Posted by Lee Peng on August 2, 2012
2006 is really the eCommerce boom in Singapore
We done the most eCommerce projects in this year. Everyone seems want to start their dream store in the virtual world.
From existing shop who wish to go online… entrepreneur who starting a new idea… to … students selling design t-shirt
The sad thing was most of them failed within 1 year of operation… except the following two… and they share the same nature…. Fishing!!
Anglers-Proshop.com (later JDMTackle.com)
Randy. A Jigging & Popping (a type of extreme fishing technique) fanatic, made his hobby his business.
I think the most successful part of this business is he chose to based in U.S.
With this, the business is exposed to the large U.S. local market with cheap shipping option, as well as the global market. Basing in the western country also help the business to escape from price war which is very common in Asia.
Beside this, Randy also participate actively in the hobbyist community, forums and organise many fishing trips. In addition, he also introduced some quality but reasonable price brands to the States… and even build his own rods. These professional knowledge and reputation are really the foundation of the success of the business.
I will use the name JDMTackle to address this website in the later part of this post. (I don’t want google to index the old website name via our post )
An established fishing accessories retail back here at Singapore.
The online present has attract many viewership but not fully online order as many local hobbyist still prefer to purchase at the shopfront. However, lately they have started to sell to the overseas market through the online store and we are pleased to serving them continuously for their success.
Both websites were built using our eCommerce engine as foundation and with certain level of customisations to make it suite better the business. Unlike other eCommerce, the design and development of online fishing stores shared some of their uniqueness….
a.) 1 product, many variations
For example, lure. We have different colors. Different packing. Different sizes.
So shall we split them into different products or a single products with different variations?
We eventually implemented a 3D product variants for JDMTackle with model, size and color.
b.) Many sizes
Reels are small but heavy
Rods are light but long
Lures are small and light
Accessories are more of the common size
I can put 2 rods and ship as a tube. When I ship with rods, I count by volume instead of weight
I can put lures and ship with tube for free
c.) Many many shipping options
Due to the size matter and to make price competitive, different shipping options need to be implemented.
For JDMTackle, we have things like
- Fedex for U.S. domestic shipping of all items
- Fedex for international rods shipping
- EMS, USPS, Fedex for international shipping of other items
For FishingBuddy, we have
- SingPost and SpeedPost for local orders
- SingPost, SpeedPost and TNT for international orders
Beside multiple options, shipping rates from different providers are monitored from time to time so that customer can enjoy the best rate. For example we have been switching UPS/DHL/Fedex for JDMTackle and keep revising the EMS and USPS price table to the latest offer.
As the community is small, we eventually got to build another fishing store.. eastackle…
So, let’s fish together
Posted by Lee Peng on July 21, 2012
Sep 2005 – First launch
Feb 2006 – Design change (provided by CTC’s in-house designer)
With added banner management and LIVE of cruise
Minor adjustment in terms of banner and image links
Sep 2006 – 1st Revamp
Here comes the concept of aggregating information and quick search to every products at the home page
Mar 2008 – 2nd Revamp
This revamp didn’t come with much functionality changes but more of a change of design concept as well as in alignment of the many online marketing and the launch of sister website findmerooms.com
Jan 2011 – 3rd Revamp
The previous design was too dull. A new lifestyle design was done up by our creative designer.
Unfortunately the team who drive the original few versions of website left CTC and the content is now way under-maintain (Only left group tours are updated. Free & easy content is updated but nobody load the price. So you might see many empty space here)
Posted by Lee Peng on
It was a 7 years journey with Commonwealth Travel, marking the start of our relationship with the travel industry…
We were back then a tiny company and we managed to win the contract against another vendor who is more experienced in the field. Really appreciate the first management group who trust us and gave us the opportunity.
The original website before revamp wasn’t rich in content and features…
The requirements were very brief. They want a more vibrant website that has the component of tours (group / free & easy / cruise), flights, hotels, membership and booking enquiries.
We know nuts about travel back then. But we know how to organise data and information and learn through what we have.
