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Nifty Design and Development to NiftyBlythe.Com

Mon, Jun 5, 2006

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NiftyBlythe.Com is the online catelogue website for N:ifty@Work, a Singapore base push cart selling Blythe Dolls’ accessories like clothes, eye chips, socks, shoes, anything that a Blythe owner would want to beauty up their Blythe friends.

My mum’s friend approached me one day and asked if I could help them to create up a website for their push cart. Mainly with the features like a product catalogue for their customers to get an update of new products and the pricing.

Of course I accepted the project and we discussed a few possibilities and noted down the features needed, the style of the design and their preferences etc. After browsing through a couple of reference sites on Blythe Dolls, we all got a better idea on the exact direction.

I went home and continue researching from references, see what additional things can be done in order not to be the same as other competitors. There were many ideas to the design. Other than thinking of a suitable look and feel, another important area was marketing strategy to keep the traffic going. During then, Google Adsense was not that popular yet and the clients didn’t expect paying a little bit more on Advertisement. Instead, they rely solely on Referrals and Recommendation through word of mouth.

Finally, after the whole thinking process, I came up with one solid concept for the website which the client loved. To create a wonderful Blythe Land with rainbows, hot air balloons, pastel sweet colors etc. While encapsulating this Blythe land is a border like paper bag handle. Sort of like those Macdonald Happy Meal paper box. This simply represents effectively that NiftyBlythe.Com is a place where you can buy wonderful Blythe related items!

It was a hit and jackpot. Furthering the design was good features that promote interaction and customer returns over the normal catalogue. I understand the need of Blythe owners; they like to have a place to show off their Blythe Dolls. That’s what buying those accessories is for isn’t it? By implementing a open source Coppermine Gallery, users are able to login and upload photos of their beloved Blythe dolls for all to see.

The traffic began to come especially towards the photo gallery section. Many others browse through the catalogues and pick up their favorite clothes or shoes to beautify their dolls.

It was pretty successful. Another simple implementation was a Tell Your Friend section, which allows satisfied customers to tell their fellow Blythe lover friends about NiftyBlythe.Com. Words spread easily with this simple feature.

Most comments on the guestbook were good and positive. This was really a good motivation by seeing all this satisfied users of the website.

From all this, we can see that with an effective marketing strategy implemented, it can really generate good results and exposure to even a small pushcart business. I learnt through this that having a effective marketing strategy can really determine the life and death of your website. Whether there’s traffic or it’s a ghost town all depends heavily on how you market it out.

Many times, websites are done and expect it to be shown readily on Search Engines and people will eventually bump into the site. This is a purely wrong concept that many developers this days are trying to correct their thinking. In this world, its not really much about creating something, but how to market it in order to make it successful.

Perhaps right now, with more marketing techniques implemented on NiftyBlythe.Com, it may become one of the successful Blythe Dolls website. Sadly, after some time, costs began an issue as push cart overhead was quite high, the owner got into debts and slowly, began to give up the business. That’s where it all ended with a wonderful land of Blythe .

As the business is already down, the website can still be viewed at an alternative url: http://www.dejuicestudio.net/niftyblythe

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