When the largest buy and sell and site in the Philippines – Sulit.ph – decided it was time to fork over and merge with OLX, many users felt that the loss of the brand name is what makes the deal uncomfortable.
For so many years, Sulit has been the go-to site for Filipinos who want to buy and/or sell their things online. Forget traditional methods of buying and selling newspapers. Forget eBay Philippines. Sulit made it easy to buy a product from another Filipino or to sell items to others. The company’s presence and use was so strong among consumers.
However, the recent merger to OLX made them much stronger – and more flexible.
Many changes have happened to Sulit, which has now moved to a new domain known as OLX.ph. Other than altering the colors to blue and green, the buy and sell site made it a point to combat fraudulent transactions.
One of the key methods in doing this is by prioritizing the buyer’s location in every search query within the site’s search bar. For example, if one were to type the word “2nd hand iPhone” on OLX’s search bar, it will prioritize advertisements which are within one’s location and only show those advertisements in the return results.
In this way, it is easy for both the buyer and seller to meet each other offline and the buyer will have the opportunity to inspect the products being sold.
More Focus on Consumer to Consumer Transactions
Sulit was once the go-to hub not just for individual buyers, but also for online stores and companies who hoped to tap the website’s many consumers. A particular company no longer has to create a website and direct customers to buy from their website. With Sulit, the online store or company can create its own profile page and post advertisements directly on the buy and sell website.
While this is still a growing trend, OLX now wants to focus on facilitating consumer-to-consumer transactions. This means that they want individuals to sell their products, and individuals to buy products from others. To promote this, OLX launched a very popular TV advertisement where people are encourage to sell their items they are not using anymore.
We’ve previously reported on how mobile penetration is increasing in the Philippines. In fact, most phone owners these days have low-to-mid ranged Android phones from Samsung and local brands like MyPhone and Cherry Mobile. Perhaps it is because of this that OLX responded by making the website more smartphone-friendly. The company’s iOS and Android apps were fixed to be on par with the desktop website.
Initially, OLX also tried adding local dialect versions of the website. They test launched a Cebuano version. However, the company found out that people are already comfortable using the English version of the website. Due to this finding, efforts were put elsewhere, such as building a team in Cebu, as well as the aforementioned changes in the website, including website design and smart search filtering based on location.
Indeed Sulit, now OLX Philippines, has done a great deal of changes – from its humble beginnings of launching it from their bedroom in Rizal province to the recent merger with OLX. Competition in the buy and sell space in the country is tough, but OLX is still winning by a great margin.