NZ Herald launched their new shopping tab yesterday, and as I dug into it the cast of players got larger and larger. It got so complicated that I decided that making a video would be the most efficient way to explain it all. After the experience all I can say is that Bernard Hickey is really good at this stuff.
The list of core and peripheral players in this is huge – ranging from Air New Zealand, to The Warehouse, KKR and Sella, and of course APN, owners of NZHerald.co.nz.
So was a video a good idea or should I revert to type?
<update – in the video I refer to Finda being afiliated with NZHerald. Thanks to JX for the tip. My apologies – Finda is owned by Yellow Pages. I tried to check last night but for some reason Coys was down.>
Hi Lance, nice overview.
A question – if there’s a gap there that the hubsta partnership model is seeking to fill, why do you think TM haven’t tackled it yet?
Finda is now owned by Yellow page group >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/1391840
So it is no longer a competitor but part of the family.
I may be a bit antediluvian, but I don’t bother with video and audio on the net much (well, except for Failblog). They require too much focused attention for me when I’d rather skim/read an article.
In other words, if you’re too lazy to write it down, I’m too lazy to watch/listen to it. :)
Good job Lance. Vid review does work well. For me right now, I put in one earphone and can listen while I work and watch for the interesting bits – multi-tasking is easier when its multi-sensory.
I like the simplicity, but it does look a little thrown together. Video was good, heaps of info.
oops, meant to say the simplicity and thrown togetherness of the herald shopping tag, not the video.
Hey Lance. Really good analysis of what’s going on and who’s involved. Thought the video worked well, though you probably have a way to catch up on Bernard’s slickness :-). Any idea how long the Deal have been providing Yahoo!xtra’s shopping platform? Cheers MOD
YahooXtra have been with Hubsta since August. I think I’ll be leaving the videos to Bernard in the future – I prefer the ease of editing in text.
Great overview Lance,
I normally avoid such videos (even Matt Cuts efforts sometimes get tedious ‘cos you cant be sure what you are skipping past….) but in this case it worked well.
The Hubsta model is actually quite clever, and manages to avoid pretty much all of the strategic errors that were so obvious about Ferrit from the start. They also manage to get quite a lot of ‘free’ advertising by featuring products on the various herald pages, even though herald certainly clips the ticket it works out a lot cheaper than banners.
I would personally be reluctant to let my brand reputation be risked by third party vendors i have no direct relation to however.
While the Hubsta contracted terms of trade do specify reasonably robust service standards there are bound to be some companies that fail at some stage, and no matter who the customer service centre you talk to belongs to if you get a poor product, damaged, shipping issues, etc… then who will you blame for the issue? Hubsta? (nope) xyz co. that actually shipped the unit? (no) The Nz Herald? you bet.
I think the video worked very well and felt pretty professional. The initial idea of 8 minutes nearly put me off though – but I am glad I persevered!
I was naturally fascinated with the very in-depth analysis of the structure of Hubsta – I can state that my involvement (shareholding capacity only) is outside of my role with realestate.co.nz and Zoodle.
Thedeal was originally set up by Paul, Donna and myself back in 2006. It’s original concept and pretty much retains the principle of “overstocked items” as per http://www.overstock.com that is excess inventory of branded goods – it was never to be an imported reseller of cheap product.
I think there is clear space for these integrated sites to operate within the online retail environment with Trade me – they very much parallel the relationship that realestate.co.nz has with MSN and Yahoo! where we power their real estate channels.
Good review Lance, and the video format is very easy to follow.
I appreciate your analysis of the Hubsta business model, however, I would really like to see your analysis of NZ Herald business model and online shopping.
The idea of buying from the NZ Herald site just doesn’t work for me. There is clearly a strategic decision that they can convert their news audience into shoppers. This feels like a really bold assumption. I am not convinced!
Is the NZ Herald foray into online shopping a valuable new area of core business? or a distraction/dilution that they will come to regret? Your thoughts?
MTC I prefer a standard blog post rather than a video. I don’t feel like spending 8 minutes on something I could read in 2 minutes. I’m a fast reader :) Was it quicker to make by the way?
Thanks Nigel It was far slower – but that’s because I’m no Bernard. Pretty sure this will be a rare occurrence.
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