So our tiny Bukit Batok office was full of product booklets, brochures, flyers, price sheets as it if we want to travel around the world.
We work with the marketing team and we didn’t arrange direct interviews with other department. Something due to our lack of experience. Haha. Anyway, we did study other products to figure out what shall we do. It is kind of open specs project anyway.
Timeline was very tight. We signed the contract in late May and wish to LIVE in mid Aug. The most “lucky” was we have another Headhunting company system project signed at the same time and I was the only programmer -_-!!
Thank God that Patrick join us as intern during his university school holiday and we have 2 “team” working on different project.
After 2 months of 10am – 11pm fights, here is the result
(The WayBack Machine didn’t capture the background image properly. The actual one looks much nicer. Trust me!)
The new website is much comprehensive in feature:
- Structured tour information for group, free & easy and cruise
- Upload of group tour price and availability from back office system
- Complex free & easy and cruise price matrix (pls imagine for cruise, you have different departure seasons, different deck, different cabin etc)
- Flights and rates
- Hotels and rates
- Comprehensive booking enquiry form so that most of the traveller information are captured
- Travel club membership
- Travel club privileges directory
Technically, PHP + PostgresSQL were used. pgSQL was selected because MySQL 4 didn’t has the sufficient features we want.
Many has contributed to the successful launch of this project, especially the young and dynamic CTC marketing team back then.
Anyway, the journey started and many things happened after this…
Posted by Lee Peng on July 20, 2012
Here we talk about HappyApe.com we developed in 2005.
As this was our 2nd eCommerce project and we were exploring ways to do it more efficiently.
After evaluating some off-the-shelve products like osCommerce and cubeCart, we felt that is is better for us to develop our own eCommerce engine that is easier to use by merchant and easily customisable.
HappyApe.com was launched after 2 months of day and night fighting to build the engine and integrate the design together.
We stretch ourself to provide 2 payment options: Credit card using WorldPay and PayPal.
This was the first time we integrate PayPal and I would said we really had hard time to learn from messy PayPal documentation website to get things like PDT and IPN works properly. Though hard, it become one of our most valuable asset to get PayPal done the proper way.
In fact, we had our 3rd eCommerce project anglers-proshop.com done concurrently at the later stage of the development and launch it 2 weeks after we launched happyape.com. Again, our solution tested and worked
Posted by Lee Peng on
As we celebrating our 9th anniversary, I’m thinking to write a series of reviews of some key projects we developed since we started. I hope as we look back to our history, we will able to have better insights of our values, innovations and technologies… And how we learn along the way.
Toykar.com was our “unofficial” first project as this was a website I built as a freelancer before we started Forecepts. It’s uniqueness is not just limited to as a pioneer project but with some technical breakthrough.
After revamp by Forecepts
Before we started the website, we brought back all Toykar’s printed catalogue and done a detailed analysis of the category and structure of product information in each category. We generarised the information and designed the product catalogue management with different product attributes for different categories of product.
Front end wise, products need to be browsed by brands, categories and sub categories. So we designed a tree left navigation with collapse/expand of brands, categories, followed by products.
Catalogue is big and I don’t want to let the page refresh on every click of the tree.
Only In 2006 I knew that this is one of the ancient implementation of AJAX. Haha!
Another key requirement was UPS integration for shipping rates and tracking.
The integration guide was studied thoroughly and many testing was performed to parse and interpret and convert XML result in a pretty presentation.
This was the first time we done 3rd party integration with CURL to consume webservice, XML parsing and direct collaboration with 3rd party provider to see through the LIVE of the integration.
Lastly was WordPay integration which was our first payment gateway integration.
Also, this was the first time we use PHP’s GD library to perform automatic thumbnail generation and resize for the photo gallery module.
In conclusion, this revamp was feature riche and provide us the platform for technology breakthrough towards a proper website development.
Unfortunately, Toykar did not continue with us after year 2011 and changed the website to use Joomla…. Sad….
