Ferrit bashing

Ferrit is taking a kicking at the moment, from all directions.

Lance has several recent posts:

(remember Lance, three posts in a row is a rant, four is a crusade!)

Over the weekend Sam predicted that the site would be toast within 30 days of the new Telecom CEO being appointed (Dominion Post, Sat 17 Feb).

Even the mainstream media have caught on:

If the numbers that Lance quotes are correct then it must be a pretty depressing place to be working at the moment.

It’s a bit premature to perform a post-mortum on a still-warm corpse, but …

Whenever they talk about their product they always seem to focus on the size of the opportunity and how much money they think they can make:

Ralph Brayham thinks the New Zealand on-line retail market is under developed, saying that in the US 5% of shopping is done over the Internet, with this number reaching 10% in the UK, but only $200 million is spent on-line in New Zealand.

From: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=6549

I’d be much more optimistic about their prospects if they were instead saying something like:

We think that it’s too hard for kiwis to find somewhere to buy the things they want on-line. We believe we can solve this problem by providing a kick-ass search engine and shopping cart all in one place, and making it easy.

That would at least indicate that they were approaching things from a users perspective and trying to solve a problem.

Of course, even if they were saying this sort of thing they’d be wrong.

Here is a quick experiment using three of the products featured on the Ferrit homepage this morning:

How hard is it to find somewhere to buy these products online from a NZ supplier?

Using Google (a well known and trusted brand, no?) …

Search for “Shuttle SN25P”, and the fourth result is The Computer Lounge (based in Auckland with an online store). The third result is PriceSpy.co.nz, a competitor to Ferrit that has been around for a while.

Search for “Bvlgari – Blv Eau De Parfum Spray 40ml/1.3oz”, and there are options on the first page of results from both Zillion and FragranceDirect.co.nz.

Search for “The Memory Keepers Daughter”, and Dymocks.co.nz is the third result (after a couple of reviews).

Of course, you can also find all three of these products currently for sale on Trade Me:

So, it doesn’t seem like this is very broken to me.

6 thoughts on “Ferrit bashing”

  1. And to add to the bashing I predicted Ferrit’s downfall way back on 26 July 2006…

    I find the recent bashing amusing – I’m not surprised by Lance’s analysis. From a user experience perspective they’d blown it right from the start – I used it twice then never went back – why?

    Because when I had a product in mind, using Ferrit would turn up few relevant results – doing a Google NZ search would give me dozens of options.

    I think they should have been less precious about only featuring signed-up retailers and made it a really useful tool for anyone wanting to find stuff to buy in NZ via a shopping channel search tool (maybe even including a pipeline to TradeMe listings?) – the money-making aspects could have then been built up around that.

  2. My first visit to Ferrit.co.nz was today through this blog and i regret clicking it! Within next 20 seconds all i could think of was two buttons on my keyboard Ctrl+W.

  3. Outstanding. Thanks for the suggestions in the posts. Nice to see people going beyond the bashing. Hey, we’re building a business here. It’s going to take a few years and we’re working on it and tweaking it as we go. We have not got some things quite right yet, but we know that people who use the Ferrit site and the shopping cart love it. Our customer satisfaction over Christmas was above 90%… and yep, before you point it out, it was on small numbers. But we’re happy with our growth and far from it being a depressing place to work there are 30-odd pretty fired up people at Ferrit working to make it a success.

  4. Shuttle Combo 6 price at Computerlounge:
    $1,572.14 inc GST

    At Ferrit:
    $1,581.33 inc GST

    Likewise, the Memory Keeper’s Daughter is $28 at Ferrit, but $24.95 at Dymocks.

    This isn’t “Ferrit bashing” (they do it so well themselves by writing bogus “consumer reviews”), just me wondering what the point is going there when you have to pay more even from the same retailers.

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