Snapdeal has expanded its product portfolio by launching its Online Education marketplace recently. In order to make education and learning accessible to all, it has tied up with six e-learning websites – Edukart, Test Funda, Meritnation, Mock Bank, Mati Gati and Practice Guru. This marks the entry of Snapdeal into the services category.
The available options range skill building courses, online school courses and educational cd’s. To access a course, user has to purchase an e-voucher for the required course on snapdeal, following which he/she receives username, password and instructions on activation and usage. Once activated, user can use the course at his/her convenience.
Over the next two-three months, about 150 merchants are expected to tie-up with snapdeal, thus broadening the subjects/courses offered currently. It is the first and currently the only online education marketplace in India.
While it’s a new concept in India, it has been around for a while abroad. Elearning, based out of UK, was launched as a time saving and cost effective platform of e-learning so buyers could compare and purchase digital learning products. In China, Alibaba group launched an online education marketplace through its site online shopping site Taobao in December 2013. Learnable is another online education marketplace which was launched by Australian company Sitepoint to enable users to learn new courses ranging from skill based topics to technology based topics.
Opportunity for sellers
Education has always been a lucrative sector. Add to it the online aspect and the online education market in India is expected to touch a value of about USD 3-4 billion over the next few years. Services bring in more profit as the aspect of physical distribution of goods is absent, hence service based product are more lucrative with potential for high rate of growth.
As snapdeal already has plans to expand the number of tie-ups to offer more courses/cd’s, it is the ideal point of entry for a seller looking to sell educational products. If it’s a new concept/product, he/she will have the first mover advantage in the Indian online education marketplace world.
Also, with tablets and smartphones being more accessible, more and more people are adapting to the convenience of online solutions. An online education marketplace can boost the sales of laptops, tablets and smartphones also and combo offers can be worked out for promoting the educational product and the devices needed to access it.
The online education marketplace idea is very new and fresh. Experts have predicted that with the increasing popularity of mobile internet usage and expanding middle class, online teaching methods are a threat to conventional teaching methods. Inspite of these, we can only wait and watch to know if it really does become a game changer.