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Deep pockets don't make for online success...

...just ask Ferrit...

We’re big supporters of online innovation – in our view online services and shopping has a big future in our changing world. So we’re truly sorry to see the demise of Ferrit, the online shopping portal that was established a few years ago by Telecom, one of NZ’s largest companies.

Ferrit's demise however is typical of large corporations with squillions of dollars and expertise to burn, failing to get their online shopping portals into full flight. Telecom spent a fortune on advertising the Ferrit nerd, to no avail. Why?

In our humble opinion successful ventures on the internet need to break from the traditional. It’s not about trying to find niche’s. Even Ferrit's advertising campaign tried to focus on a market segment it “presumed” bought on-line. The strategy of “focusing on medium sized retailers looking to go on-line” is MBA-speak for “I think we found a gap in our competitive analysis grid that we can sell to our Board” Reality check, any retailer, no matter what size can retail on the internet, barriers to entry are low. Shopping basket applications can be found on freeware.

Why are we on about this?

Because the same principles apply to online life insurance companies… those insurers that have simply tried to push their old, complicated, legalistic insurance products online or through online insurance brokers will always struggle. Old products and new distribution channel don’t necessarily mix.

The ‘little guy’ can take heart… deep pockets and top staff alone don’t make for a successful online venture. Profitable web offerings capture the imagination of the consumer in the purchasing process. (Think TradeMe).

It’s a shame about Ferrit though….BTW, Pinnacle Life did try to get onto the Ferrit shopping list again and again, with no success. Seems they were more interested in selling bricks and mortar.

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