Classifieds company Quikr has launched a new instant messaging feature called Quikr Nxt, that enables real time conversations between buyers and sellers. The feature is available on Quikr’s mobile site, desktop site as well as on its mobile app.
This feature seems to have rolled out to all newer ads on Quikr and it also shows when the seller was last online. Interestingly, we also noticed that sellers now have an privacy option called ‘Maintain my Privacy’ which allows them to hide their phone numbers, instead directing buyers to contact via chat.
Buyers can click on the ‘Chat Now’ icon displayed next to product, a chat window pops up and gets the user to register (if not registered). It also lets participants share images with each other. Users can also have multiple parallel chat sessions with multiple other users, save notifications when users are offline and access the entire chat history on their respective accounts.
Implications (by Vikas SN)
This is a significant move for Quikr, since it will enable sellers to avoid all unsolicited calls and chat with the buyer before closing the deal. This will also allow users who are wary of sharing their numbers on their ads, to post ads on Quikr. I’ve heard of several instances wherein people have avoided postings ads on Quikr or Olx because they had to share their phone numbers.
It also allows Quikr to play a more prominent role in the transaction cycle and the next logical step for the company would probably be powering the payments for these transactions, and take a commission for them. Online listing site turned services marketplace JustDial had also started selling electronics earlier this week, although its worth noting that JustDial lists local businesses while Quikr primarily includes classified ads from individuals.
Quikr competes against other classified sites like Naspers backed OLX, Sulekha and Click.in. It had raised two rounds of funding in 2014: $60 million led by Tiger Global with participation from the existing investors Kinnevik, Matrix Partners India, Nokia Growth Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Omidyar Network, Warburg Pincus and eBay Inc in September 2014 and $90 million led by Kinnevik in March 2014. The company had raised total funding of $300 million across multiple funding rounds until now.