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An online startup in Singapore for less than 10k? maybe....

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
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ksl
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Postby ksl » Fri, 16 Oct 2009 12:18 am

troys wrote:Alexa positioning is a good guide but you need to be aware of how they measure and how this skews the numbers, they basically have a toolbar that is installed on millions of PCs, some people would call it malware since it tracks and sends back information on all the sites you visit(this is how they get their data).

That means for certain categories of sites, the rankings will be overestimated, especially internet marketing niche, where everyone has the alexa bar installed.

For other types of sites like those aimed at tech savvy users, users that are much more likely NOT to have installed the toolbar, numbers will be underreported.

This actually changes the dynamics of the whole internet advertising industry since alexa rankings is an industry standard in negotiating ad rates, some sites will be underpaid and some sites will be overpaid because of the nature of their demographics.

mrlily, I would be interested to know the name of that site that that posts shopping vouchers for singaporean companies, if you could pm me that site, it would be greatly appreciated.
mrlily, I would be interested to know the name of that site that that posts shopping vouchers for singaporean companies, if you could pm me that site, it would be greatly appreciated
Me too! :)

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Postby mrlily » Thu, 11 Mar 2010 11:24 pm

mrlily wrote: for our next trick; the wife wants to try and get interviewed by one of the big newspapers in SG. any suggestions? I've read a couple of articles recently about opentrolley, would love to know how they pulled off the interview.


we managed to get that interview... of sort! here is how it went.

we contacted the main main mainstream (main main - could be construed as rude if you knew enough malay to get yourself in trouble) newspapers, no names divulged here, and they pointed us in the direction of a marketing email address. we sent them a mail... 2 months later nothing! 2.1 months later we were called out of the blue and a lady telephone interviewed us, 3 months later a small (tiny) writeup was printed in a couple of the local magazines. have the stats improved? yes.

on a side note, i'm regularly reading about sites that are achieving some pretty encouraging results by incorporating facebook connect, twitter, yahoo id etc... into their login systems. a good idea right?

i'd be interested to know if anyone has any experience doing so and what were the results.
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Postby jerm » Thu, 18 Mar 2010 12:57 pm

Hi mrlily,

I provide online lead generation solutions to SMEs & business owners and from what I've come across, the results from integration with social media sites are encouraging, especially with the awareness and participation gaining popularity not only among individuals but among businesses as well.

1 angle you can look at it, is that as more businesses are connected through these avenues, it means that more individuals are able to get updated more easily by being "followers" of the various groups, business, activities, movements etc.

This is a big leap from the past where businesses were not so integrated with social sites and the latter remained largely social in nature.

In terms of effectiveness, you can gauage from your analytics how much referrals you get from such sites.

The challenge still comes in your site & social media effort & determining a ranking on your social media platform, like how google or alexa ranks a website.

For myself, I use a dashboard that helps me keep track & a record of the performance of any website (including competitor's website :) ) by the various search engines based on a list of keywords.

It helps me very much in managing and monitoring changes in website rankings over time, to help me benchmark the effectiveness of my marketing effort, and not just the increase in visitor traffic.

Cheers.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 18 Mar 2010 1:19 pm

tic.....toc.....tic.....toc.......

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Postby mrlily » Thu, 18 Mar 2010 3:02 pm

jerm wrote:For myself, I use a dashboard that helps me keep track & a record of the performance of any website (including competitor's website :) ) by the various search engines based on a list of keywords.

It helps me very much in managing and monitoring changes in website rankings over time, to help me benchmark the effectiveness of my marketing effort, and not just the increase in visitor traffic.


I've always been curious how to effectively track and record the performance of a competitors website?

one method might go like this... if i were to put your site (assuming your sig site is yours) into alexa, i would see you have an alexa ranking of 11,891,107 which is quite high.... which prompts me to think... does this guy talk the talk or walk the walk?

how do you effectively achieve this? an example?
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Postby mico5 » Wed, 24 Mar 2010 9:03 am

I've always been curious how to effectively track and record the performance of a competitors website?


One thing i suggest is using Google alerts to track what competitors are doing on their websites. Setup Google Alerts for the following: their company name, link:theirdomain.com and “industry term”

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Postby mrlily » Wed, 24 Mar 2010 7:29 pm

[quote="mico5"]

One thing i suggest is using Google alerts to track what competitors are doing on their websites. Setup Google Alerts for the following: their company name, link:theirdomain.com and “industry term”
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Postby ukdesigner » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 12:25 am

I'm not sure of your background and where you hail from but Singapore is a very strange marketplace in some things.

