Taking 'feng shui' Online

New Straits Times,
Thursday, February 20, 2003 ( COMPUTIMES )
By Rina De Silva

Although she admits knowing next to nothing about building a Web site for electronic commerce, feng shui pundit Lillian Too respects the marketing power that the Internet offers. This came about after she saw sales of her books and registration of her feng shui courses rising beyond expectations through, a site built by her daughter, Jennifer.

Jennifer, who is chief executive officer of WOFS Sdn Bhd, the company operating the Web site, says several thousands of her mother's books had been sold online.

In addition, Too's feng shui courses conducted at the office of WOFS have attracted many from abroad to register.

"There have been participants from the United States, United Kingdom, South America, Russia and France who came to Malaysia for my courses, and left as feng shui experts," Too says.

According to Jennifer, the Web site receives about one million hits per month, with the number of hits doubling during festive seasons.

The site also has articles on feng shui advice for relationships, business and other related matters. It markets feng shui merchandise as well.

Jennifer's venture into e-commerce started in 1997 when she returned to Malaysia during a break from her studies at Cambridge University. She took a summer job at Cisco Malaysia during her studies and was attracted to the Internet during surfing. She was eager to build a Web site of her own. A tech-savvy colleague offered some pointers.

When she returned to the UK, Titanic was a hot movie at that time and Jennifer was also hooked to it. She decided to build a Web site on the movie to sell its paraphernalia. Before long, her site attracted numerous requests and advertisers. "Her site attracted more visitors than the official Titanic movie site," says her proud mother. Upon her return to Malaysia, Jennifer started to work on, putting up articles on feng shui with a little help from her mother.

"Soon it became like an online magazine and was a hit among those interested in feng shui matters," Jennifer says.

Spurred by the site's success, Jennifer with her team decided to venture into e-commerce, selling Too's books and feng shui merchandise.

"I wanted to promote my mum's books on the Internet to give them worldwide exposure," she explains. Membership now stands at about half a million.

The e-commerce link of can be found at and to date, Jennifer estimates that it attracts about US$6,000 (RM24,000) to US$8,000 in sales daily. "We receive an average of 30 to 40 orders each day," she adds. She says about 80 per cent of all orders come from overseas, and shipping takes seven to 10 days.

When the Web site was being designed, Too offered some feng shui advice to Jennifer and her team.

"I told them the Web site should have no clashing feng shui colours. All the colours should blend, and no sharp and abstract objects," she says.

Too was also against the idea of having pop-ups on the Web site. "I think it is irritating to have pop-ups while you are reading something. And some of them don't go away immediately even after pressing the Close key," she says. "We are not looking for advertisements for the site."

She adds that she would rather have advertisers for WOFS' magazine on feng shui which was started as a result of the interest shown online.

One issue about the Internet that Too wants to highlight is the local delivery of broadband services. "There is a long wait for the service even if the telecommunications operator is already promoting it. They are sitting on a goldmine, but don't know how to mine it," she says.

She invites anyone interested to log on to not just to check out the articles or buy her books and merchandise, but to feel good. "There are only positive messages found on the Web site. We want everyone to feel happy while visiting it," she says.
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