E-COMMERCE & MARKETING
E-Commerce & Marketing
Electronic commerce also known as ecommerce entails trading in services or products using computer network including the internet. In most cases, electronic commerce tends to draw on technologies including electronic funds transfer, mobile commerce, online transaction processing, internet marketing, electronic data interchange and supply change management. Modern electronic commerce usually uses a worldwide website when it comes to transaction’s life cycle. However, it may also use different technologies including e-mail services (Zimmerman 2013, 57).
Technological advancements are making it able for entrepreneurs and capitalists to reach new markets and customers with ease. Alternatively, it has ensured that businesspersons can work from their home comfort and still make profits (Zimmerman 2013, 60). This therefore means that it has become easier than before to conduct business by using online services with the prospective of turning e-commerce ideas into a permanent online retail business. The benefits of extensive internet access therefore means that establishing a business from home comfort can keep overheads low. Alternatively, it offers a perfect opportunity to work from a schedule that is more flexible (Zimmerman 2013, 62).
Recent studies on e-commerce and marketing established that at least one in six businesspersons in the United Kingdom tend to operate online business from the comfort of their home. On a brighter note, industry forecasts remain optimistic regarding online commerce. With this in mind, this study will generally focus on the White stores a small but ever growing online retailer that is based in the United Kingdom (Zimmerman 2013, 70). The report will focus on the importance of social media as a marketing tool in promoting the product awareness. The second part of the report will focus on the promotional strategies in ensuring the organization success. Lastly, the focus will be on some of the social media strategies that the organization uses (Zimmerman 2013, 86).
Started by James Whiteley in 2008, the White Stores is an online retail business in Essex. With several years of online commerce and retailing, the White stores generally works together with some of the biggest garden furniture manufacturing brands in the market. The franchise generally provides its customers with products that are of high quality at great prices. Some of the common products that the White Store sell through online include; Bistro furniture, Benches, Chimneys, Garden beanbags and covers. With a profit of not more than £2 million, James Whiteley mainly conducts his business from the comfort of his home via online. One of the business and marketing strategies in which James Whiteley uses is through the aspect of social media. Generally, James Whiteley uses social media in communicating with his suppliers and customers. In this case, the White store mainly uses Facebook and Twitter or via the phone and mail. According to James, the use of social media to market the franchise remains successful since it offers a personal touch aspect. Alternatively, it offers the chance to meet more people as compared to how he would meet them at the local shops.
Social media as a marketing tool to promote product awareness
The social media acts as marketing tool in modern marketing since it offers a perfect platform to reach out for a larger clientele in an interactive manner. In most cases, these interactions provide the marketer and the clientele a perfect forum for conversation instead of simply educating the customers. Some of the common forms of social media in which the organization may use to promote its products include; Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest (Zimmerman 2013, 92). In simple terms, these forms of media technologies provide a forum in which organizations can display large products amounts and content distribution to reach large audience. Modern mass communication has therefore led to modern marketing approaches, which continues to focus on heavy promotions, large distributions and brand awareness. Digital media as a fast-paced marketing promotion strategy presents new promotion methods through technology. Alternatively, digital media has provided a platform for marketers to reach out to a greater number of clientele (Zimmerman 2013, 95).
Before establishing social media as a marketing tool in promoting the product awareness, the White Store must therefore consider several aspects, which would enable the organization to yield results (Zimmerman 2013, 102). Generally, the White Stores can use the aspect of social media in gaining, promotion of product awareness and optimization of its online marketing in three ways.
Content remains the engine of marketing
Social content for marketing in this case will start with the website in which the White store will talk about some of its products and prices. A blog in this case will serve as a communication platform with other different blogs in the industry, community and customers. Therefore, before venturing into the social media aspect, it is important to consider the content that will be displayed in the social media. During the implementation process, the organization must first highlight some of its products and welcome conversations with its clientele.
Listen for insight
After updating the content on the social media, the next important issue to consider is the aspect of listening to the clientele regarding the products. The aspect of social listening mostly helps to uncover various key insights, which could fuel social media content, outreach and engagement to drive appropriate awareness regarding the White stores products (Zimmerman 2013, 100). Alternatively, social media listening remains an important aspect for identifying topically significant influencers. In this case, White stores must consider people who make recommendations and act on it.
Monitor, Measure and Refine
Information–driven insights in this case offer direction for optimizing the social media marketing opportunity for better performance. In this case, Google analytics will remain an easy choice for the organization since it offers robust features and free costs that include social media tracking integration. One issue to consider during the implementation phase is the sheer information volume on the social web.
Comprehensive internet promotional strategies will most definitely increase sales significantly for the business (Zimmerman 2013, 89). Generally, internet marketing and promotional strategy requires social media knowledge, search engine optimization, email lists, search engine optimization and affiliate marketing (Zimmerman 2013, 94). It is therefore important to learn more about e-commerce before establishing it. Alternatively, the promotional strategies must consider various aspects for the success of the franchise. In most cases, the customer and the products remains the most important aspect before establishing a promotional strategy. With this in mind, the strategy must consider customer benefits on the products and the franchise at large (Zimmerman 2013, 95).
The first step in creating a promotional strategy for the organization is to first develop the brand image and name before communicating with the market. Online brand name and image in this case would remain important aspect to the clientele and in recognizing the franchise competitors. After establishing the brand name and image, it is also important to study business rivals (Zimmerman 2013, 102). In this case, it would be important to study the rivals from their online sites through their marketing strategies and sales processes. Another important aspect to consider in creating a promotional strategy is studying the market (Zimmerman 2013, 104). Choosing the ideal consumer remains an important aspect in order to target them with the organizational strategy. Studying the market will give the organization the exact direction in which it can launch its product. Generally, it can be difficult for any franchise to establish itself in the market without knowing its market.
Another important aspect to consider as a promotional strategy is to mimic the successful marketing approaches of the competitors (Zimmerman 2013, 95). An effective market research should have the ability of identifying the number of followers that rival competitors have especially on the social media. This therefore means that the demographic aspect remains a significant aspect in establishing promotional strategy. Establishing several marketing promotions at once is also an important aspect. This can be done by creating various social media accounts and updating interesting materials on a daily basis (Zimmerman 2013, 120). Updating social media materials daily is important in attracting social media followers. Another strategy is by buying ads on sites, which cater to the franchise market. It is also important to communicate the brand image on banner ads.
Launching all the promotional campaigns in the same week and month is also an important promotional strategy that can be used in this case. Consistency remains an important aspect in establishing a promotional strategy. It is also important to follow through the campaign for the purposes of creating good reviews on both the market places and the website (Zimmerman 2013, 130). Alternatively, it is important to repeat the strategies, which were successful. In doing this, the organization can slowly go viral in the social media or slowly increase the organization’s following across the social media.
From the report, it is quite evident that the current technological advancements in marketing play a significant role for most entrepreneurs and capitalists in reaching out for new markets and customers. Through the use of the social media such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram, many businesspersons are currently able to work from their home comfort and still make profits without much hustle. This therefore means that it has become easier than before to conduct business by using online services with the prospective of turning e-commerce ideas into a permanent online retail business. The social media aspect is currently acting as a cheaper promotional strategy for most organizations to launch and sell their products to lager and international and international markets. In as much as social media acts as perfect way to market products and organizations, it also has its own disadvantages. Online marketing mostly have issues to do with privacy and security issues, which can destroy the organization image among other things.
Zimmerman, J., & NG, D. (2013). Social media marketing all-in-one for dummies. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=894242.