This startup thinks online home services will be the next e-commerce

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“Go back five years. Did you ever think you will buy a pair of shoes online?”

“But the behaviour of people changed […] The home services market will play out in a similar fashion.”

That’s according to Stanley Igwe, co-founder of newly launched Nigerian online home services marketplace WeFix.com.ng.

WeFix.com.ng launched in Port Harcourt in July this year, in response to three key failings characterising providers in the home services industry.

“Firstly, you don’t find them when you need them. Secondly, you cannot be entirely sure whether they will show up or not at all, and lastly, the quality of their service,” Igwe says.

According to Igwe, while the market for home services is crowded with many providers touting their services, many are not trained, and the market remains very difficult to navigate.

As such, he has decided to take the market online. He believes he can create the next e-commerce-scale phenomenon, by shifting the home services sector online.  

“Home services may still be available to people now, but once confidence starts building up around these online home services companies, and they start delivering on availability, reliability and quality – which is still missing in this space – people are going to fall back on this option more and more,” Igwe says.

One key step in building consumer confidence is to ensure those listed on WeFix.com.ng are properly qualified, and have passed security vetting.  The startup first conducts background verification, and those with a criminal record are blocked from the platform. Thereafter, each professional is interviewed, must provide referrals, and present licences.

If this wasn’t enough to build confidence, Igwe says the startup offers all customers a 30 day guarantee.

Through these methods, as well as by ensuring transparent pricing, Igwe believes WeFix.com.ng can create a superior customer experience, which will result in people migrating online to use the platform for all their home service needs.

The startup operates a commission-based model, taking 10 per cent of each job contracted through the website. The full span of home services are listed on the platform – from carpenters to car mechanics – , as Igwe says there is a need for an all-encompassing portal, as opposed to fragmented niche websites.

In the three months since launching, Igwe says the startup has not advertised, but is attracting on average five new users per day through word of mouth.  30 service providers are listed on the platform.

“The sector has always existed. But there was always a need for a service like this.”

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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