Annual Report: Sulekha identifies key services that saw maximum growth online in 2016
- Party Planning, Coaching and Education, Lessons and Tuitions, Fitness and Wellness are the Top 4 service categories that have seen massive growth online
- The impact of Demonetization: Not a major impact on the overall consumption of local services, the traffic slowed during the initial couple of weeks but has now come back to normal
India, Chennai, January 02, 2017/Team Estrade//– Sulekha, India’s largest local services fulfilment platform, today unveiled a study indicating the key trends and changing dynamics of the Local Services industry in India through 2016. This report is an analysis of the searches that have been done on the Sulekha platform from January to December 2016 across 25 cities in India.
Among the 500+ Local Services categories listed on Sulekha, some of the service categories that have seen significant growth online include:
- Party Planning (43%)
- Coaching and Education (42%)
- Lessons and Tuitions (39%)
- Fitness and Wellness (38%)
Key findings about the top 4 Local Services categories and their subcategories:
1) Party Planning: Is the big fat Indian wedding getting bigger?
- In comparison to 2015, this category has grown 43% this year
- Birthday Parties, Wedding Planning and DJ Services top the list of popular party services.
- Wedding Planning has seen maximum growth of 130% in 2016.
- Delhi and Bangalore spend 1.5 times more than Hyderabad and Chennai for birthday parties.
2) Coaching & Education: Spoken English Classes accelerating in Tier 2 cities
- The category of Coaching and Education has grown 42% over 2015.
- Spoken English, Banking Tuitions and Overseas Education have been the three most popular services in the Coaching & Education category in 2016.
- Searches for Spoken English classes have grown 46% in Tier 2 cities led by Chandigarh, Nagpur, Surat, Madurai, Coimbatore, Jaipur and Vijayawada. Users are mostly between the ages of 17 to 25 and are seeking jobs and higher education opportunities by enrolling for Spoken English classes.
- Engineering, MBA and Medicine continue to be the top 3 choices, similar to 2015.
- Journalism has become a new choice amongst the top 5 options for overseas education.
3) Lessons & Tuitions: Salsa vs. Classical Dance Lessons
- The Lessons & Tutorials category has seen a surge of 39% from 2015.
- Dance, Instrumental and Vocal Music classes feature amongst the top choices.
- 85% of traffic in this category comprises users who are parents of young kids aged between 5 years to 15 years.
- Dance Classes make-up for nearly 30% of all enquiries in the Lessons & Tuitions category. Western dance & Salsa classes (searches) are growing 3.4 times faster than Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Bhangra classes.
- Tabla & Mridangam classes have dropped 20-25% in searches.
- Users are increasingly selecting Guitar, Flute, Drums related classes in most of the top 8 cities. Keyboard & Piano are seeing steady growth of 30% in Bangalore, Mumbai & Pune.
4) Fitness & Wellness: “At-home” yoga – the new health mantra
- The Fitness & Wellness category has grown 38% from 2015
- Gyms & Weight Loss, Yoga & Meditation and Massage Therapy have been the most popular services in 2016.
- Searches increase 3 times in December over other months, as people get health conscious around New Year time.
- Home Yoga Instructors (searches) have increased 5 times more than yoga centers – showing an increasing inclination of users to get yoga & meditation at home. At-home yoga is costlier than yoga centers, however users in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are increasingly choosing this option.
- Meditation centers are getting popular in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata – particularly for weekend related searches.
- Weight Loss category has seen a sharp increase of 140% in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai and Chennai.
Impact of Demonetization on Local Services
The report indicates that owing to Demonetization, there has been a decline in some categories in the last quarter of 2016, when compared to the last quarter of 2015. The Party Planning category has seen a 10% dip in number of searches post demonetization. There has been a 53% decline in number of people looking for wedding planners, though birthday party planning is almost back to normal in Dec 2016. Other Local Services categories that have been impacted by demonetization include Chartered Accountants (growth of 83% since Oct-16), Advocates & Lawyers (growth of 46% since Oct 16), Catering services (drop of 23% since Oct 16) and Modular Kitchen (drop of 21% since Oct-16).
Commenting on the report, Satya Prabhakar, Founder and CEO, Sulekha said, “The report highlights the growing trend and acceptance among people to look for professional local services online. This report also indicates how service providers across India are realising the power of the Internet to scale their businesses. It has been a great year for Sulekha, we are investing continuously in making Sulekha a platform not only for discovery of the best service experts across a wide array of categories, but also acquiring knowledge to develop the tools that will help our users choose the best experts on our platform.”
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