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Gumtree SA renovated with improved interface, seeks ‘mobile-only’ focus

Celebrating eight years of bartering everything from second-hand cars to divorcees trying to sell off their side of the bed, Gumtree South Africa‘s website has recently been revamped to highlight the start of a fresh new year.

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Bigger fonts, less clutter and a more visually appealing gallery are some of the things you’ll notice when you visit the eBay-owned online classifieds. In a recent press release, Gumtree also points out that other crucial elements such as the Related Ads, Most Popular Ads, and a more synchronised Watchlist have been improved.

The head of Gumtree, Bart Molenda, says, “New innovations — specifically mobile features — have been instrumental in attracting growth and unlocking new markets that were previously not easily reached.” Gumtree SA has learnt a lot from its international peers but still faces a unique market with unique opportunities.

Over 50% of the site’s total page views come from mobile devices which obviously means a lot for a site like Gumtree in South Africa. Mobile is expected to overtake PC this year, and Molenda says Gumtree is working towards a “mobile-only” view of the market. Through this he plans to further leverage features such as geolocation and mobile transactions.

Furthermore, an extensive moderation infrastructure automates user background checks, backed up by a large customer service contingent of reviews ads. The Gumtree community can also flag listings that push the boundaries and smell fishy.

Like other classifieds, Gumtree has been known for its notorious scams in the past, but is said to be implementing greater measures to root out this issue. Molenda says, “overall, the quality of our listings is the best. Sometimes something slips through, which is hard to avoid with the biggest classifieds site in the business. But we’re doing everything we can to prevent abuse.”

Gumtree is currently the sixth-biggest site in South Africa (Alexa, Dec 2013).

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