In a never say die attitude Sensis are changing their online strategy again. Late last year they virtually abandoned their justlisted.com.au site and made it a simple doorway site to Domain’s data but now they want www.tradingpost.com.au to change to an auction system and take on the mighty ebay.
Sensis bought www.tradingpost.com.au in 2004 for a massive $636 million dollars and the business has been sliding back on them since then.
Some pretty big claims have been coming out of Sensis lately, including one that states “2 million people” already use www.tradingpost.com.au each month. Sensis were trying to hold this up against ebay’s 5 million account holders to show that they might gain traction in online auctions.
Now that has to be PR spin plain and simple. After reading this I quickly surveyed the next 20 people I met and not one person had visited www.tradingpost.com.au within the past several months and most have never visited it at all.
Maybe they had 2 million visits, but I doubt they had 2 million visitors. Could you imagine how many visits ebay.com.au would have every single month to compare this against.
Fanciful claims coming out Sensis staff is nothing new though. In the past we have seen claims from a self confessed rank and file Sensis employee (that seemed like a PR person incognito) that Sensis was responsible for generating $61 billion of sales from just the Metro editions of the Yellow Pages. When challenged he offered some Doctor as proof of the figures hoping that might impress.. and then when challenged again admitted that he remembered it off some powerpoint slide he seen once and that meant of course that there was no proof, not one single shred of evidence to his claim.
Of course that was a little hard to prove considering it represented nearly 10% of Australia’s GDP and thus meant $1 in every $10 spent in Australia was meant to have been generated through just a handful of Yellow Pages editions around Australia.
Sensis have released recently that they are working on an iPhone search application which is interesting as its parent company, Telsta has not confirmed it will even be handling the iPhone when it comes here, unlike Vodaphone and Optus who have both shouted out loud about their involvement.
Sensis was going to set the search world on fire but their attempt was just laughable. Google delivered us just a touch over 63,000 visits over the past 12 months. In that same time Sensis.com.au delivered… wait for it… 8.
Lets not forget the www.whitepages.com.au… that was actually responsible for another 8 visits. I get far more traffic in a week from people clicking on my name on this blog than I get from Sensis in a year.
Sensis have never impressed online and I cant see them turning it around and now they expect us to believe that they are to tackle the online auction space. Whats Next..? Maybe they might try and follow www.trademe.co.nz impessive example and take on real estate classifieds. Better watch out REA, their online pedigree is impressive!