29 Jun 2019


Table of contents                                                                               Page

1.0           Introduction                                                                                   2

2.0    Effective website by Rayport and Jaworski                            5

3.0    Aspects of effective website adopted by MPH groups Sdn Bhd                                                                                                   7

4.0    Recommendations to enhance into an effective web page   12
          4.1    MPH goes mobile                                                                12
          4.2    Podcast                                                                                  13
          4.3    Context                                                                                  15
          4.4    Communication                                                                  16
          4.5    Other changes                                                                      17

5.0    Conclusion                                                                                      17

6.0    References                                                                                       19

1.0)            Introduction
MPH Group Malaysia Sdn Bhd is best known for its book retailing. MPH is involved in printing, publishing and distribution of books services throughout Malaysia and Singapore. The history of the company begins in the year 1890 with W. G. Shellabear being the founder of MPH who established the Amelia Bishop Press in Singapore. In the 1900’s, Reverence William T. Cherry expanded the organisation and changed the name to (MPH) Methodist Publishing House. MPH further went name changes to Malaya Publishing House (MPH) and owner changes but the acronym remained as the company is known today. The final breakthrough came in the year 2002 when Malaysian businessman Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary acquired the company through Jalinan Inspirasi Sdn Bhd. Hence, the MPH becomes a wholly Malaysian-owned private limited company.
The MPH headquarters is located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, with approximately 100 personnel where reliable, efficient and quality services offered to ensure seamless distribution to customers of various grades. It is built over 26,000 square feet to fulfil the dispatching areas where it provides a complete warehousing and distribution services. Currently, MPH distributors have 15 vans and 2 trailers to provide distribution to major cities apart from engaging independent transport services to ensure timely distribution to all customers.
Recently MPH started its own printing and publishing arm under MPH Group Printing and MPH Group Publishing respectively. As of today MPH has 27 outlets in Malaysia and 4 in Singapore. It has a heavy presence in Klang Valley with 17 outlets operating in major shopping outlets and cities including in Sunway Pyramid, Subang Parade, 1Utama and The curve to name a few. Others are 3 in Johor, 2 in Negeri Sembilan and 1 each in Perak, Penang, Melaka, Kedah and Sarawak operating under the MPH bookstore's brand name.
MPH Groups are a company that develops products like books, magazines, stationery and greeting cards. Its subsidiary companies are MPH Bookstores Sdn Bhd, MPH Magazines Sdn Bhd and MPH Distributors Sdn Bhd. Although there are a lot of publishers under its wings, the major publishers are:
·         Harper Collins (US and UK)
·         Random House (US)
·         Transworld (UK)
·         Simon And Schuster (US)
·         Hachette book Group (US)
·         Lonely Planet (Australia)

If one have to surf a website for information on books, MPH Online is very coherent and user friendly. Their website has the key elements of effective websites such as appearance, content, functionality, website usability and search engine optimisation structured on the main page. The advertisements and banners map out the products that are relevant to the websites which always introduces to a link that comes under the same company products which is MPH Groups Sdn Bhd. Products are pictured with meaningful graphics and tagged with the selling price furthermore the overview of the products is given when clicked on the particular product. Some prominent features available from the web page are such as:
v  Text- Background does not interrupt the text and it is large enough and is perfectly clean.
v  Navigation bars and buttons are easy to understand and use, consistent and has an index to provide the users on where they are.
v  Every graphic are labelled and not big or corky with background use browser-safe colours.
v  General design like page downloads quickly, immediate visual impact and excellent graphic elements.

 Figure 1.1
Figure 1.1 is the official logo for visual identification of the company.
Figure 1.2
Figure 1.2 is the aerial view of some of MPH bookstores operating in the Klang Valley.

2.0)            Effective website by Rayport and Jaworski
Jeffrey F. Rayport and Bernard J. Jaworski (co-authors of e-commerce) who run Marketspace LLC, a creative marketing firm in San Francisco introduced the 7C framework for E-commerce interface design. The 7C framework (Figure 2.1) was developed primarily for analysing E-commerce interfaces and examines the customer interface based on seven factors:

Figure 2.1 Rayport and Jaworski’s 7C framework

2.1)            Context:
Context refers to how the website is delivered, if it is user friendly, aesthetically or functionally. Functionality refers to the layout of the content to a set of pages with means of navigation to give satisfaction for users. The section breakdown is also a main aspect of content on how a piece of information is partitioned into a set of pages. The linking and navigation must be related to other web pages and be systematic. Aesthetically means the use of correct colour contrast and visual themes for the particular webpage. For example an attractive website with colourful banners and visuals makes the users to remember the particular website.

2.2)            Contents:
The content focus on how a website is presented. It comprises of text, images, sounds and videos available on the web site. It frequently offers a mix of products which are interrelated with each other. For example, the correlation of products supported with audio narration may promote and convey a message, thus users are able to get a hold of the product overview.

