While discussing its results for the quarter ended Sep 30, 2013 (Q2-FY14), online and telephone business listings service JustDial had mentioned plans of launching a price discovery engine, however at the time it hadn’t disclosed any specific information on the service.
Elaborating on this during the company’s earnings conference call last month, JustDial founder and CEO VSS Mani said the initial version of this service dubbed as ‘Get Quote’, will be providing information about the products and respective vendors, following which users will start getting real quotes right upfront and there will be a ‘Buy Now’ tab which will allow users to purchase the product.
Mani claimed the experience will be quite similar to existing e-commerce stores, except for the fact that JustDial will be acting only as a facilitator and will not be keeping any inventory of its own or be involved in fulfillment of these products or services. It will however be offering price difference between these vendors along with a rating system.
JustDial has apparently already started educating the vendors on this service but there will be some initial time lag between vendors adopting the service and them publishing their current live rates on the platform. Until then, the service will work like a quick quote service wherein users can request for a quote and get competitive quotes from vendors. This is quite similar to what we’d earlier reported earlier, although the service was then called Quick Quotes and that website continues to be password protected.
While there is currently no information on how these quotes will be delivered to users, there are some indicators like email and SMS later in the concall, which ties with our earlier report which had suggested that vendor information would be sent to consumers via SMS and/or email.
While testing this product, Mani claimed that one of their colleagues bought a camera for Rs 200 less than a “hugely discounted” deal from an e-commerce site. What’s also particularly interesting was that the vendor apparently landed up with two different color variants for the buyer to choose from, since the latter was confused on which color should he opt for and also taught him how to use the camera.
He also claimed the delivery happened within 3.5 hours of placing the order, as compared to a typical 2-3 days waiting period in e-commerce sites.
As for when the service is expected to go live, Mani said they have postponed it to the post-Diwali period since there felt there were too many things happening in the company, including a website revamp which aims to make its transaction-based services more prominent. We are currently awaiting JustDial’s response on the current status of the service.
Earlier this year, price comparison service for offline retailers PriceBaba had also introduced a feature called PriceBaba Local, which offered store level inventory and price status of mobile phones to consumers in Mumbai.