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ST701 spices up menu with new sections on cars, homes, retail - Oct 08, 2007 (ST)

BackOct 08, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

ST701 spices up menu with new sections on cars, homes, retail

What started out as an online job portal of SPH has blossomed into a site that lets users upload videos of their prized cars, homes and gadgets for sale.

By Chua Hian Hou
Oct 08, 2007
The Straits Times

WHAT started out as an online job portal of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has blossomed into a site that lets users upload videos of their prized cars, homes and gadgets for sale.

MORE MARKETPLACES: From an online job portal, ST701 has expanded into three new sections for property, cars and retail products, with enhanced features such as the ability to add video clips. Photo/ MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

The media company's ST701 online classified advertisements, which started out listing job vacancies, has expanded into three new dedicated sections for property, cars and retail products.

The move sees the listed media group, which already has a stronghold in print classified ads, leveraging on its brand name to grow its online presence.

The additional marketplaces, said SPH senior vice-president Elsie Chua, will make ST701 an even more popular online destination.

The site - www.st701.com - was launched last March as a job portal, and has already attracted 120,000 registered users.

Ms Chua estimates that there are more than 50 websites offering online classified ads here. But she said only ST701 offers consumers and advertisers the peace of mind of the established, trusted Cats Classified brand.

The three new sections will offer buyers and sellers enhanced features such as the ability to add video clips of the cars, properties or just about any products that they are putting up for sale.

There are also useful tools for the user within each section. For instance, the car section has a road-tax calculator, while the property section has links to recent property transactions here.

Another new feature is Just Ask, where users can post and answer questions by other users, for instance, whether car certificate of entitlement prices are heading up or down.

The property and retail sections offer free seven-day basic ads, and sellers can pay $5 up for extras such as adding additional images, or boosting its search result placement. Car ads cost $8 upwards.

Although it was officially launched only today, the site has already secured advertisers selling cars, condominium units and pet food.

Auto-retailer CarTimes managing director Eddie Loo said ST701 is a 'must-have in future...with the rise of the use of Internet in Singapore households, we are reaching out to the correct crowd'.

Ms Chua said SPH is also sparing no effort to ensure the market knows about the site and has set aside $2 million over the next three months in advertising.