2.3)            Community:
Community concerns with the interaction between users through the web page. An effective interaction creates a feeling of membership and a sense of involvement. Interactive communication is when users are a member of the group where they can send instant messages, queries and to obtain information, however, non-interactive communication usually involves in a direct exchange or response. For instance like e-CRM (Customer Relations Management) is widely used by businesses to enhance customer care.

2.4)            Customisation:
Customisation is the ability of the website to allow the users to adjust the structure and preface to give a convenient environment for users. It is the site’s ability to be tailored by each user. The ability for a user to personalise the website by changing the fonts, translating to preferred language and page layout makes them feel comfortable. For instance by holding shift & press plus (+) button together on the keyboard enables to zoom in the content of the page.

2.5)            Communication:
This refers to on how a website allows interaction or dialogue between the websites and the users. There are three phases of communication that takes place in a web based system.
Ø  Broadcast- a one way communication like value distribution
Ø  Interactive- a two way of communication like customer service request
Ø  Hybrid- a combination of both the above like freeware distribution
An effective website is a site that enables a very dynamic interactive communication where sending and receiving of information is fast, accurate and reliable.

2.6)            Connection:
The efficiency of the website to connect to other websites is characterised according to the linkage and the amount of information quoted from the other sites. When users are interested in a particular product, they demand for the overall features of the product. This usually connects to other layouts hence the server transfer rate should match the speed. For example a microsite that advertises on the page is an outsourced content which links to the fastest pathway for the connection. Users are most likely does not like to wait.

2.7)            Commerce:
Finally, commerce deals with the ability for a website to close a business or a successful transaction. For example like shopping cart, privacy, security, order tracking, delivery options and payment structures are considered as commercial business for making profit. A successful website is a website that provides services and security from purchasing to delivering of goods.

3.0)            Aspects of effective website adopted by MPH groups Sdn Bhd
There are over 600 million websites in the world. The MPH official website (www.mphonline.com) is one of those bookstore industry with very appealing, polished and professionally structured site. It has all the essentials to compete with the current e-market trend. Figure 3.1 is the sample home page of the MPH Groups bookstore.
Figure 3.1 MPH Homepage
Based on Rayport and Jaworski’s 7C framework, the readers will be discussed with the features adopted by MPH online.
3.1)            The context of the page is clear and precise with Log-in/Register, My Account and Help tab are all on the main page. The promotional page which offers 15% discount with redemption Voucher (Baucer Buku 1Malaysia) clearly displayed (Figure 3.1.1). This voucher is given to Malaysian higher education students and can redeem only in selected bookstores and MPH is one of them.
Figure 3.1.1 Advertising redemption vouchers utilisation at MPH stores

The coherent arrangement of books according to their genre is very appealing. As we can see, the upper tab design has the breakdown from bestsellers, new arrivals, school revisions, e-books, special offers and etc. The advertising sectors are minimised on the left hand site of the page. These advertising sites offer a related field of advertisements like security alerts and foreign language bestsellers. The web designer clearly utilised the concept of 7c effectively.

3.2)            The contents are in standard use of contrast with white backgrounds and black alphabets. The bestseller and most frequently asked books are all highlighted with bold letters associated with clear visual graphics. The sentences are short and organised where topics are clearly labelled in a small paragraph. Frequent visitors will find it that the website is frequently updated as I have noticed because of frequent log-in. When new arrivals hit the market, the previous books are moved to the second layer. The flashy graphics are tempting to make us crave to feel the books.

3.3)            Functionality of the webpage is quick and efficiently connects hyperlinks, contact forms, site search for the title/author/ISBN/publisher/e-book search under one tab. One has to just move the cursor to the search tab and click from one of the above mentioned titles. The site simply is fascinating with its:
                                                        I.            Simplicity- The page simply is a website to be revisited because it is not very bombastic.
                                                     II.            Fast-loading pages- According to marketingland.com research analysis, a retail internet site should load up between 8-10 seconds and the MPH official website loaded with an impressive less than 5 seconds. Thus the connection meets the standard of retailers’ homepage.
                                                  III.            Consistent Layout- the mapping of the webpage is not confusing as some other sites. Most of the sites lead to a labyrinth of pages but MPH online is consistent within their website.
                                                  IV.            Prominent/ Logical layout- The main menu item is at the pinnacle of the site as the best way it should be. Based on Rayport and Jaworsky, the menu items should be limited to 10 or lower and MPH online maintains only eight tabs on the menu. Within this they have covered all the necessity breakdowns to be precise.

