Online advertising on the rise in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean newspapers are starting to fill the pinch as online advertising is taking over, cheaper and more efficient – a move that indicates that Zimbabweans are becoming more computer and cyber active.

One company reported that while it started off with 5.000 products advertised on its platform, three months down the line it has doubled that number. spokesperson, Hayley Sebborn, said her company opened shop in September 2009 with 75 storefronts, 1 000 registered advertisers and 5 000 products on line.

“4 months later we have 150 storefronts, over 3,500 registered advertisers and over 10 000 products advertised with us,” she said.

Sebborn added that when they started operating in September last year, they had 1 500 visitors a day. “Four months later, we now have over 3 500 visitors a day, and over 200.000 pages viewed a day,” she explains.

The company spokesperson said they started off with three different websites in 2005 focusing on the property, the computer industry and the auto industry. “We then decided to merge all three sites into, and add another 17 top level categories to encompass all classifieds categories”, said Sebborn.

The added categories include books, building, clothes, commodities, cell phones, art and crafts, electronics and TV’s, events, farming, dating, groceries, health, home and office, jobs, toys, travel, video and music.

Their platform allows clients to post an unlimited number of adverts with pictures, prices and details on the website.

“There is an optional fee per month for a personalized storefront, which provides your own logo and own categories within a mini website that you can call your own, and your adverts appearing before those companies without storefronts”, continues Sebborn.

The company spokesperson said the facility also allows the company’s logo next to all yours adverts, clickable through to your Storefront, your company listed on the Stores Page within your industry, and your own newsletter which people can subscribe to, you can email your mailing list from the website.

She said within each advert people are able to click and view all your listings.

“This is not available for free adverts,” Sebborn confirmed.

She said as soon as a client posts their advert it appears online for all users to see, and it is free to post an unlimited number of adverts with pictures, prices and details on the website.

Online advertising is reportedly cheaper than conventional methods such as newspaper and radio advertising.

“It is a lot cheaper than conventional advertising. As we said, you can post adverts for free, get a Storefront for $30 per month and get your own website for $30 per month,” she said.

Sebborn explains the main advantages of online advertising: it is quick and easy to post an advert, there are no web skills or design skills required and customers can view all the products, pictures and prices for 24 hours a day.

“We work with a number of online newspapers and the online advertising banner advert growth has approximately increased 50 percent a year. The growth is slow and steady. On, we have seen an increase of 100 percent in 4 months”, she concluded.

By Marcus Mushonga