After piloting flight and bus bookings in April and personal services on its Android app in May, Snapdeal is expanding its catalog to Zomato for food ordering, Cleartrip and redBus for extending bus/flight/hotel bookings, and UrbanClap for home services. Note that these services are currently accessible through Snapdeal’s Android app (iOS users will have to wait) under the “Services” tab, and not for desktop users. Users need to register themselves on Snapdeal before using any of these services.
Food ordering feature lists various restaurants in the user’s area, and interestingly, lets users search for dish name and find food options by cuisine. The flight tab gives users the choice to book one way or two-way flights after filling in basic flight details, while the services tab allows users to book all personal/home services provided by UrbanClap. Snapdeal mentions that after-sales customer support will be provided by the partnering entity for all services, while it will list call-center numbers of those companies on within the order page and ticket details.
Ecommerce marketplaces expanding into services
With the addition of home services, and extension of food ordering, bus/flight booking services, Snapdeal is looking to compete with companies like Paytm, which already had launched bus ticketing in partnership with RedBus back in 2012. Paytm had also launched movie ticketing by directly partnering with cinema houses like PVR, INOX and ticketing aggregator BookMyshow in March
Both, Paytm and Snapdeal primarly operate as eCommerce marketplaces, and as we had pointed out earlier, diversification is playing an increasingly important role in ecommerce as companies look to differentiate and offer more value added services. Additionally it lets ecommerce platforms explore other services as a means of income, since the margins on ecommerce are quite low.
In February, Snapdeal raised $200 million in funding from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), with participation from Iron Pillar and others. The company had said then that it would use the funds to build up its capabilities and for bettering consumer and seller experience. The company had also raised $500 million in August last year and $627 million in October 2014. It currently claims to have a delivery presence in more than 6000 cities, with more than 300,000 sellers registered on its ecommerce platform.