Category Archives: Writings

Announcements, articulations, etc…

6 Things you MUST HAVE for a Blogshop/Online business in Singapore

In case you forget, or have known already, I decided to write it down to serve as a reminder for all. Comment on my post if you feel that there are other points to be listed, or other perspectives.

1) List Building –

Staying in touch with your prospects and customers is very important. And since every single person in the world has an email address and contact number, building an list is one of the cheapest, most cost-effective solution for doing that.

So when to start?

Right now! Start building your email list today.

You will need a database of contacts, a network of people so that the word gets out there fast. Without them, there will be no returning customers.

2) Content –

You will need well written content to get more customers coming back and for that, content is King. This should be the focus of the site. If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, then people will not bookmark and return to your site.

The “if you build it, they will come” saying works to a point, but people will still want to read and explore to understand your site better. These content can be in the form of writings, posting or graphic posters. Nonetheless, make sure content is never undercut in favor of other aspects of the digital campaign.

3) Generating Traffic –

Generating traffic is THE biggest obstacle online. Some businesses got to be so successful on the internet, while others are not. Their success did not come by luck, but it came by knowing how to market effectively on the internet.

Not to mention, shouting out on Facebook or twitter is another method too. But still, it is more efficient if you can market your blogshop well.

4) Google Ranking –

After learning how to generate traffic, it is necessary to learn how to generate traffic. It is true that for an online business, Google helps to direct traffic to your site.

Google PageRank, which is largely based upon the number and quality of backlinks a webpage has, is an important factor in how well a particular webpage ranks within the Google search results.

These can be googled easily by googling “Google Page ranking”. Click here to check your page ranking

5) Mass Traffic – 

Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. Since the mid-1990s, web traffic has been the largest portion of Internet traffic.

Traffic is one of the most important elements in the success of your website. It won’t matter if you have the best website on the Internet if no one ever sees it!

Yet after learning to generate traffic, checking page ranking online, it is necessary to increase the traffic to such that there will be a massive traffic everyday.

Sales is a number game. If 10% of your visitors are your actual buyers, then more visitors is equivalent to more buyers isn’t it? 10% of 100 << 10% of 1000,000,000. Do the math. 🙂

 6) Referrals

This point is  extremely important. Without referrals, business will wither and die.

It is not the same as building a database as mentioned in point 1. These referrals could be people who bought from you, or people who communicated with you. It is very important to keep them close to you, so that they will return back for more purchases.

All in all always remember, doing up a blogshop or setting up an online business should be fun. It is a way of communication and networking with like-minded people who are also interested in the same product. Except this time around, you are talking to them as a seller and you are able to provide them with a service. How much your online business can provide you depends on how well your service is.

Good luck. ^ ^

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Why It is Cheaper to Buy Books Online

We used to buy books from retail shops, typically Popular, Kino and previously Borders. But nowadays a majority of us buy books online because it is more convenient and it is cheaper.

The proof?

Well firstly based on statistics, the top categories for mobile commerce in an online research done by The Nielson Company in 2011 shows that the online book market is standing at S$12 million. That is 4th in position. (ref:http://e27.co/?p=26126).

Also, it is convenient that through your smartphones and tablets, you can get the desired books delivered to any location you prefer without the need to leave the house at all.

And so that leaves the question; why is it cheaper? How much cheaper and what are the pros and cons? find out.

Calculations

Let’s look a comparison based on a book, that is “Lightroom 2″ by Scott Kelby:

  • Amazon :  S$29.69(book) + S$9.98(shipping) = US$39.67 x 1.3(currency rate) = S$51.57
  • Book Depository : S$36.10(book) + Free Shipping = US$36.10 x 1.3 = S$46.93
  • Kinokuniya @ Takashimaya : S$68

*Note that I did not put up Borders prices as they are usually pricier than Kino’s ones (correct me if I’m wrong)

The numbers speak for itself. It is obvious that online prices are lower than buying from a physical retail shop.

Recycle

Recycling books
Recycling books

Though i observed that recycling and conservation actively is not a big thing in Singapore. But buying second hand books are considered as recycling books too. Not many people realise this. Lesser fresh pulp is need to produce a batch of new books when the old ones can serve the reading needs of many. And lesser fresh pulp will mean that lesser trees to be felled to cater to production of new books. You get the drift, and it is a fact.

Of course one of the easiest way without getting out of the house to obtain a second hand book is to find them online, be it individual sellers, or online stores. BooksAvenue has some second hand books too, mostly priced at S$5 with free delivery.

When i started BooksAvenue (actually under the business license it is registered as Books Avenue), i wanted to push out book rentals. It is one of best ways to recycle books commercially. But from my observations, it seems that Singaporeans prefer to own books. It is what my partner and i labelled it as the ‘HDB mentality’, in that sense that readers prefer to buy and own the book rather than renting it. Which is true that when i own the book i have all the time to read it.

Back to the topic, when you buy books online, you can choose to buy first or second hand books. That is if you were to buy secondhand books, you are actually recycling books, saving the world one book at a time.

Costs

Rising costs
Rising costs

When retailers are paying their lease, rental or utility bills for selling their books at a physical location, where do you think this cost will go to? That’s right, ultimately and inevitably, customers are the one who bear the costs.

Yet it is not the same for online bookstores, there is no rentals to pay, no high overhead costs or any high running costs i can think right now. The only cost, or costs, would probably be web hosting fees (if you are using a registered domain), and other than that, time and effort.

Alas, shipping cost could be a problem too. Due to that, a book with a cheap online price tag could be increased much by shipping cost. This may, as a result, becomes logically cheaper to buy from retail shops. Thankfully there is a way around it. That is purchase secondhand books, or local online bookshops where you have both the low price and cheaper delivery methods.

All in all, buying books online are, no doubt, cheaper.

Still….

As much as it is cheaper to buy books online, especially cheaper when buying from local online bookstores, there are still a few downsides to it. One of the possibilities is that you run the risk of getting damaged books. I understand that, and in fact, it happened to me on an occasion before. It is just annoying to pay for damaged books. Hence, i took the effort to take photos of the books that i am listing it on BooksAvenue. Close up shots, page view and edge view to show and share the quality of the books that BooksAvenue is carrying.

Also, because it is purchasing it online, there may be a long wait due to delivery. This, however, can be avoided  minimised if you were to buy it from a local online store. I took out the word ‘avoided’ because to some extent, there will still be time required for processing and delivery. Unless you HAVE to read the book now, buying books online is still more economical. As for BooksAvenue, i ensure that the purchased books will reach my clients within 3 days after payment.

pennies
A penny saved is a penny earned

Ultimately, what I’m trying to put across here is this: Decide on the books you wish to purchase, check it out online before buying if you do not need to read urgently. There are cheap books online, compared to retail shops. It is always good to have more options. If you can get the same book in another place cheaper, why not? Afterall, every penny saved is a penny earned. 🙂

 

 

 

 

*All images belong to the respective owners.