Agenda launches international e-commerce website
http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=109577

In what is a first for Malta in its sector, and what appears to be the widest application of e-commerce on the local market, Agenda Bookshop, Malta’s leading bookshop chain, this week launched its international e-commerce website at http://www.agendamalta.com.

With a range of over 1.5 million books and hand delivery straight to consumers’ doors, the development could well be expected to give websites such as Play.com and Amazon a good run for their money with Maltese consumers.

Speaking at this week’s launch of the website, which has now gone live, Miller Distributors Ltd CEO Malcolm Miller underlined the convenience of using a trusted and respected local brand.

“There are many advantages of using a reliable local e-commerce site,” he observed. “Apart from price, where we are comparable and often cheaper than major international sites, we can think local and go that extra mile to ensure users really do get a good deal.”

All the prices quoted on Agendamalta.com are final and include local VAT and delivery to consumers’ homes.

Research shows that, after price, convenience is the second greatest pull factor when it comes to shopping online. But that convenience is often compromised when, for example, consumers need to go to the post office to collect a purchase, in the process forfeiting the very convenience they were after in the first place – a prospect circumnavigated through the hand delivery system devised for the website.

On the delivery aspect, Mr Miller explained: “We will deliver after 4pm, which is a time when you or a member of your family are likely to be at home. Failing handover, delivery will be made to one of the many options for collection the customer indicates when ordering. Delivery is made within two to 15 working days, but we aim for – and have so far achieved – six days and, if in stock in Malta, we hit two days.”

According to statistics published by the MCA, an estimated 63 per cent of Maltese online buyers prefer to purchase from companies they trust. Over half the purchases made online are carried out with security options, such a PayPal, or through secure sites.

Mr Miller added: “A serious concern with over 55 per cent of Maltese e-commerce users is fraud, or concerns ranging from no delivery at all, to damage or the wrong article being delivered. At Agendamalta.com, with the reliability of a local trusted brand, we operate under the strictest international security structures, giving peace of mind to users that no card details or personal information is stored.

“The policy, as clearly explained on the site, also gives users full protection and an easy solution in the unlikely event of damaged or wrong articles being delivered. We are a recognised local operator and committed to serving our customers to the best practice levels we have established.”

The policy of the e-commerce site is to carry as wide a range of titles as possible, and it is well on its way towards reaching that goal, with its current 1.5 million titles in English and Maltese.

“We pride ourselves on being the largest site for Maltese titles and encourage even the smallest titles to join our listing. Agendamalta.com is committed to be the largest website for Maltese publications,” said Mr Miller.

In the coming months, the company will also be offering e-books, enabling the more hi-tech customers to download books to their electronic devices such as iPads.

Mr Miller extended his thanks and appreciation to the Agenda Online team, as well as Think Design, who designed and created the Agendamalta.com website.

Visit http://www.agendamalta.com for more information.

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