The retail industry is a battlefield for a wide range of goods essential for daily use. There is stiff competition in the industry as giant retailers and emerging retailers seek to gain competitive advantage over each other (Pesendorfer 34). Companies that wish to survive must make regular but necessary adjustments in the marketing mix to stay ahead of competition.
We will write a custom Report on Establish and adjust the marketing mix specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Wal-Mart products and services market
Wal-Mart is an American Corporation existing in approximately thirty nation states. The firm has an average sales record of one hundred and forty US dollars in these countries. The United States-based company provides the enormous retail programs all over the world.
However, as the world’s leading retailer Wal-Mart does not have market stores in certain global leading marketplaces. For instance, the corporation does not conduct business in India, Russia, South Korea and Germany. The realization and establishment of extra supercenters in India is hampered.
The aspiration to operate cannot succeed following the recent breakdown of Indian partnership with the company. The problem of poor conditions of investment culminated in the 9th Oct, 2013 termination of partnership with Bharti Enterprises. The sticking point emerges from the demand by the Indian administration that the overseas traders must resource more than thirty percent from the merchandise they vend from Indian SME’s.
The inquiries whether or not Wal-Mart Corporation is probing any violation of laws of anti corruption of the United States is unclear. The head of Wal-Mart Asia in his interview never mentioned if any investigations on the alleged violation of foreign retail investment rules by Wal-Mart were underway.
Conversely, the corporation is yet to figure the means of entering the Russian marketplaces. In the fiscal 2010, Wal-Mart closed down the offices in Moscow following an aborted deal with the Kopeyka that was a potential partner. The price discrepancy caused the plan of attainment to subsist. Nevertheless, in the year 2006 Wal-Mart terminated its businesses in South Korea and Germany.
The German populace pitied the way the grocery handlers executed their work at the line of check. As such, many consumers chose to purchase from the local bazaars in doubt of the ever-smiling clerks whom they thought were flirting. Wal-Mart failed in South Korea owing to the adherence of US stratagems of marketing of clothing and electronics rather than considering beverage and food as a big market in S. Korea.
Key features and influence of products and significance to the market
Wal-Mart offers the customer a wide range of goods and services. The products that the company manufactures in the local and international plants have the company logo. The products that are outsourced to other manufacturers also carry a specific logo. This means that the company consumers can easily identify the brand. Items such as apparel and toys are renown by the consumers worldwide. The company advertises the products as possessing high quality compared to those provided by competitors.
This coupled with the lower price attracts many existing and prospective customers. The company products including those produced offshore are of high quality. The company has bargaining power over manufacturers hence has the power to give the manufacturer the standards of products to be produced without increasing the buying price. As such, the retailer is able to influence the market by making competitors produce items of similar or better quality.
Wal-Mart’s pricing policy is based on the ‘Everyday low price’. This means that the products must cost less to enable the retailer to sell at lower prices. All the products provided by the company meet the ‘low price’ criteria.
Whenever customers feel that any of Wal-Mart’s competitors are providing goods at a lower price, the company gives them the opportunity to report and the company makes the necessary price adjustments based on Wal-Mart Price Match Policy. The customers do not require providing such an advertisement to prove that indeed the competitor is offering lower or matching prices.
Significant market outcomes
The promotional methods and distribution channels utilized by the company are significant in determining the effectiveness of the marketing mix (Soonhong, Min & John Mentzer 14). The company is popular for offering promotions on selected items to its customers. It then ensures that the items on offer are available in all location. Considering the huge customer base, such promotions are effective in augmenting the customer base although the profit margins are significantly lower.
Wal-Mart marketing mix
The company is the world’s number one retailer according to Fortune 500. Sam Walton founded the company in 1962. The founder employed a marketing strategy that quickly saw the company emerge as the leader in the retail industry despite the existence of larger companies founded years before Wal-Mart. The company used the strategy of selling goods at a lower price compared to competitors. The marketing mix the company employed was so effective that some companies had to withdraw from the retail market or were dissolved.
The company rapidly expanded into many areas. This was a marketing strategy to create a huge consumer base. The retailer ensured that customers in remote locations in the United States could easily access its products and services. The variety of products was significantly increased to ensure that every customer got what they desired (Ellickson, Misra & Nair 751).
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
The price was highly competitive compared to other retailers. There was intense effort to advertise the opening of new locations, products and slicing of prices. The retailer intensified its promotion. Customers considered loyal were rewarded with diverse means of promotions. Promotion campaigns intensified particularly with the entry of a competitor where the retailer sought or had established dominance (Lin 55).
The company has grown for the last five decades to reach the international level and effectively turn into a multinational company. The international market has a huge consumer base. These customers have varied preferences and tastes for products. Every customer can get the item they need for daily use or consumption. This requires the company to stock a wide range of products and a brand that each of the customers can identify with.
The products that the company stocks in the US are not necessarily the products consumers in South Africa demand (Matsa 1150). The company has hence made effort to localize the products through glocalization. The products range from grocery to electronics. The company specializes in home appliances and apparel among many others. The company realized the potential in providing outdoor products such as sports gear. It offers funeral services as part of the product offered.
The company manufactures part of the products through outsourcing. Some of the products manufactured by the company include toys. Other items are bought from suppliers. The ability to manufacture products in bulk facilitates the company to enjoy economies of scale. This enables the company to offer the products at a subsidized price.
