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JustDial’s SearchPlus philosophy: One app to rule them all; $15-20M ad spends planned


Justdial’s SearchPlus now has 23 services, having added three more services during the quarter ended December 31st 2015: a deal section, online recharge and bill payments, the company said during its earnings conference calls.  The company is currently focusing on the B2B side of the business, aggregating more services. Following this, it will launch a massive advertising campaign, spending around $15-20 million, to promote it to customers. Monetization for SearchPlus, the company expects, will start in 2015-16, but it really doesn’t expect this to materialize till 2016-17.

“Masters App”: One app to rule them all

The app that combines all the services and products into a single platform, what JustDial calls a “Masters App” is expected to be fully functional by 31st March. “This would include a bouquet of products and services that you can use it on a day-to-day basis”, said V.S.S. Mani, founder of JustDial

JustDial sees itself as “unique app, one single app” that will “serve multiple purposes”. “We feel, there is a huge opportunity there because the market is actually flooded with too many apps, too many options. People are fatigued, and JustDial will help solve that with its app, aggregating multiple services,” Mani said. He added that once users transact on the application, JustDial will store card details, delivery address to ensure a seamless experience in a few clicks.

“You would also see that the prices offered by a vendor are as competitive as any other e-commerce site”…”We want the people of this country to be aware of this one destination where they can do several things and we our goal is to obviously have them enable themselves with us for as many things as possible.” “It is basically anything and everything that you do in a month what you do, you would be able to do it through us”, including phone bills, DTH bills, movie tickets, reverse auction, test ride a car, book doctor appointments, hotels, get quotes from multiple travel sites. “We are trying to be on top of all the players, and (will) try to give you a one point solution for everything.”

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JustDial has built its own cloud solution for businesses which will go live next quarter, “where they can manage their inventory billing and publishing their content and sell their products through our platform. This would be initially for free for businesses to sign in and start their shop, it is like a plug in and play. And the later date it would be like we will be monetizing for that.”

What’s Popular

JustDial is seeing “good traction” on hotel reservation, movie tickets (recently launched), and online shopping. “Actually you would be surprised that lot of people are actually searching and buying specific brands and products like mobile phones, cameras, bicycles and stuff like that and people are buying it online through us.”

Other categories which are doing well (no data, though), include Doctors appointments, bill payment and recharge, movie ticketing and reverse auction. On reverse auctions, an analyst on the call said that the company used to get around 3000-5000 queries, but JustDial declined to give updated data. It did say it has 56-60% conversion.

Also, “slowly we are also seeing that other categories like travel segment getting popular,” Mani said

Evangelist program

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“The beauty of this is that we are taking a different route as compared to other players in the market. We would rather spend on Evangelist program which we are starting full-fledged this month where there are people who would actually help people understand how to use this app, because we have seen that, in this country, people, although they have smartphones, the smartphone usage at least in the 30 plus segment is very minimal. JustDial as an app can make a huge difference there.”

An evangelist will be a person who is around 20 years old, and is savvy with cellphones. “they would actually help download the app. They would also set up your favorites, they will help you fill up your profile”, enable “one click check out for most of the services. And they will teach you how to discover price for the products before you buy it, how to book movie tickets through us, how to book table reservation in the restaurant, how to even buy the same old grocery that you do, stuff that you do that you can do it by saving time here and money.”

Voice Search

JustDial has also apparently introduced voice search on its Android app. “It really works,” the company said on the earnings conference call. “You can search for products, like you can say I want to buy IPhone 6, 64 GB space grey or you can say I am looking for Oberoi Hotel Nariman Point and actually you would land on the page, and in the next click you can book the hotel rooms.”

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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