Scholar and 2016 Media Prize to his credit. He is the AIMGroup West Africa analyst covering major markets like Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana.