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Effectiveness of online marketing
Risk investment and low advertising costs are the main reasons why firms engage in online marketing. The sole purpose for starting and running any business venture is to reap decent returns on investment. Besides, businesses also target to maximize sales in the course of undertaking a marketing campaign. If online marketing is carried out effectively, there are scores of benefits that can be gained by a business entity (Breuer, Brettel & Engelen, 2011).
In other words, online marketing is effective in the sense that a large audience (both targeted and untargeted) can be reached within a very short duration. Besides, online marketing is relatively cost-effective. Therefore, it can be sustained for a long time. Planned campaign strategies and cost-effective design are indeed some of the strengths of online marketing compared to other forms of advertisements.
Second, online marketing is not coercive since consumers are not compelled to purchase products before they make up their minds. This creates a lasting reputation of both the business entity and products being sold to the market. Hence, consumers are in a position to make the right choices (Brettel & Spilker-Attig, 2010).
In order to gain a competitive advantage through online marketing, firms can employ a number of tools. For instance, the uniqueness of the website address or domain name is a crucial factor to consider. The name should clearly and briefly articulate the position of a business organization in regards to products being offered. Second, an effective online marketing site should have the most appropriate content. Other factors to consider include the use of relevant blogs, simplicity, and regular updates. Firms can rapidly gain a competitive advantage when these tools are employed accordingly (Werner, 2013).
The online grocery delivery system adopted by Amazon is an excellent move by the company to boost its return on investment (Breuer, Brettel & Engelen, 2011). While there are myriads of physical grocery stores spread across major markets, online marketing adds value to the entire concept of competition. Hence, online grocery delivery is expected to act as a marketing strategy for Amazon’s line of products and also improve the competitive potential of the company. However, the organization may miss out on competitive advantage if the online distribution platform is not carried out properly. Online distribution channels may sometimes be counterproductive especially if the producer does not fully understand the varying tastes, needs and preferences of consumers (Gazzoli, Kim, & Palakurthi, 2008).
Netgrocer is my most favorite grocery store. To begin with, this store has an excellent shopping experience mainly due to its large and varied collection of grocery products. The wide selection of goods often makes it possible for buyers to settle on the exact specifications of the product required. In addition, products are neatly arranged in the store. It is usually fast, easy, and enjoyable to buy grocery products from this store.
I have also noted that the shopping order at this store is done faster than other outlets. The store has drawn my patronage to its products by the welcoming nature of its employees. Its staff members clearly understand the techniques of serving customers in the most satisfactory manner. For example, any direct inquiry made by a buyer is expeditiously addressed and the impending issue resolved as soon as possible. The latter is one of the factors that will continue to retain my loyalty towards the store (Arjoon & Rambocas, 2011).
Apart from the above positive attributes of the store, I also tend to be attracted by the low cost of its products compared to other grocery chains. At least, Netgrocer has products that can be affordable to every buyer.
Free shipping and coupons
It is evident that the willingness of consumers to buy through an online channel is largely affected by the cost of shipping. In most cases, shipping costs might even surpass the cost of the product depending on the geographical destination and size of the good being sold. Hence, flat or free shipping offers to play an important role in the marketing of products through online portals especially during the holiday season (Burnsed, 2009).
In the case of consumers who buy gifts for holidays, it is a big deal for them to be presented with shipping offers. Their final buying decisions are remarkably influenced by ‘free’ offers. As a matter of fact, consumers often settle for sites that offer free shipping. If the seller takes charge of both the handling and shipping fees, it becomes a great reprieve for the targeted consumers. Although ‘free’ offers are used to market products with the aim of boosting sales, there is a need to utilize the same offers in the most correct manner. In other words, offers should be taken as selling expenses (Cochran, 2006).
Free offers are obviously more effective than coupons since buyers often prefer instant claims instead of waiting for some time. When it comes to free or flat shipping deals, most online buyers rush for it with the expectation of cutting down their budgets. On the other hand, coupons might fail to attract customers as expected bearing in mind that customers are usually entitled to them only after making some purchases. Therefore, most buyers will not settle for coupons especially in the presence of ‘free’ shipping (Hill, 2010). Moreover, revenue per catalog can only be significantly increased through free shipping since all the online products available for sale have to be shipped after purchases.
Arjoon, S. & Rambocas, M. (2011). Ethics and customer loyalty: Some insights into online retailing services. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(14), 1-3.
Brettel, M., & Spilker-Attig, A. (2010). Online advertising effectiveness: A cross- cultural comparison. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 4(3), 176-196.
Breuer, R., Brettel, M., & Engelen, A. (2011). Incorporating long-term effects in determining the effectiveness of different types of online advertising. Marketing Letters, 22(4), 327-340.
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Burnsed, B. (2009). In Luxury Sector, Discounting Can Be Dangerous. Web.
Cochran, C. (2006). Building a balanced scorecard. Web.
Gazzoli, G., Kim, W. G., & Palakurthi, R. (2008). Online distribution strategies and competition: Are the global hotel companies getting it right? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20(4), 375-387.
Hill, D. (2010). Why Leading with Price will Kill Your Advertising and Your Brand. Web.
Werner, M. (2013). The effect of the use of online advertising and online retailing on marketing strategy for products. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 18(2), 16-22.
Xing, Y., Grant, D. B., McKinnon, A. C. & Fernie, J. (2010). Physical distribution service quality in online retailing. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 40(5), 415-432.