About myself and everyone else.
www.wheedle.co.nz ( consider yourself lucky it it’s online)
On the 1st of October an NZ rich lister (which I thought was a trademe alias) launched their competition to Trademe.
everyone says it’s competition but it’s not really. It would be like calling my blog competition to the new york times. Both feature articles relatively random but it doesn’t mean I have competition.
It would be more correct to say that they have launched an online site also aiming to target NZ. There are a few.
Based on some articles on the web we can establish some info, over a period of 2 years some developers in India and Auckland put together a site that requires 40+ servers to run it at a cost of 10 million.
It ended up looking just like trademe and I mean JUST like it, it’s not bad to copy I suppose but here is why I think you shouldn’t.
In any new online business a big challenge is to educate the user on what they can do on your site. The iphone is very intuitive like that, you don’t need to stuck trying to find a [x] button to close applications etc. Try to be to creative and you might lose business, but what about the risk of being to boring or “the same”.
-1 for creativity .
I think since Wheedle wants to target Trademe customers they can rely on the fact that most of the people are savvy enough to know how to list, sell and search. THis is great because you don’t need to re-educate them for new concepts. This allows you to gently ease people into new features and new ways of doing things, which I find refreshing. Wheedle didn’t do this. it’s all the same, like today and yesterday.
-1 for big business
The success of T-rump is the fact that he had a nose dive once and then learned that he should diversify, and hedge. This is critical for business. The biggest businesses owns the entire food chain. i.e. Manufacturing companies in China are mostly owned by American businesses. Online casinos have their own payment processors and banks. Rockefeller paid for both the American and German armies i.e. hedging into securing his business at both sides of the coin.
The biggest pitfall of online shopping is the shipping. It works best in the UK. Amazon has a local distributor and you can get almost anything next day from Amazon. The UK is tiny!
NZ is even smaller!
Since the founder of Wheedle owns some stake in MainFreight which he left due to his health. But there is an opportunity here. NZ is smallish so once you have saturated the local new goods and second-hand supply you have to inevitably end up importing from China, this could have been wheedle’s strength. They have all the import chains setup. THey have the know- how in shipping and could easily start a courier company OR buy one to serve WHeedle in order to do free delivery. This is a little risky business because they would become more than just a “marketplace” and legally would need to sharpen up in terms their liability but these are things businesses can easily do.
Free stuff, that is what customers want. That and interrupted services obviously , an offline website is just bad.
Unfortunately I’ve not been able to register on the site to give more info on what I don’t like…
-1 for Attitude.
Neil Graham punts the fact that they have 40 servers and spend millions and two years to make it. They should have taken advantage of being a small business, have the hand of the underdog. Instead they pitch the money talks bravado and no one likes that. Definitely not me. As a small business people support the underdog, you get personal with clients and this mutual relationship grows mutually. Simply lowering a fee does not suffice. People pay more for comfort every day of their lives. SO why change from trademe if it’s comfortable. If people changed for money then the cheapest gas provider in NZ would have all the customers but they don’t because their service sucks and ironically so does their website.
Tesla motors tried to come up with flash cars. They copied as much as four wheels and a fifth for steering yet they cannot get off the ground, it’s too exclusive.
For now I’m hanging on to see if they have any post launch surprises.