First, the real hook of their idea is to provide cash rebates to users, which is nothing new, and hasn’t really been revolutionary on the web thus far. They’re talking a lot about the liquidity and efficiency of it all, and I can see a little bit where that’s the case, but when I look at prices I don’t see much that’s changed.
So, I can get 2% cash back after the return period has passed? Is that really that much to get excited about as a user?
Okay, so they’re providing a lot of other neat features with comparison shopping, search relevancy, etc. These things combined with CPC advertising for the merchants and cash rebates for the customers does make for an interesting mix and a potentially improved shopping experience, but the proof is in the success.
I understand their opportunity to create a liquid market where merchants are driving down prices (or giving more cash back) in order to be ranked higher in results and get more sales. This opportunity does exist, but they’ll need to execute on many fronts to get there.
The site is designed well, and is easy to use, but I had serious problems finding products through their main search. A search for “ipod” left me with everything potentially related to Ipods, except actual ipods. That left such a sour taste in my mouth hunting for Ipods I doubt I’d ever go back to Jellyfish if I were a normal consumer trying it out. They have to nail product search, it’s the key component of an “every product” shopping site.
Another thing that bugged me, and maybe this is being nitpicky, but the stock photographs with nameless testimonials rotating on the front page seems dishonest and cheesy to me.Â If Jellyfish just launched, how did they get photos of these customers without names who say things like “Search engines are great for finding information, but when I want to buy something I always go to JellyFish.”
Is that a real picture of a real customer saying that?Â If not, don’t make it look like it is.
I also tried a few specific examples to see how they compared. To be fair, they have just launched and I know selection will improve if they gain more advertisers and customers. However, I picked out a Sony Plasma TV Jellyfish had listed.
Where will I buy?Â It’s a chicken and the egg problem. How do you get advertisers/merchants/products without the customers, and how do you get customers without the products? That will be the challenge for Jellyfish. If they can manage to grow both they have a shot at creating a very good shopping experience. I would really hesitate to call it revolutionary, unless they’re consistently saving me more money than Amazon.com and have the majority of products I want to buy. If they do that, I’ll call it revolutionary.