Craigslist is the big daddy on the block for housing searches. The old-school listings board has historically enjoyed owning the largest inventory in most markets and therefore enjoyed the most users. But The List that Craig Built has been notoriously slow to create a mobile presence and now that intransigence is costing them dearly. The housing startup Apartmentlist has recently charged ahead and grabbed the most inventory in 60% of the top 100 national markets, contrasted to Craigslist’s now 30% ownership.
The mobile chorus has been singing loud and clear for years now, yet so many companies – like Craigslist – have been slow to transfer their competence over to iOS and Android platforms. Mobile browsing, especially in an active shopping context like apartment hunting or restaurant finding, is important because it translates to more direct actions than traditional desktop browsing. ApartmentList Mobile has seen customers who are 500% more engaged and much more loyal on mobile than on desktop. In all, mobile access accounts for 43% of ApartmentList’s total traffic. The company has stated that the average mobile user views 18 properties per session, and goes one to use the app for six sessions. With those impressive stats, it is easy to see why ApartmentList has shifted much of its focus over to mobile and released an new iOS app two days ago. Craigslist, meanwhile, rolled out a grid view feature to browes its ads. And that’s about it.
It remains to be seen if Craigslist will shift towards a mobile startegy in time to avoid being completely disrupted in the housing market by ApartmentList and others of its ilk. Whatever Craigslist does, this very explanatory tale of mobile disruption paints a stark picture of why every business should be looking to mobile and focusing their strategy.
Image source: PandoDaily
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