Gumtree South Africa has a mature market to thank for its most successful year to date. That is how Johan Nel, Gumtree SA director and general manager, explained the site’s sparkling performance in 2017.

In an interview with MyBroadband, he said the site had experienced its fastest growth yet this year. Gumtree SA started operating in the country 11 years ago. 

Gumtree SA director Johan Nel said the site achieved its fastest annual growth yet in 2017 (photo from his LinkedIn profile with thanks)

Nel based this assessment on Gumtree SA’s core metrics. He said the whole e-commerce space in SA was reinvigorated this year.

Rising economic pressure forced cash-strapped South Africans to venture into e-commerce. Platforms, such as Gumtree, provide them with lucrative business opportunities. Nel said Gumtree has empowered South African entrepreneurs, giving them a space to launch their businesses.

“No vertical demonstrated this more clearly than the automotive arena, where a record number of dealerships added classifieds to their sales strategies,” Nel added.

Despite rising new car prices and vehicle-financing restrictions; of the site’s informal traders managed to generate monthly turnovers of close to R4.6 billion ($362 million U.S.).

The year 2018 will see the business renew its focus on the quality of its user experience. Nel said Gumtree plans to roll out improved advertising services through Gumtree Media.

“South Africa is on the cusp of a new, smarter era of online advertising and Gumtree will lead the charge,” he concluded.

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