Posted by John on June 16, 2012
We are proud to have just launched a new website for our client, Boncafé (www.boncafe.com). This is the 3rd time that Forecepts have revamped the website for Boncafé. We have put together timeline to show how the website’s looks had evolved over the years. We’re really proud to be involved the website development of a great coffee company with such a rich heritage.
This was how the Boncafé website looked like when Forecepts first took over maintenance of the website in 2005. From the copyright statement in the footer, and the 40th anniversary logo at the top of the website, this website should have been built and online since 2002.
After we took after the maintenance of the website in 2005, we were very soon invited to pitch for the revamp of their website. Forecepts won the pitch and we developed a fresh new look that focused on a lifestyle theme with a content management system. A barista’s blog & recipes section was also introduced in order to engage Boncafé’s customers in a more intimate level.
Year 2007 ~ 2008
In the following year that we had done the 1st revamp of the website, Boncafé wanted something special in commemoration of their 45th anniversary. Forecepts worked with Brainwave Design on a new concept. The idea was to have the barista’s tabletop as the backdrop for the entire website, which users would explore to navigate the website.
The website would first load to display a section of the barista’s table top. As the user clicked on the various elements that were positioned purposefully on the table, the screen would scroll to adjacent sections of the table top to reveal more content to the user.
While Brainwave Design spearheaded the art direction and photography for the website, Forecepts developed the website in Flash in order to achieve the best visual and interaction effects on the browser. The result was a beautiful interactive website experience and a great showpiece befitting of Boncafé’s 45th anniversary.
Year 2009 ~ 2011
Unfortunately, Forecepts did not win the opportunity to develop their new website in 2009 even as Boncafé enhanced its brand and launched new products that year. However, we continued to maintain our relationship with Boncafé and were involved in the design & development of a new website for Astrabon in the same year, and another new website for the launch of Être Bon, their coffee gallery and academy in the following year.
Finally year 2012, we had the good opportunity to be involved once again in the development of Boncafé’s new website, this time round, for their 50th anniversary. The project was done in collaboration with another creative agency, where the concept was created by 3-Sixty Brand Communications, while Forecepts executed the delivery of the website. We are proud to present Boncafé website 2012 (www.boncafe.com) to you. Happy 50th anniversary, Boncafé!
Posted by John on June 15, 2012
What is a Mobile Website?
A mobile website is a browser-based website that is developed specifically for a fast and efficient experience on mobile devices. Usually, the content on a mobile website is displayed in a list form, the pages load quickly, and heavy visuals are simplified.
User Experience Considerations for Mobile Devices
The way mobile users will use your website on their mobile devices will need to be considered to make your website more applicable to them. Your existing website content and user interface needs to be prioritised for your mobile website to take advantage of mobile features such as click-to-call and maps, which mobile users will wish to find faster. You can’t use Flash as it won’t render on mobile devices, your website needs to be validated to HTML5 to ensure that is is error free, while loading time has got to be fast.
How many times have you tried to view a website from your smartphone and found that you had to keep scrolling and zooming to make out the content that you were trying to read. Worst yet, some menu functions does not work and some content are just simply not viewable from your mobile browser, especially when you had needed the information at the very moment. Bet you also had exited the website pretty soon.
On the other hand, you could have visited other websites on your mobile phone where you were pleasantly greeted with a user-friendly interface which catered to your mobile device. The buttons were larger, easy to find and tap, while the content was streamlined into a different layout from your desktop experience, fitting your mobile screen perfectly, great for reading without having to pinch and zoom all the time.
Why Should I Make My Website Mobile-Friendly or Have a Mobile Website?
Users are increasingly accessing information from their mobile devices and mobile web growth is happening 4 times faster than the internet. By 2014, mobile internet should take over desktop internet usage. One half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. Customers are researching information about businesses, products and services while on the move, out of which 60% will make a call or visit the business location immediately. Websites not optimised for mobile devices will soon be a market barrier for their owners. Is your website geared for these potential customers, how does your own website display on your mobile phone?