The state of the economy leaves consumers without a choice but to shop at the cheapest retailer outlet. Consequently, the retailer indirectly benefits from economic hardships. The company ensures that it buys goods from suppliers at the lowest price possible. The large number of global suppliers gives the retailer bargaining power. The company determines the price at which it will purchase goods from suppliers. Additionally, it buys the supplies in bulk.
The retailer is hence able to give its customers as much as 15 percent discount on items. The company employs diverse pricing strategies to attract the attention of the consumer. The ‘Everyday low price’ strategy creates a buying behavior among the consumers. All the products the retailer stocks are relatively lower in price compared to other retailers.
Wal-Mart is a global retailer. It has outlets in all continents. The company continuously expands to new markets including emerging markets in Africa such as Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania. There are more than ten thousand outlets globally. The brand is recognized internationally.
When entering a new market, the company invests sufficiently in advertising to catch the attention of the prospective customer. In markets where the retailer has established, it utilizes both e-commerce and traditional stores. It operates supercenters, discount stores, neighborhood stores and express stores (St-James 166). The supercenters offer all kinds of products under one roof. This ensures that customers do not have to seek other goods outside the supercenter.
The three components function together to generate synergy necessary for the creation of competitive advantage for the retailer. The company ensures it has the right product in the right place at the right place. The three must be balanced to ensure that the retailer maintains the competitive edge gained over the years. Failure in any of them means that the company will lose customers to competitors.
Wal-Mart is often impacted by environmental factors in operating the international market. There are countries that set the price of products to curtail unfair competition. This means that the company will not have the competitive advantage of lower prices. In other markets, customers do not demand some products. This includes Islam countries where Western products are despised. In India, beef products will not bring the retailer substantial profits.
Customer priorities, needs and preferences
Customer priorities, needs and preferences are important for any business (Draganska et al. 400). In developing a marketing mix strategy, Wal-Mart must consider the factors for different markets. The products needed in first world countries may be irrelevant in developing markets. This requires the company to develop a marketing mix suitable for specific markets. High priced items will not sell in emerging economies.
A variety of factors requires to be noted in developing a suitable marketing mix. The promotional activities and distribution channels are among these factors. Variations from what competitors are doing are essential. Although existing strategies may be effective, the increasingly competitive retail market requires that the company make adjustments to ensure it retains the competitive advantage it enjoys.
The company require developing new products with better quality than the existing products (Singh 460). It is hence important for the company to invest in research and development. Additionally, improved technology presents the company with the opportunity to employ e-commerce to improve the distribution processes.
Wal-Mart strategic and marketing objectives
Wal-Mart’s marketing mix fits well into its organizational strategy. The company seeks to diversify its products. By operating in the international market, the company develops and stocks products suitable for each market. By so doing, the company has different brands of products. The failure in one product will not significantly affect profitability (Lin 57).
Monitoring performance of product
The market mix that requires focusing is the product. This is due to the diverse market and consequently huge variation in needs and preferences. New entrants are emerging with new, better and quality products at lower prices. Since the company has already created a niche in the retail market, it is imperative to test whether consumers are satisfied with existing products or new products should be introduced.
Implication of altering components
The alteration of any of the components will be detrimental if consideration of the other components is not considered. By introducing a new product, it may be necessary to adjust the price to reflect the costs incurred. If the new products is produced at a lower cost, then the price can be lowered and vice versa. It will be necessary for promotional activities to be conducted to ensure customers are aware of the existence of the product. The distribution chain must be effective to avail the product in all the outlets in the target market.
The introduction of a new product will require more investment into research and development. Further, the costs incurred in producing the product will be higher due to the involvement of newer technology. The packaging will be different to give the customers the sense of a new and improved quality product. Subsequently, the price of the product will rise. This will call for entry into new markets to expand the customer base. This will be in line with the company strategic objectives of expansion. The new product will assist in diversification.
Marketing mix is important for organizational planning and eventual profitability. The proper consideration of the components determines the level of engagement with the consumer.
Draganska, Michaela, Sanjog Misra, Victor Aguirregabiria, Pat Bajari, Liran Einav Paul Ellickson. “Discrete Choice Models of Firms: Strategic Decisions.” Marketing Letters 19.3/4 (2008): 399–416. Print.
Ellickson, Paul, Sanjog Misra & Harikesh Nair. “Repositioning Dynamics and Pricing Strategy.” Journal of Marketing Research XLIX (2012): 750-772. Print.
Lin, Shao-Lung and An-Tien Hsieh. “International Strategy Implementation: Roles of Subsidiaries, Operational Capabilities, and Procedural Justice.” Journal of Business Research 63.1(2010): 52–59. Print.
Matsa, David A. “Competition and Product Quality in the Supermarket Industry.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 126.3 (2011): 1539–1591. Print.
Pesendorfer, Martin. “Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets.” Journal of Business 75.1 (2002): 33–66. Print.
Singh, Vishal, Karsten Hansen, and Robert Blattberg. “Market Entry and Consumer Behavior: An Investigation of a Wal-Mart Supercenter.” Marketing Science 25.5(2006): 457–476. Print.
Soonhong, Min & John Mentzer. “The Role of Marketing in Supply Chain Management.” International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management 1.2 (2000): 1-26. Print.
St-James, Yannik. “Retail Brand Repositioning: A Historical Analysis.” Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing 10.2 (2001): 164–175. Print.