The goals

OLX is a global online marketplace that operates in 40 countries, throughout South East Asia, Latin America and Europe. Owned by Naspers – one of the world’s leading platforms for the internet, video entertainment and media – the classified ads platform serves all verticals, from merchandise to real estate to automotive.

When someone needs to create a classified ad – to sell a car, list an apartment, sell an item, etc. – they post to OLX’s Horizons platform.

And every month, hundreds of millions of people in local markets around the world generate more than 1.7 billion visits, 35 billion page views, and 54 million listings to OLX.

“We looked to Mixpanel to track and analyze everything user related that’s happening within our apps and websites,” said Jeremy Castan, product analyst at OLX.

As OLX consolidates several of its regional mobile apps, one of the business’ objectives was to have better data governance moving forward (including a single codebase to manage moving forward). With Mixpanel, OLX is able to cultivate strong data integrity.

“Mixpanel is our main data source to get the analysis we need to improve our product and understand user behavior.” -Jeremy Castan, Product Analyst, OLX
OLX interface

The solution

With Mixpanel, Jeremy and the OLX team uncover user insights to optimize the ad placement experience for both the seller and the buyer.

“Once we knew Mixpanel could handle OLX’s large volume of data, we then worked closely with our developers and product managers to ensure that what we were tracking would help us reach our goals,” Jeremy said.

“Today Mixpanel is our main data source to get the analysis we need on our product and user behavior,” he continued.

“If we want to know what a user is doing just before he posts a listing, we can look into his journey to see what actions he took. Did he post photos to his ad? Did he favorite something on the list and come back later? What ultimately led a user to convert? We can get those answers from Mixpanel.”

"We trust Mixpanel to query quickly and give us insights on the entire user journey instantly."

The results

Digging deeper to understand user flows

OLX depends on Mixpanel to measure their high-level KPIs, such as the number of people who post ads, sell items and services, and reply at a global level. But OLX can get even more granular insight on user behavior.

“We track over 500 events with over 1,000 unique properties. Mixpanel’s event-based tracking gives us the flexibility and specificity we’re looking for in understanding our users’ journey within a given flow. In addition, Mixpanel gives us the high-speed performance we need when querying large volumes of data on our site,” Jeremy said.

Mixpanel allows OLX to uncover high-level conversion metrics. And with Javascript Query Language (JQL) the team can identify insights they need to understand how product influences funnel conversion and the actions users take.

Improving conversion rates with product analytics

For OLX, knowing why someone abandoned a posting flow is crucial to making improvements to the product that reduce drop-off rates. With better funnels come higher yields for OLX.

The team measures the conversion rate between the loads and posting success. However, Mixpanel gets even more specific by tracking the “last touch” a user makes in the product before they abandon the flow.

“What was he or she doing before leaving the form? What can we learn about our product that prevents them from completing a posting form? These are the questions we can answer with product analytics.”

Making the posting flow a seamless process is especially important for non-professional users who come to OLX to sell real estate or automobiles, Jeremy said.

If it’s made easier for someone to post photos or pay for a higher quality ad, then OLX will ultimately process more classifieds and gain more traction on the platform.

For example, by removing unnecessary fields that users didn’t engage with, the product team could increase time to purchase.

In addition, when users arrive at the multi-pay page, the OLX team saw that many users left within five seconds of arriving on the page. With this insight, the product teams hypothesized that pricing needed to be more clearly communicated along the journey. That way, users aren’t surprised they have to pay to place an ad when they arrive on the page.

But it’s not just about identifying where the conversion funnel breaks down, but using Mixpanel to also identify the series of actions users take when successfully completing a purchase, on the buyer or seller side.

What's next

As one of the world’s leading classified ads platforms, OLX is committed to making product improvements to serve its users. Product team members suggest they should be making changes such as removing fields, changing pricing and ad packages. As for the analysts, they’ll depend on Mixpanel to determine the impact these decisions will ultimately have on the business and its users.

“The good news is that we can test everything with Mixpanel,” Jeremy said, “Our team is looking forward to experimenting so we know for sure if our hypotheses are true or null.”

As the analysts at OLX work alongside product team members, they’ll be able to prove what will make the most effective improvements to the platform and improve the overall user experience.