Online restaurant guide Zomato seems to be finally focusing on monetization with the introduction of advertisements on its mobile apps. Prior to this, Zomato featured ads only on its website earlier.
Zomato mentions that users will see in-line ads for other relevant dining establishments in & around that location on search result pages. The company claims these ads will be contextual to their search and location.
Zomato co-founder and COO Pankaj Chaddah mentions that they have been experimenting with this over the past few months to make ads “as relevant to the consumer as possible”. Although, we feel the ads probably need some more work in terms of relevancy. For instance, we got biryani & lunch buffet ads when we searched for pizza outlets in Bangalore.
This is a critical move for Zomato considering that more than 50% of its userbase are on mobile phones globally, and this number is expected to further grow with the increasing adoption of mobile Internet, since there might be users who might just skip the web and go straight to mobile (Also read: The Switch To Mobile).
Mobile platform will also enable Zomato to serve more contextual hyperlocal ads to consumers, since they will be able to collect more data from mobile phones like location among others.
Zomato’s focus on monetization
Earlier this month, Info Edge founder and vice chairman Sanjeev Bikhchandani had mentioned that for the past 12-18 months, Zomato was prioritizing getting to traffic leadership in markets because they believed that monetization will follow. “If it follows you six months later it is fine, but traffic leadership if you do not get to or if you lose to somebody else it is very hard to get to it”
He noted that they now have leadership in about eight to nine markets which is currently not being monetized actively and they intend to focus on monetization of those markets for the next few months while at the same time opening new markets. More on that here.
Zomato for Business: Zomato mentions that it also recently launched a mobile app for business owners called Zomato for Business. This app allows businesses to manage promotions & deals, upload special menus & events, reply to consumer reviews and create richer business listing with images & detailed information. The company claims that over 4,500 restaurant businesses in 15 countries globally advertise on Zomato at present.
Ireland launch: Along with this, Zomato has also continued its International rollout by launching in Dublin, Ireland. It claims this section will provide restaurant information from 3,000 restaurants in Dublin on the web and its mobile apps across iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Zomato had also expanded to Lebanon’s Beirut earlier this month and the critical Canada market last month. It claims to currently provide information for more than 300,000 restaurants across 19 countries. The company had raised $60 million from new investor Vy Capital and existing investor Info Edge with participation from Sequoia Capital earlier this month.
– Info Edge: “We would be reluctant to reduce stake below 50% in Zomato”
– Zomato in FY14: Rs 30.6 Cr operating revenue, Rs 41.6 Cr operating EBITDA loss
– Zomato acquires restaurant guide Gastronauci to enter Poland
– Zomato acquires Lunchtime & Obedovat for $3.25M to enter Czech Republic & Slovakia