SA’S SOFTWARE FUTURES IMPLEMENTS ONLINE BOOK CLUB FOR KALAHARI.NET

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Software Futures has implemented the kickbackclub, said to be SA’s first online book club within a virtual mall, for Kalahari.net. Sean O’Connell, Software Futures Cape regional GM, says that N-Direct, the holding company for Kalahari.net, outsourced the project to Software Futures, which has managed all of N-Direct’s ICT requirements since January 2001. For Kalahari.net, the kickbackclub was a main strategic project targeted for completion this year.

Kalahari.net claims to be SA’s largest e-tailer, offering the widest selection of books, music, movies, and gaming online. It also offers travel (in conjunction with lastminute.com), airtime, wine, magazine subscriptions and the full range of Verimark products. O’Connell says: "This is the first known virtual mall with a book club attached to it."

Hein Pretorius, N-Direct CEO, says: "When we did the initial strategic design of the concept, we made it clear this would not be a loyalty scheme, where you could be a member for four years and get only R20 back. We decided on instant gratification - an immediate 20% discount and 24-hour delivery. We also enable our clients to get 20% off the prices of top CDs and DVDs. So it is an immediate reward system for our loyal customers. "We had to translate the business imperatives we had and integrate those with the supply chain. Software Futures then translated these into technical requirements in terms of the design of the club. This was important, with relation to how we would market products on the site, as both members and non-members should have access to the whole range of products, but at two different pricing structures - one at normal retail and the other a club price."

Software Futures custom-built this solution to meet all of these needs. O’Connell says: "Kalahari takes care of the look and feel of things, and we look after implementing the fully integrated solution, using our RUP approach and sound project management, thereby ensuring delivery on time, budget and according to agreed specifications". Just over a month after being launched, the club already had some 2 500 members.

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