3.4)            Communication between the webpage and the users are relatively fast. When we click for the books of our choice, the page loading is still at an impressive 5 seconds and lower. For example when browsing for a particular book by the author John Grisham, I simply moved my cursor to the tab search by author and typed the name and it pops up; all the books under the writer came within seconds. Clicking the selected title prompts the plot of the novel together with the selling price and shipping fee. Figure 3.4.1 represents the image of the book with its plot.
Figure 3.4.1 Novel with its pricing and plots
Apart from books there are many other categories MPH group provides online such as stationery and office tools, toys and games, electronic and multimedia, gifts and lifestyles. When move your cursor to these options it will further break down the categories, for example like under stationary and tools one may click to choose sub categories like wallpapers, writing tools, notebook and diary, calculator, file ink cartridges or even stickers. Communication does connect people even between users and websites.
3.5)            On the contact us section at the bottom of the page, one may find placing orders, search the store, your account, and contact us tabs when clicked. This process is to lubricate the commerce process. The delivery process includes delivery rates between east and west Malaysia and the rates according the amount of purchasing also included. The payment method includes:
·         Maybank2u
·         CIMBClicks
·         PayPal
·         Major credit cards from Visa and Master or
·         Payment at outlets
Customers may choose the most convenient method to smooth the payment process they feel safe and convenient. On the other hand, the company provides a rebate of 20% off the list price for every online purchasing. Figure 3.5.1 shows the discounted price for online shoppers.
Figure 3.5.1. 20% discount offer for online purchasing

4.0)            Recommendations to enhance into an effective web page
MPH’s main competitors are bookstores like Amazon.com, Kinokuniya Malaysia, Times Bookstore and Popular Bookstores Malaysia. All these bookstores are very popular in Malaysia and are going online where the internet purchasing becomes a phenomenon for the retailers to expand their product offerings, adding in-store pickup, free shipping and experimenting with social media. All these firms in the industry are reinventing how to shop online in the future. Therefore, there will be more choice for the consumers to compare and contrast products and prices for evaluation. MPH Groups need to keep in pace to stay afloat in the industry. Here are some of my humble recommendations for MPH Group to consider:
4.1)            MPH Goes Mobile
With the dawn of the digital era, millions are reaching their Smartphone when the urge to shop strikes. Whether at home or on the go, these consumers use their phone to browse and research their products, hunt and make deals for purchases. Before this you have to go to Paris to buy books of their cultural values, now Paris comes to you. That is the way it goes now.
Rayport and Jaworski added two more elements on their scholarly articles which is 2M. The 2M are Mobile Settings and Mobile Device constrains. The 2M’s and 7C’s are proposed as a new framework for mobile commerce interfaces. The common aspects of e-commerce and m-commerce interfaces make it possible for m-commerce researchers begin their investigations with the body of knowledge accumulated in e-commerce. Mobile setting represents the unique environment where mobile users perform their tasks in terms of time, place, and context. Mobile device constraints encompass the various issues associated with the inferior performance of mobile devices. To be portable, mobile devices have smaller screens, less convenient input facilities and lower multimedia processing capabilities than desktop computers. Context-awareness computing provides the users with task-relevant information or services. To further enhance the Mobile commerce MPH Group may use the following framework for the study of m-commerce interface design by Rayport and Jaworski.

·         How a web site is delivered
·         Aesthetic and functional look and feel
·         Time-sensitive content as well as place, context-sensitive content
·         User to user communication
·         Site's ability to tailor itself or to be tailored by users
·         The dialogue between sites and users
·         Formal linkage between sites
·         Shopping tools supporting the sale of goods and services
Figure 4.1. The new framework for m-commerce interface design
4.2)            Podcast
A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF or e-pub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. A podcast can be played with iTunes or iPod. This is a new trend that brings a fantastic selection of in-depth author interviews straight to your PC or mobile. Podcasting is both a converged medium bringing together audio, the web and portable media player, and a disruptive technology that has caused e-business to reconsider some of the established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production and distribution.
An example of podcasting book is the Oxford Handbook of Clinical medicine which it represents a three part podcast series about the medical and health related topics:
ü  Volume 1: We hear how the book comes into existence and how it set out the prevailing culture of medical education.
ü  Volume 2: Exploring the philosophy of the book and the authors hope and;
ü  Volume 3: Looking at how the handbook kept up to date and meeting the challenges in the future.
There are tons of other books from health, cookbooks to novels going podcast where one can listen anywhere and anytime with the mobile or by just downloading it to their computer. MPH group can play these books through iTunes or YouTube channel provided they subscribe with YouTube and iTunes for support. Figure 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 are taken from Blackwell Bookshops going iTunes and YouTube.
Figure 4.2.1 Podcasting books from iTunes (Source: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/blackwell-online-podcasts/id313180102)
Figure 4.2.2 Podcasting books from YouTube (Source: https://www.youtube.com/BlackwellOnline)
4.3)            Context
Aside from the main upgrades as stated above, MPH Group seriously needs to consider upgrading a few elements on their webpage as described by Rayport and Jaworski’s 7C under the context arrangement and design. There is no home button located on the page. It is very peculiar because home button is an important substance in any web pages. When we surf a web we tend to go on the far side of the page and once we have over circumnavigate things we need to go back to the homepage in order to look for other items.
Basically, the users’ habits are a bit similar to customers in the store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at. Most users search for something interesting or useful and as soon as some promising products are found, users click. It is advisable for MPH to utilise the white space available on their left and right side and start advertising books by category each per line. For example:
Ø  First Layer: Bestselling novels
Ø  Second Layer: Bestselling Nonfictions
Ø  Third Layer: Safety and Health Books
Ø  Fourth Layer: Bahasa Malaysia bestsellers
Ø  Fifth Layer: Other Language Bestsellers (Chinese, Japanese, French and etc.)
Ø  Sixth Layer: School revision books and
Ø  Seventh Layer: Magazines
By doing this, most sought after book advertising on the home page are covered and minimises scroll thus reducing the existing 15 layers to 8 layers. Users don’t read but they scan. By analysing the webpage, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page. The number of books also can be added from five (currently) to 7 in each layer if the white space is utilised.

