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AWARDS: Realmdigital Wins Architectural Award for


Recent Gauteng Business News

Realmdigital, the Cape Town-based online, social and mobile development firm, has bagged the prestigious international iCMG Architectural Award in the category Open Source Technologies, for its recently completed Exclus1ves e-commerce store.

Competition was fierce, Lynch reports, with an international field comprising Volvo, Vodafone and Intel, and an illustrious jury including the chief architect of the Bank of America.

Nevertheless, Realmdigital will walk off with prizes including the Architecture Award trophy subscriptions to webinars, expert advice and skills benchmarking tests, US$700 in free tuition, free exposure and presentation slots at the awards ceremony in Bangalore, India.

The winning entry
Lynch says AVUSA (a leading South African group with retail brands including Exclusive Books) commissioned the development of a fully-functional e-commerce site in October 2010, as it sought to combat a rise in technology-enabled competition.

The need was for a single unified platform for all AVUSA’s retail brands, starting with Exclusive Books. It had to leverage the existing brand equity of Exclusive Books and expand its brand perception into non-book product areas (CDs, DVDs, games, e-books and audio books).

Making Exclus1ves happen
Realmdigital took a leading role in the immensely successful project, presiding over the development and integration of numerous front- and back-office components as well as overall programme management.

Its list of responsibilities includes:

· Front-end design

· Product catalogue and search development

· Product widget development

· Content management integration

· Development of the geographic filter for DRM-restricted products

· E-book and audio book aggregator integration

· Supply chain and logistics

· Legal system integration

· Vendor stock integration and supply chain

· E-commerce and payment gateway integration

· Vouchers and

· Promo codes

In addition, Realmdigital worked alongside a range of other suppliers under the following work streams:


- Gloo (online media, in-store promotion)


- Acceleration Media (pay-per-click planning, media planning and buying)

- Habari Direct (affiliate campaigns)

- Worldwide Creative (social media campaign)


- Softline AccPac (operational accounts)

- Tetrad IT and Oracle (Siebel CRM)

- MWEB Business SafeShop (credit card gateway)

- Booksite, Axiom, Bookmaster (logistics, ERP)

- Booksite Digital (e-book digital warehousing)

- Knowledge Focus, Microsoft (Microsoft Fast)

- Adobe, txtr (DRM, e-books)

- CDC Loyalty (CRM loyalty, Fanatics Club)

- iFactory Consulting, Oracle (Oracle Universal Content Management)

- Harper Collins, on the dot (content providers)

- Overdrive, Baker Taylor (e-book and audio book providers)

- on the dot, Booksite Afrika, Courier IT (physical distribution)

- Adobe, Overdrive, Gartner, Booksite Digital (digital distribution)

Solid results
With the project’s successful conclusion in May 2011, Exclusives now has a full range of products including books, CDs, DVDs, games, e-books and audio books, and a catalogue of 8 million products.

Thanks to extensive systems integration, customers can collect online orders via retail outlets and Fanatics members can manage their portfolios and earn points online as well as offline.

Seven months in (May 2011), Exclus1ves had trebled its unique visitors per month, and grown site visits by a third.

A significant increase in Fanatics enrolment had further been witnessed. International traffic as a percentage of total visits showed a marked increase, and global sales increased substantially, as did online revenue. Non-book revenue grew to a substantial portion of online revenue, and continues to do so.

Finally, e-book sales have increased stratospherically since launch. “Exclusives launched its e-books division on 23 Sept 2010 with minimal fanfare,” recalls Marius Greeff, former marketing and content manager. “Seven months later sales of e-books made up a healthy proportion of total sales, and we expect this to keep growing.”

Lynch says the project also racked up some noteworthy milestones:

- The first southern hemisphere implementation of e-book sales

- The first full-suite implementation of Microsoft Fast in Africa

- The first integration with multiple content aggregators in Africa

- One of the biggest product catalogues on the continent

“Awesome project, exciting prospects”

Exclus1ves has major plans for its continued online success, including ongoing social development.

“Working on a project of this scale has been truly awesome,” comments Lynch. “And the future is even more exciting.”


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