With the online retail scenario in full boom in India, anything that can be sold or is needed by people seems to be making its way online. What started off with books and music has now extended to home appliances and even food in some places.
The latest to join the array of products being offered is ‘Services’. If reports are to be believed, online marketplace askmebazaar has plans to launch its ‘Services’ category by the end of next year. Consumers would have the option of opting for facilities like painting, plumbing and carpentry through one single platform.
“I want to sell everything from forging equipments, aircrafts to nuts and bolts on askmeBazaar.com. We do not sell services as of now but we will look at it at a later date. Once we have stabilised on the product side,” askmeBazaar.com CEO Kiran Murthi told PTI.
According to Murthi, he wants to offer customer utility services like home services and restaurant services through the platform. He is also looking at extending the product offerings to include as many choices as possible for consumers.
“We have lots to do on the product side. I am working on selling digital downloads, grocery, bulk buying (of fruits, groceries etc), bulbs, tubes, fans and faucets,” Murthi said.
At an expansion rate of 170 new sellers per day, askmebazaar wants to have about two lakh sellers across different product categories by the end of next year. With a seller base of around 17,000 currently, the platform is a part of GOSF 2014 in all the categories.
Is askmebazaar the first to offer these in India?
Although askmebazaar is not the first, it could be the first prominent marketplace to these utility services in India. Now there are small players like easyfix (home maintenance and repair company based in Delhi) and onefix (network of home improvement professionals catering to Delhi, Faridabad and Chandigarh) which offer services on a very small scale.
Amazon.com’s marketplace for local services
There is speculation in the international ecommerce block about Amazon’s possible launch of an online marketplace exclusively for local services required by consumers on an everyday basis. Although it is not confirmed, several services like babysitters, handymen, birthday clowns etc. could be offered.
The ecommerce giant would probably roll this out after gauging the demand and feasibility of operations.
Scope for services offered online
Recently, Snapdeal tied up with Tata Housing to enable consumers to do online booking for Tatat Value Home projects. They will have to pay Rs 30,000 for booking via the Snapdeal platform.
Even real estate coming on an online marketplace just shows the potential and popularity of online retail in India. Considering the rush in everyone’s life everyday now, being able to book a plumber or electrician online would probably be an instant hit with consumers. However, would etailers be able to guarantee and sustain quality and service from these plumbers and electricians is what would decide the extent of success. Don’t you think?