Internet shopping frightens the hell out of them for some reason whereas where I hail from, the UK, we spend shed loads on the internet. Here they are frightened to death of it.

Maybe it's down to the credit card terms here which having browsed through them basically make you liable for any fraudulent spend. Also the only way to buy some things is with a credit card. No debit cards allowed. Even stranger. Surely a debit card will only work if you actually have the money in your account. Again, strange to me.

It's been an insight your experience and as someone who works in marketing I must admit that what you've done does demonstrate a lack of marketing experience I'm afraid. I'm not knocking you, well I probably am but not in a nasty way, but this does serve as a warning when it comes to spending money. Understand your customers 1st. They aren't who you probably think they are. What motivates them. What's your USP? Do you have more than one USP? Can you beat your competitors hands down? If so how? Can you do a tie-up with a local company that wll help your business and them also. Remember big business like good PR!

There's always more than one way to market a business and many ways to alleviate you of your cool hard cash and trust me not everything will always work. Maybe it's the wrong time. Maybe you got your customer target wrong. Maybe you've got the wrong product. However armed with the right information to start with or even dare I say it a professional advising you your money will go alot further and hopefully your money will make you money.
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Postby mrlily » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 2:26 am

ukdesigner wrote:I'm not sure of your background and where you hail from but Singapore is a very strange marketplace in some things.


i'm a professional engineer from nz... with no marketing experience.

ukdesigner wrote:It's been an insight your experience and as someone who works in marketing I must admit that what you've done does demonstrate a lack of marketing experience I'm afraid. I'm not knocking you, well I probably am but not in a nasty way, but this does serve as a warning when it comes to spending money.


i'm thick skinned, don't worry :)

you mention the locals don't appear to warm to internet shopping, yes i'd agree but... i feel it has more to do with the physical marketplace (size and location) and probably more accurately "asian traites" rather than a lack of willingness to spend online... afterall it is only a taxi, bus or mrt ride away plus i'll buy a coffee on the way and spend some time outside of my concrete box, maybe bargain a little too!

interestingly, yahoo auctions dropped out of sg a few years back citing poor sales and lack of interest. take a look at the big picture, the online auction model (second hand) works in most other countries exceding well. aswell singaporeans are the definition of consumers. yes a strange market place but why?

because sg is a local shopping center?
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 7:16 am

Singapore has this unique flavour (I think of it more as a distaste though) of shoppers probably because unlike other Asian countries, it rapidly became the new rich. The government was constantly tearing down and building new. But the old wetmarket penchant for haggling still comes to the fore. But only for new goods. The government has spent the last 44 years "upgrading" itself but at the same time haggling on the price. Because of upgrading, auctions, which by nature, are used items, tends to be shuned as it goes in direct opposition to their basic mindset of "discount" therefore, they really don't understand the actual concept of auctions. That's why you see opening bids that are equal to the actual price that they want or even more (to allow room for the inevitable sms/email after winning an auction, "can discount or not?" and then when told that it's an auction, well I don't want it then. I reckon eBay will close done here as well pretty soon as it isn't sustainable I don't think.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 8:20 am

Credit card fraud is no longer a major concern after the majority of local banks adopted new policy (October last year). It is more about shopping culture - local ppl like to see and touch what they are about to purchase. In some cases there are also very pragmatic reasons to avoid online shopping, especially for more expensive goods. You buy something, you pay for it and you may not necessarily get it soon or in a brand new condition. And there is no law truly protecting you from this sort of problems.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 9:02 am

x9200 wrote:Credit card fraud is no longer a major concern after the majority of local banks adopted new policy (October last year). It is more about shopping culture - local ppl like to see and touch what they are about to purchase. In some cases there are also very pragmatic reasons to avoid online shopping, especially for more expensive goods. You buy something, you pay for it and you may not necessarily get it soon or in a brand new condition. And there is no law truly protecting you from this sort of problems.


Good point. Along with that there is the penchant for not creating a stink when something is not as it should be. The majority here will not stand up for their rights, but just swallow it meekly instead of taking it to the Nth degree if that's what needs to be done to get a satisfactory result. For many years when I first came here, my wife used to always try to shush me when something was amiss in a store or with service. "We're Asians" BS! That's no excuse for not standing up to what is right or fair. While there isn't any laws protecting you from this sort of problems, there is the same media that can destroy the seller/online store. I've had good results from bad customer service a number of years ago from HP here after going on the website and finding that there was absolutely no way to contact anybody via the site or any other method. So, once I got piqued off enough, after 2 increasingly strident fax messages were ignored, I went to the site, and as most of you will know, most large corporate sites are monitored by a "Webmaster". So, using that, I sent an email to the webmaster of the site politely letting him know that if I didn't get a response from somebody from HP (I also sent the contents of my previous 2 faxes as well) within 24 hours, I would proceed to post my problem on every IT tech forum both locally and internationally that I could find.

