The NZ Herald ran an article this week about the The Warehouse’s new online site (I would include a link to the site, but it’s not actually live yet).
I was interested in the list of online retailers that was included at the bottom:
All four are traditional retailers. While all four sites are okay, none of them really feel like online natives – for reasons I can’t explain all include banner like advertising (promoting their own sales and the like), and all prominently include a “Locate a store” feature.
I doubt that online sales are contribute significantly to the bottom line of any of them (if I’m wrong about that I’m happy to be corrected).
If you didn’t click the link, here are some quotes from retail analyst Tim Morris, of Coriolis Research from the article:
“Internet retailing in New Zealand is behind where it is in other countries, and that’s got nothing to do, I think, with the innate willingness of New Zealanders to buy things online. I think where it falls over is in the execution.”
“There’s really not a lot of good models in New Zealand for New Zealand-based companies doing everything right, especially as you get closer and closer to moving real things, not just nominal things like airline tickets.”
He’s right about Air New Zealand. They kick ass, with a top-ten site. While none of the four sites listed above are listed in Neilsen’s ratings.
But what about the pure online retailers? We have them in NZ too, right?
My guess is that there are some really successful small/medium business selling new stuff online, not the least because they don’t have to pay high street rents, but the reporter from the Herald probably hasn’t heard of any of them.
So, let’s make a list. Where do you love shopping for new goods online? I’m looking for New Zealand based retailers only. Add your suggestions in the comments below or flick me an email and if I get enough responses I’ll publish a list of the best ones in a future post (if you post about your own business I’d appreciate it if you could identify yourself as the owner etc).
Disclaimer: I am indirectly a shareholder in Fishpond.