Gumtree has pioneered a new stock inventory management system that could give small and medium businesses (SMEs) an affordable competitive edge.
Gumtree ProTool for Goods, which costs a non-contractual month-to-month fee of R199, enables smaller businesses to efficiently use the Gumtree online platform as a business shop window.
It allows the user access to all advertised stock with full tracking; notes where the items are being sold and when the best days of sale are; prompts with ad suggestions for items that have been on the site for longer than 60 days; displays margins; and gives access to analytics for site data to improve decision making.
Barrie Swart, Country Head: Gumtree Goods, says ProTool for Goods is aimed at becoming the go-to inventory management system for South African SME’s. It is the second of multiple planned ProTool platforms – ProTool for Property was the first to be launched and ProTool for Jobs will be next.
SMEs represent the backbone of the SA economy with some estimates suggesting they provide 60% of the country’s employment. And they’re becoming more tech savvy with a recent survey by Arthur Goldstuck predicting that internet penetration of these businesses will exceed 50% this year.
Swart notes that such businesses have been making good use of Gumtree as a marketing platform which reaches nearly a million unique goods-related visits every month.
“We already carry ads from over 100 000 users who are ‘professional sellers’ each month,” says Swart. “Many of these sellers were dependent on stock management packages that were either extremely basic (such as Excel) or very expensive (such as Sage Pastel). We wanted to provide a system that was both more powerful and more affordable.”
Denise Knight, who runs a business selling imported cell phone accessories via Gumtree, says she would previously upload imports as soon as they were received and then track them individually. “We would have to login, locate the ad in order to delete or change the available amount of a particular item, and then make it live again,” says Knight. ProTool has resolved that issue.
“Adding a powerful inventory management system to South Africa’s largest selling platform is going to change the landscape for SMEs, for the better,” says Swart.