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Cracking the online marketplace

'Connecting physical advertising mediums to digital activities provides us with so many opportunities.'

Ozgur Akdeniz, The Booklist

Top tips

  • Keep it simple- figure out what your customers really want and figure out the simplest, fastest way to give it to them 
  • Persistence – it’s likely many of your original plans may not work the first time – so stick at it and experiment while you’re small and nimble.
  • Operate like a research lab – constantly develop theories which you test and adjust your site accordingly. 

The business 

‘A good book can make you laugh, make you cry, teach you something new, inspire and enrage you, romance and engage you. In fact a good book can do just about anything. The only problem? Sometimes there's just too many to choose from’.

So in comes The Booklist, an online book price comparison service. A new online business started in 2013 by owners Ozgur Akdeniz and Tom McLeod The Booklist finds its customers the cheapest textbooks, school books and pretty much any other book – at no cost.   

Filling a gap: where can you make the biggest difference? 

The Booklist does all the hard work for their customers. With a target market that is both price sensitive and has a high spend per capita, The Booklist offers a saving of up to 80% on purchases.

After some research the business owners found a gap in the market and moved quickly to fill it, as owner Ozgur puts it ‘…the price and delivery costs for the same product would vary greatly between online retailers , so we decided to shake up the marketplace via our 'one stop shop' comparison tool’. 

The product itself can easily be replicated around the world. The idea is that the business model can be used to fulfill the needs of target markets with similar demographics and needs both locally and internationally.

'The benefits appeal to students worldwide and thus the potential is limitless'. 

Connecting mediums to get your business seen 

The Booklists strategy is to combine their digital and physical marketing activities, an important aspect of marketing tactics the business believes is being overlooked in the rapidly changing online space.

‘Connecting physical advertising mediums to our digital activities provides us with so many opportunities to connect clever physical marketing campaigns to an engaging digital activity’, says Ozgur and ‘businesses who can wrangle this current disconnect can build highly engaged or "champion" customers who are receptive to a brand via multiple channels and spread the word amongst their own social circles online’.    

The importance of dialogue and taking feedback 

Being an online business, The Booklist receives a combination of direct and indirect feedback daily. An important part of developing a new business The Booklist is taking feedback to the next level, not only thanking users but also providing follow up contact on actions they have taken based on the user’s experience.

‘People are always happier to leave feedback when they know it has been taken onboard’, says Ozgur and ‘by running various advertising campaigns, different landing pages and trialing different site designs, we can track the behaviour of our site visitors and make informed decisions on what works and what needs changing’.

The result

Do the math - is your idea profitable and sustainable? Ozgur says, research heavily and don't assume you know what your customers want. Quickly and cheaply develop a prototype and test the market prior to making any large capital investments’.