The marketplace industry in Tanzania has been focused on b-to-c sales up until now. Brick-and-mortar stores have used these sites to access more customers and online marketplaces have mainly catered to corporates and established businesses.
After 10 years of operation, Zoom Tanzania sees around 1 million monthly visitors, according to SimilarWeb. It’s got 170 business clients who buy packages that include storefront pages and boosted featured ads. But the c-to-c market remains largely untapped. The site’s classified segment brings in only 10 percent of its revenue.
Tanzania’s Communications Regulatory Authority has said the number of internet users in the country rose to 23 million this year, representing 16 percent growth. Around 3 to 4 million of these users also use social media and with a per capita GDP of $900, they represent a significant, potential c-to-c market. Data from Facebook and Instagram’s Buy/Sell activities suggest that only 5 to 10 percent of them are already c-to-c traders.
“Zoom is aiming to attract up to 5 percent of the available c-to-c market,” ROAM head of horizontals Brenna Excell told the AIM Group. But it won’t be looking to drive revenue from this market just yet. Instead, the horizontal will focus on growing its user base, improving user experience, producing quality leads and fostering trust and transparency.
Zoom Tanzania is a clear leader in its market and this new strategy could unlock new, still unchallenged, revenue streams. When Ringier Africa bought a 51 percent stake in the company in 2014, it was almost breaking even.