If there are a few names in the dotcom market which have made it to the top then Justdial is definitely one of them. However, Justdials presence is not only restricted to dotcoms. It is present in offline models too such as mobiles, sms’s and any other medium that they could capture to disseminate information.
Justdial started as a brand which showcased businesses. Business owners from various sectors tied up with Justdial to sell their own offerings and in return to get inquiries from Justdial. This worked very well for Justdial as it got more and more businesses & companies in its arsenal. As customers are always in the need of information as well as business vendors, the Justdial setup satisfied both – Customers as well as businesses.
However in recent times Justdial has changed its positioning to “Get the lowest price by letting businesses compete within themselves”. Well, this completely changed the scenario didnt it? From being a B2B centric company, Justdial suddenly changed sides to favor its customers. A customer might get multiple quotes thereby breaking the pricing in the market and leaving the vendor / business with lesser margins. The result – Businesses no longer feel Justdial is profitable. If they advertise themselves with a package of 20,000, they might not get the returns of the same value.
Lets take an example – A company xyz advertised itself a year back on Justdial in one sector. Whenever justdial got enquiries in XYZ’s vicinity, it passed on the enquiry to XYZ and XYZ could close the call at a good price. He had less pressure and therefore he gave good service. Now lets move to the new positioning of Justdial. XYZ in this year has to convince each customer to buy his product. At the same time, other businesses from the same sector are being given the same enquiries. Thus there are price wars as well. Ultimately, where the company was profiting, it has suddenly to go through price wars and possibly lose the customer or work on less then satisfactory margins.
So will the business owners renew with Justdial? I dont think so!!!
Dont get me wrong. This move is excellent for attracting customers. However, the major business of Justdial is through B2B. If it persists with this model, how long will it be able to get the same number of companies on board as it was getting a year back? Lets see whether market pressure make Justdial change its strategy again.