Ashish Sinha wrote about a few changes in the Rediff Product Search Portal. I decided to check it out too and do a tiny review. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen. There are a few things that the Search Portal lacks and a few things that it does really well.
Yesterday we wrote about Open2Save – a Retail Aggregation Site. Rediff Product Search is pretty similar – but slightly better. So Rediff Product Search also aggregates information and does not deliver despite Rediff having an online shopping arm of its own. Another indication that on a mass level, India is a) not ready for an e – commerce boom and b) e – commerce players do not really have the bandwidth and wherewithal to have a delivery chain that is streamlined and efficient.
The only difference (and a big difference at that) between Open2Save and Rediff is the fact that Rediff does not have a reference based model – so they have not really tied up with retailers to get referrals from their site and hence make consumers avail special discounts and get a cut. They should. It makes the portal more exclusive.
Another thing that I don’t like about the portal is the search gateway. It is compartmentalized. So I need to search under broad category that is further sub divided. While I understand why that’s important, users should be able to type in word-based searches as well.
In the future, I think they should have an image based search as well such as Riya’s Like.com – to make sure that people can put in and search for designs that are similar to the ones they’ve seen and liked.
A few really good things about the portal that Open2Save can learn from are the fact that the portal recognizes that I’m from Mumbai and shows me only Mumbai based searches.
There is a compare option as well (although no elimination option). Comparisons while reviewing a single product would have been better!
The other really good thing about the portal is the Price Alert (tracking and informing users about changes in price – email alerts available – SMS Alerts like in Yahoo Listings would have been a great augmentation as well). The Question based model is also quite handy (a good mashup of Rediff Qn A) – integrating the idea of review + Q n A + Window Shopping.
I also particularly like the fact that users can SMS sellers directly – that’s possibly where revenues from referrals will come in. A smart strategy considering most retailers wont have the Internet and email accounts (atlteast the smaller ones wont) – and the mobile phone is always around.
A handy package.