Result? I had a phone call in 1.5 hours from somebody high up enough in HP that I got the problem sorted out post haste, was given a loaner in the meantime and the whole problem was sorted without me ever having to go to a service centre - they picked up the problem and delivered the goods and picked up the loaner as well. The pen is mighter than the sword. When locals realize that they don't HAVE to just accept things are that way, then there will be change. While they actually lost me as a customer somewhere along the way, I would have liked to poach the customer service rep that had contacted me and deal with me throughout the affair. He was good! Just a shame he was so inaccessible at that time.

Basically, online shopping is just like a brick & mortar store if you get bad service, except you complain online and you will destroy that site quickly if it happens often enough. You might not get "your" money back, but you will stop it from happening again.

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Postby ksl » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 11:36 am

mrlily wrote:
ukdesigner wrote:I'm not sure of your background and where you hail from but Singapore is a very strange marketplace in some things.


i'm a professional engineer from nz... with no marketing experience.

ukdesigner wrote:It's been an insight your experience and as someone who works in marketing I must admit that what you've done does demonstrate a lack of marketing experience I'm afraid. I'm not knocking you, well I probably am but not in a nasty way, but this does serve as a warning when it comes to spending money.


i'm thick skinned, don't worry :)

you mention the locals don't appear to warm to internet shopping, yes i'd agree but... i feel it has more to do with the physical marketplace (size and location) and probably more accurately "asian traites" rather than a lack of willingness to spend online... afterall it is only a taxi, bus or mrt ride away plus i'll buy a coffee on the way and spend some time outside of my concrete box, maybe bargain a little too!

interestingly, yahoo auctions dropped out of sg a few years back citing poor sales and lack of interest. take a look at the big picture, the online auction model (second hand) works in most other countries exceding well. aswell singaporeans are the definition of consumers. yes a strange market place but why?

because sg is a local shopping center?


Use web trends to get an idea of popularity of search words.

Rankings change all the time, so you have to keep up at least every 3 months on SEO.

Alexa rankings mean the higher the ranking the less popular the website by the way!

You need content to keep visitors coming otherwise it will fizzle out.

Also Alexa is only a very rough guide measured from the Alexa tool bar on websites. So it tells how popular Alexa is rather than your own website.

Interesting are key words like "Used Books, Discount Books and Free books...."The first two becoming less popular over the years and the last term popular in 3rd world Countries. I suggest you try to find the key words for Singapore.....and set them in your website. SMS & UKdesign are spot on with their summing up of Singapore.

My other question is why do you limit the website to Singapore residents?

I have purchased several books on the Internet from USA and UK and the postage cost more than the books. I am just curious, becuase i know myself if i really want the book, i will have to pay for it, although the books i purchased are not easy to find in Singapore.

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Postby mrlily » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 5:12 pm

ksl wrote:My other question is why do you limit the website to Singapore residents?


as you said "I have purchased several books on the Internet from USA and UK and the postage cost more than the books."

considering our product "second hand books" then tack the international delivery cost to the price, in most cases the price ends similar to a new book, ie: not much point in buying 2nd hand. also restricting the market to SG appears to be unfavourable to international spammers, touch wood.

plus, if we go internationally were competing with amazon, who also sell second hand books. yes ebay sg also sell but u'll notice that the majority are international sellers... delivery costs, scams etc...

for those who are interested, here are some basic live stats i coded using php, u can customise the graph using the bar at the top of the page (don't take the piss about this site, it's my personal testing server)

http://mechanical.dyndns.org/mechanical ... _stats.php


given the number of blogshops selling nic-naks, clothes etc... maybe the habits of Singaporean shoppers are evolving?
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Postby x9200 » Thu, 25 Mar 2010 7:28 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So, using that, I sent an email to the webmaster of the site politely letting him know that if I didn't get a response from somebody from HP (I also sent the contents of my previous 2 faxes as well) within 24 hours, I would proceed to post my problem on every IT tech forum both locally and internationally that I could find.

Would you really do this or you were just bluffing? While I practically always stand up to fight against anything I consider unfair or not right in this kind of situations I have a lot of reservation to make it public. Singapore seems to be so obsessed when it comes to defamation.


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