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Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

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My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

My experiment in making 1000 a month through adsense in 9 months.

If you came here looking for low cost startup ideas, here are 140 startup ideas that you can browse through.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Startup Idea #100: Improve virtual world merchandising

As virtual world items becomes the default business model for many free to use social networks, games and virtual worlds, there is an opportunity to improve the sales conversion through a sophisticated merchandising platform.

In the real world, there are many product strategies that are devised to improve sales ratios.

A 'razor and blade' strategy, for example typically involves selling a item for less than its costs in order to sell more peripherals that this item needs to operate. We can use this technique in the virtual world as well. Why not give away a virtual radio or game console, and then charge for music or games to be played in these machines?

Packaging is also important to a physical product but why is there no effort made to package a virtual good? This is especially important when virtual items are given by players to other players as gifts. Why not make the 'revealing' of these gifts an experience, with music, animaiton et al?

Recommendation system, pioneered by the likes of Amazon, have proven to be useful in improving sales but they are not used to in virtual goods. Why not? I can see, in clothing virtual items for example, that such a recommendation system will be popular among users, especially in conjuction with in-world events where users want to look their virtual best.

Loyalty points, special event promotions, coupon redeemption are also fairly common promotional techniques. Again, virtual world items have seen very little of the above being used.

I believe there is an opportunity to build better tools to help virtual worls, games and social networks monetise their virtual items better. All these tools should provide simple APIs for developers to plug into their products and then see the magic happens. With development tools getting more and more simple to use (see MetaPlace as an example), we will see more independent small scale projects that need simple tools to help them sell more virtual items.