As far as the internet goes, we can buy or sell goods and services on several kinds of platforms. On one end we have E-commerce platforms (Jumia, kikuu); on the other, we have online markets, such as classified ad markets (kuza.cm).
Most people assume that the classified ad platforms (or the online marketplace in general), and e-commerce stores are the same things. It is true that both of these platforms enable business online.
Yet, there are many glaring differences between them, which is important for every Internet user to know!
1. E-commerce vs classified ad platforms, What are they?
E-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services online, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. But…, what if you saw a product ad online, contacted the buyer, and chose to continue your transaction offline; would we still call that E-commerce? I’ll answer that in a bit.
Classified ad platforms such as kuza.cm are a special kind of online marketplace, where people list goods or services for sale (classified ads); for others to find and purchase.”Special” because classified ad platforms only connect buyer and seller, the transaction is completed at their own discretion.
kuza.cm is Cameroon’s number one secured, free, and easy-to-use classified ad platform. One of its peculiarities is that it allows for a wide variety of products and services, even fairly used. It’s a genuinely open classified ad marketplace for Cameroonians.
2. Who owns the products or services?
In real-world marketplaces, the goods and services you find are owned by individual sellers (businessmen and women). This is exactly the same scenario with the online marketplace. We’ve just… moved the noisy markets onto the quiet “Internet.”
Thus, on the online marketplace, goods and services are owned by distinct persons, all selling from different angles. These marketplaces simply connect buyer to seller, though serving as moderators for payments.
As explained earlier in this article, classified ad markets are a kind of online marketplace. You must now see the difference, which is; payments are established at the discretion of the buyer and seller.
With e-commerce stores/shops, all products or services are owned by a said company; usually the owners of the website you’re using. All payments return to and are controlled by this company.
3. Who gets the money?
You must already deduce that the money is owned by whoever owns the products, isn’t it? If that’s the case, then you’re absolutely right! Payments are made to the owners of the products or services.
With classified ad platforms such as kuza.cm, products and services belong to different users, therefore; payments on their products or services return to these persons.
With e-commerce platforms such as kikuu or Jumia money from purchases, returns to the company in charge, the business that owns the e-commerce website, and all the products or services place on it.
4. Payment methods
As said before, classified ad platforms do not moderate payments on their websites. All they do is link the buyer to the seller or vice versa. So, a seller posts their product or service, in the form of an ad (classified ad).
A buyer sees this ad, contacts the buyer through the platform still, but for the money part… that’s no longer our problem! By “our” I mean the classified ad website owners. In general circumstances, payments here are made offline.
This is maybe the major difference between the classified ad platforms, and the general online marketplace, and even e-commerce platforms, where payments are completed online. If payment data isn’t transferred over the Internet, it’s not e-commerce.
Payment methods could be by cryptocurrency, credit or debit card, PayPal, cash app, Mobile money, etc. Again, this is only for the e-commerce stores or general online markets; not for classified ad markets!
5. What about delivery methods?
We have a tendency to find delivery methods on online shops these days, right? It has even become a marketing strategy for many. How do online shops (e-commerce stores) and online classified ad markets manage delivery methods?
Again, do not confuse the online shop with the online marketplace or the online classified ad marketplace (three different things!). That’s the whole point of this article. I would have failed woefully if you still do not get the difference at this point.
Online shops or e-commerce stores provide delivery methods, shipping, home delivery, or whatever! You might or might not have to pay for the delivery services, depending on the company. But, delivery methods are an integral part of e-commerce platforms.
With online classified ad platforms such as kuza.cm, delivery methods are left out of the picture. The job is almost done when buyer and seller are linked together, something which isn’t always easy to do in real-life.
This means, that the buyer and seller have to figure out a way to satisfy each other. They can come to an arrangement, on how to move the products or services; at their own discretion.
6. How are profits made?
At the end of the day, it’s just business, right? Well, not always! sometimes it’s about helping people, making a small contribution to society. If you’re wondering how each of these categories of online businesses makes their money, count yourself lucky, I’ll tell you.
E-commerce stores own the products or services you find on their platforms, that’s how they make their money; Jumia or kikuu, Leafly, etc. They sell their products or services to you, at a profit margin.
What about the open marketplaces, general or classified ads, how do they make money? Most online market places charge a fee for the successful transactions made on their platforms; Amazon, eBay, etc.
With most classified ad platforms, a fee is placed on any product or service you post (an ad). You must pay this amount before you can post an ad. To get your ad to the top lists for increased visibility, a promotion fee is usually required.
I’ll seize this opportunity to highlight that kuza.cm is one classified ad market with a difference. They charge absolutely no fee for ad posting, not even a dime! You only have to pay an extra fee for premium services.
Since payments are completed are your discretion, you cannot be charged a payment fee either! kuza. cm is surprisingly and amazingly free now. After the first 6 months, premium services will come at a small fee. The best part, kuza.cm is also void of ads!
7. What about more Examples?
Want more examples? We’ve got a tone!
Sample E-commerce platforms in Cameroon include; Eko Market Hub, Kikuu, Ubuy, Shoppinglist.cm, Access Douala, Limarket, Sellam Quick, Mokolo en ligne, Jumia, etc.
Sample classified ad platforms in or around Cameroon include; kuza.cm, Locanto, Mboppi, Afrimalin, Jumia deals. While most of these platforms are subsidiaries for foreign companies, kuza.cm is purely and originally made in Cameroon, for Cameroon.
Wrapping it up!
The objective of online classified ad platforms is to provide a safe marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect; in order to exchange their products and services. Products or services are usually posted as ads (classified ads).
For most classified ad markets/platforms, a fee is charged for each ad posted, but payments between buyer and seller are usually offline. But, with kuza.cm’s classified ad portal, you do not have to pay a dime for any of your ads.
The service is completely free for all Cameroonians. Want to find out more about how to get started buying or selling or kuza.cm for free, read this 3 step guide on how to register with kuza.cm
The objective of E-commerce platforms/stores/shops is to find customers for their products or services, online. Payments are usually completed online, profits return to these companies, while delivery is taken off.
These are the obvious yet tricky differences between the online marketplace, the classified ad market, and e-commerce stores.
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