4.4)            Communication
Communication between the web and users may also be upgraded. As we can see on the homepage, there is a search feature but it comes with the choice of title, author, ISBN, Published and e-book searches only. Meaning we can search the page by these titles only. Since MPH online provides many other types of products rather than books such as gifts, stationaries, magazines and e-books, how a user might search the site for the above items? It is essential for the MPH group includes a search feature for all categories and includes a link to this feature in every page. Refer to figure 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 for the difference in the search category from MPH online and Penguin. Co of United Kingdom.
Figure 4.4.1 Search box for penguin books online UK

Figure 4.4.2 Search box for MPH online only in selected headings

4.5)            Other Changes
There are a few other areas that can be enhanced as well such as:-
*      Creating e-CRM (Customer Relationship Management). The goal of e-CRM is to help create and increase customer equity. Numerous studies have found that e-CRM emphasis can give mutual benefit to both the company and the customer.

*      Buying and selling new, used and rare books to wider the market scope by allowing the visitor to examine and read some of the great books of the world. MPH Group can also promote books by doing an exhibition in schools throughout Malaysia. For instance they can start off with local schools from the Klang valley first. This tour is to emphasize students the importance of books and the value they might gain from reading at the same time creating awareness of the importance of books in our daily lives.

*      Philanthropic organisations- This is to promote the welfare of others by donating a portion of the money for good purposes, generous and benevolent. For instance like RM1.00 donation for every purchase of RM50 and above to the research foundation of any selected university or any other educational funds.

5.0)            Conclusion
With the 7C’s framework in hand, the abundant literature on this subject indicates the trend in designing websites is toward simplicity. “Cool stuff” is on its way out. Revolving windings, flashing banner ads, grotesque background colours and textures and a meaningless multitude of multimedia effects that require endless plug-ins will be extinct as electronic commerce continues to advance. Users no longer want glitter – they want content and service, and they want it fast. This demand will continue to drive MPH Groups Sdn Bhd toward speed, navigation efficiency, simplicity, and elegance with an emphasis on customer focus and security.
Although the adopted features of MPH Groups are relevant and consistent with any other web pages, they need to keep pace with the current trends because Information Technology related items are becoming obsolete faster as time passes by with the invention of new methods are always in the experiment.
This assignment aimed to evaluate various elements designed to produce an effective and quality service. A focused approach has been identified in all possible views with some specific reference from competitors to fill in the gap with the key components in order for MPH Groups to compete with the global market. The MPH Groups Sdn Bhd might consider my humble suggestions enhancing the quality status of web design for quality assessment. Thus I would like to conclude with MPH Groups to emphasize the continuous improvement of the design aspect to promote and provide to customers anytime, anywhere as education is the best investment for anyone.

3, 644 words

6.0)            References
Blackwell books. (2013). Retrieved on 28 September From Http://www.bookshop.blackwell.co.uk
Gesenhues, A. (2013). Marketing Land retail website. Retrieved on 30 September From http://marketingland.com/retail-website-load-times-continue-to-decline-with-a-22-decrease-during-the-last-year-37604
MPH Group Sdn Bhd. (2013). Retrieved on 25 September From Http://www.mphonline.com
Penguin Putnam. (2013). Retrieved on 28 September From Http://www.penguin.co.uk
Rayport, F. Jeffrey and Bernard, J. Jaworski (2005).  Best Face Forward: Why Companies Must Improve Their Service Interfaces with customers, 2 (6).
Young, E. L and Benbasat, Izak (2004). International Journal of Electronic Commerce. A framework for the study of Interface Design for mobile Commerce, 8 (3), 80-84.

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