‘Shopify will provide a more stable and smooth experience for everyone’

  • Jacqueline Ng on the Big Bad Wolf online book sale

The much-awaited Big Bad Wolf book sale is returning to Sri Lanka for the third time, and it just so happens to be the second time this year, just in time for all your Christmas gift needs. The sale began yesterday (3) and will go on until 10 November.

Big Bad Wolf Books Co-Founder Jacqueline Ng

Brunch spoke to Big Bad Wolf Books Co-Founder Jacqueline Ng on this year’s sale and what more we can expect from the Big Bad Wolf. We asked Ng what made them want to return twice in one year, to which she said: “Generally, we have many constraints in terms of venue and volume of books to make it viable, so we normally go back only the next year. But since we are hosting it online, that gives us a lot more flexibility, so we can host the sale more than once.”

She further commented that it also allows customers access to an updated book selection to choose from. The fact that Christmas is also around the corner, meaning their customer purchases will arrive just in time for the festive season, was the push that the Big Bad Wolf team needed to open their doors to Sri Lankan book enthusiasts again.

Ng also added that after the last sale, there were many requests from their customers for the sale to return again this year. “It would have been difficult to have a physical sale, but we thought an online sale would be viable,” she said.

In addition to this, fans can also expect a host of new books and titles across all sections and genres; it is not the goose but the Big Bad Wolf who is getting bigger as Christmas festivities are just around the corner.

This year, Big Bad Wolf partnered with the e-commerce giant Shopify. Sharing the drive behind this, Ng commented that they have created their own platform using a customised software which was used in previous sales, adding that, unfortunately, it was not very stable and experienced a few issues that disappointed some customers.

This time around, they decided to use Shopify, which is a platform that they have used successfully previously in other countries. “We have never experienced server issues or speed issues with Shopify, and in terms of Sri Lanka, we are trying to redeem ourselves from our last two sales, where there were some technical difficulties. Shopify will provide a more stable and smooth experience for everyone,” she said.

We asked Ng what some major changes that are seen on the platform, to which she highlighted that the user experience will be smoother since it’s a platform that is designed for shopping. She also added that the promotion mechanisms on the website are also easy.

“The speed will be much faster since we subscribed to the enterprise level, so we have a dedicated server, and if the traffic increases on the website, Shopify will provide us with more resources again, enabling a streamlined experience,” she informed us.

All transactions of this online sale will be streamlined and handled professionally by Shopify, leading to a smooth and enjoyable experience for the nationwide “wolf pack” in Sri Lanka. For convenience, customers can make their payment through the following payment methods: Visa and Mastercard credit/debit card, internet banking via Sampath Vishwa, and e-wallet apps including ComBank Q, eZ Cash, FriMi, Genie-Wallet, iPay, and MCash.

Upon asking Ng if they had noticed any recurring buying patterns from Sri Lankan customers, she replied: “Category-wise, we are still selling a lot of young adult novels, biographies, self-help, and business books.” She also observed that because of the pandemic, there was an increase in purchase of children’s books, adding: “Since schools are closed during this season and for the last year, parents tend to buy more educational materials for children to study and learn from.”

The Big Bad Wolf Books also promises that all books ordered during the online sale will be delivered to their customers before Christmas arrives. Ng stated that the buyers can expect a jolly Christmas this year, filled with happiness, knowledge, and exclusive book titles in addition to the extensive discounts and offers.

She also highlighted that while the books will be delivered in time for Christmas, the warehouse where the books are stored in Malaysia has been carefully sanitised and adheres to the strictest of health guidelines. All aspects of the shipping process too will adhere to the highest standards of cleanliness and careful consideration will be taken to ensure that health protocols are followed.

Ng told us that this time, the sale will also have a spend and win competition where the grand prize is an iPhone 13, which is huge, and urged fans to participate in it. They will also be maintaining free shipping for all purchases over Rs. 9,000.

Ng promised that if the pandemic in Sri Lanka is to subside, depending on the market opening up, fans can expect a physical sale next year.