Web dev’t firm opens store kiosk, mulls franchising

By Tom Noda

Local website developer WebsiteExpress.BIZ opened on Thursday, Oct. 10, its first “offline” website store and announced plans of franchising the business.

The store kiosk occupies a four-square meter space located at Level 1 of Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City.

Kristian Pura, head of the digital media group of Now Corporation, during the store opening

WebsiteExpress.BIZ is a Web development store of Now Corporation, formerly Information Capital Technology Ventures or ICTV. It provides mock-up and custom-built website designs for businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a matter of hours.

Kristian Pura, head of the digital media group of Now Corporation, said the company chose to put the website consumer store at a popular mall in anticipation of growing demand for website creation among businesses and individuals, as well as to make website creation more accessible.

“The store is highly visible and with its strategic location and high foot traffic, it will make more people aware about the services of WebsiteExpress.BIZ,” Pura said.

Pura said the store’s function will somehow be similar to the popular photo studio franchise Foto-Me that provides fast imaging services and has several outlets in shopping malls and commercial centers in Metro Manila.

He said the company is also focused on its latest niche called “responsive Web design” in which all pages of the website will automatically resize to fit all computer and mobile device screens.

Pura added WebsiteExpress.BIZ will be promoting a campaign called “convert your brochure into a website”.

“We have ready-made templates for SMEs. For example a restaurant can simply give us their food menu and we’ll quickly provide them with a mock up website,” Pura said.

He said the price for a template design is less than P30,000 while a custom-built one is pegged at P100,000.

A staff of WebsiteExpress.BIZ at the newly opened store kiosk at the Shangri-La mall in Mandaluyong City

As for its franchising plans, Pura said the company is still polishing an effective business model.

“Expansion efforts will depend on the success of this initial venture,” Pura said. “For now, we’ll just concentrate on this initial store. [We’ll] branch out to other major malls, specifically in Makati and Quezon City and hopefully, everything will proceed as we’ve envisioned it.”

Among the works of WebsiteExpress.BIZ were the websites of SkyJet Airlines and Expat Travel & Lifestyle Philippines. They were also tapped by advertising agency BBDO Guerrero to develop the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” website of the Department of Tourism.