Zowedo bridges gap between micro-vendors and consumers
By Digital News Asia March 21, 2019
- Helps consumers find verified service providers online for home and lifestyle needs
- Provides micro-vendors with a retail platform to promote their services and tools
ZOWEDO Pte Ltd on March 20 launched their online platform, of the same name, to the Singapore consumer market. The company has a mission to democratise the service industry by connecting small and medium enterprises to customers.
Four months after the soft launch, Zowedo currently offers over 400 service listings and has a fast-growing pool of customers in Singapore.
This tech startup provides micro-vendors with a suitable retail platform to promote their services and tools to embrace the digital economy.
Zowedo co-founder and chief executive officer Antoine Nicole (pic), saw an opportunity to provide a service that could make a real impact in the Singapore SME market.
“Finding a good service provider for personal or home services is like finding a needle in a haystack. As a busy working professional and a father of two young children, I wanted convenience.
“A simple way to find a service provider, knowing what I will get for the said price and determining the quality of the vendor based on other customers’ feedback plus being able to make online appointments. Such an online service did not exist across the range of services an individual or a family might need. The rest they say is history and Zowedo was born.”
The majority of Zowedo’s vendors are small companies or self-employed individuals who lack the resources and skills to bring their business online. The Zowedo platform offers a comprehensive and easy-to-use online onboarding process that takes these vendors step-by-step from creating profiles to making the very first sale.
Post onboarding, Zowedo also provides vendors with proper training on how to make the optimum use of the ‘Partner’ dashboard on the website where they can manage bookings and appointments.
Transitioning into a digital economy
As Singapore moves towards a Smart Nation, there are considerable resources and grants being made available to businesses. However, most SMEs that are sole proprietors or microbusinesses lack access to these resources and do not have the required skills or manpower to build a strong digital presence or marketplace.
Zowedo has helped these businesses break into new customer segments through a digital platform and will empower them to grow and sustain.
The startup also solves the issue of cash payments for small vendors - non-payment for services or preference for cashless payments - by providing an online payment gateway, which makes it easier and more convenient for consumers to pay for services.
One such business benefiting from the Zowedo platform is [email protected] Academy, which offers bakery courses.
Marketing executive and course coordinator, Calynn Ping said, “Zowedo is a great platform for us to market our classes and increase our online presence. As listed vendors on Zowedo, we are happy to see that they are making efforts to run marketing campaigns and special promotions to promote our services. On top of that, Zowedo is responsive to customer related enquiries, which is a top priority for us.”
Terence Chiew, coach and trainer at business performance consultancy Peet Asia Pte Ltd, agrees that there are challenges for small businesses to scale their service. Terence shared, “As a small business I cannot afford big marketing budgets, so getting customers to learn about my services and contact me is difficult. Learning how to use digital marketing is time-consuming and quite challenging.”
Simplifying the consumer experience
While there are digital options for individual services a consumer may need, it is difficult to manage multiple mobile apps, passwords for different online services and track payments across different services.
The Zowedo platform provides a solution to these problems. From registering for a class to getting a handyman in for repairs to booking in-home spa sessions - consumers can find reliable and verified service providers across various verticals, all in one place.
To help people in making an informed decision before they purchase a service online, the Zowedo platform offers features like reviews and a section on what to expect from this service. Customers can also share a service if they like and report a provider if they are dissatisfied.
If privacy is a concern, consumers can contact their service provider through an in-built chat service. To ensure optimal consumer experience, customers can also schedule and reschedule appointments and returning customers get benefits out of loyalty programmes.
Zowedo aims to help consumers by adding transparency to the service industry where pricing has always been a bit opaque. With upfront costs and a clear scope of work, customers are provided with reassurance about their payments.
Zowedo’s online payment platform also makes it easier to pay for these services and only releases the money after the service has been provided, thus ensuring the completion of the service and also preventing any cheating or dissatisfaction.
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