Can The EZ Suite dethrone LiveJournal in Southeast Asia?
August 29, 2011 by Terence LEE
So you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to step up a blogshop selling apparel, shoes, catfood, or anything your awesome mind can conjure up. You’ll be happy to know that LiveJournal and Blogger, trusty old venerables in Internet time, are no longer your only options — a new kid on the block has arrived.
The EZ Suite is a new website creation tool by PayPal and Singapore Post that’s built from the ground up for e-commerce. Available only in Singapore at the moment, it is targeted at startup founders with lots of passion but little technical know-how, and its interface is designed for ease of use with step-by-step instructions and illustrations. The whole process of stepping up shop is broken into six distinct steps, ensuring that you don’t miss out on crucial bits.
Features like a product catalogue, shopping cart, inventory, delivery features, analytics and more are available right out of the box and integrated into the site templates (full list here). Payment on your site would be done through PayPal, with SingPost as your local and international delivery partner.
A wide selection of site templates are also available, and they can be customized to your liking, although deeper HTML/CSS editing is not possible since this service is geared at non-geeks. That might change depending on customer feedback though, as product development head Deric Loh tells me. There’s also integration with social media too: EZ Suite has an app that allows merchants to sell their wares directly on the company’s Facebook Page.
Such a comprehensive service comes at a price. Three paid plans are available, from as low as S$16.95 monthly (up to S$41.95). All plans are free for the first two months, so you can cancel if you find EZ Suite not quite up to scratch. So far, the service is still in its infancy, with subscription ranging in the “double-digits”.
LiveJournal, on the other hand, doesn’t offer such deep e-commerce integration, although it remains the preferred destination for a whole generation of fashion blogshops, which number in the thousands. This is partly due to LiveJournal user communities for fashion blogshops, which make marketing your apparel easier. Interestingly, they are also looking to integrate e-commerce functionality too, although that seems to be very much still in the pipeline with no launch date confirmed (see story).
Another one to watch out for is Connaxion, which aims to be simpler to use than Blogger, but with the same community-building emphasis of Meetup. An online store function is in the pipeline too, although that will take one to two months to complete and will not form part of the initial launch (which is very soon).
We’re not sure though if Connaxion or EZ Suite can unseat LiveJournal as the top e-commerce platform in South-East Asia, but it’ll be interesting to watch the scene develop. Stay tuned folks!
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE