Marketing Strategy in an Internet-Enabled Environment

Introduction

Traditional marketing strategies have been used by business organizations for many years. The principal characteristic of this type of marketing is the presence of face to face interaction between the seller and the buyer which offers a very conducive environment for business. However, over the last few decades, marketing as a central facet of any industry, has considerably evolved. Many companies have turned to digital marketing. According to Hanssens and Pauwel (2016), this kind of marketing involves the use of the internet to do business. They identify the computer, mobile phone, and other devices that are capable of being used in online platforms as the primary drivers of e-commerce. But on the other hand, Mittal (2015) expands the concept of digital marketing to include a variety of technologies such as mobile digital displays and television. In particular, this paper discusses the effectiveness and the success of e-commerce as a form digital marketing.

E- Commerce

            The first point in this study should be to understand the purchasing behavior of consumers in the online market. There exist many perceptions and differing understanding of e-commerce.  But according to Fulgoni and Lipsman (2014), this is an easily accessible platform that offers a wide variety of products from which a buyer can choose One can access different goods and services that would otherwise be difficult to get. The convenience of the platforms is that one can shop their desired products at the comfort of their bed. Many sellers also offer delivery services free of charge or at a cheap cost. On the other hand, the seller is as well relieved the inconvenience of stocking his/her goods at different locations. Through their internet connected computer, they can be able to reach a limitless number of potential customers. All that is needed is a localized store to for the supplies once the orders have been made online. One significant advantage with e-commerce is the ease of acquiring and analyzing data. One can conveniently gather information relating to his products. This information helps them to make the appropriate improvements.

 Some of the improvements that the buyer may be required to make include provision of more fulfilling customer experience, creating more of personalized interactions with the clients and the general design of their online profiles and accounts. Additionally, as much as digital marketing is a significant boost to any company, one should be very cautious in building and upholding the image of the business. Unlike in traditional methods, a dissatisfied online user can cause significant damage to the name and the reputation of the company. Perceived incompetence can spread like bushfire among the online customers and consequently result in a massive ruin to the business. One should, therefore, show professionalism and appropriate conduct depending on the medium used to reach the consumers.

            As already mentioned, digital marketing has been embraced almost in all the industries. One of such sectors is the fashion industry. According to Spiller and Tuten (2016), with the significant shift of a high percentage of the world population from low-income earners to middle-income earners, the industry has considerably expanded. The useful information that one can get online for fashion industry products include the prices, comparisons, reviews, and number of searches. Such information helps the buyer gauge the quality of a particular commodity based on the activity and reaction of other customers on the platform. To the seller, he is in a position to analyze the trends in the purchase. Consequently, one can know what items are doing well in the market. One will thus stock more of the products while keeping a less stock of the goods that are selling poorly (Spiller &Tuten, 2016). In some cases, a person may get personalized feedback from the customers. Regardless of the type of feedback, negative or positive, this is always an excellent opportunity for the seller to create loyal customers.

Many times when one talks about digital marketing, what comes into people’s mind is the formally established platforms by some companies for one to buy or sell their products. However, there are many other ways of doing business online including through the company’s website. But a potent tool, in this case, is the social media (Leeflang et al. 2014). Many businesses nowadays have social media accounts. The most common among them include the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Apart from the corporate accounts, personalized accounts are equally compelling. The business tools target the potential customers who are already close to the seller courtesy of other social ties. It’s very convenient to have your “friends” and followers in the accounts as your first market. Opening and operating the accounts is effortless and cheap. It is for this reason that they have been primarily adopted as platforms for marketing.

Consumer Online Buying Behavior

One of the fundamental things for an online business is the marketer to study and scrutinize the behavior of the customer (Todor, 2016). The undertaking essentially involves comprehending the various contents posted by them in a more informed manner (Olsen & Atkin, 2016). The consumer behavior literature explains the traditional behavior of a buyer. More particularly, the theory of the purchase decision process outlines several logical steps. In the theory, there is the recognition of the need first, followed by an information search and lastly, the evaluation of alternatives (Solomon &Lowrey, 2017). But according to Mackey and Liang (2016), after the customer buys the product, there is also a need for evaluation of the purpose.

While this process still holds, e-commerce has had some impact on its actualization. For example, the need recognition stage may not happen naturally but may instead be triggered and developed after reading an online blog on a fashion style. Consequently, the customer may then search through online stores, and analyze the reviews, as a part of the evaluation phase. Once the customer has purchased, they may consider leaving a review or a comment for the next buyer. Generally, according to (Strauss, 2016), the technology didn’t change the process of decision-making. Instead, it resulted in the consumers having greater data accessibility as compared to before with new post-purchase review options.

Creating Relations via Digital Interaction

There is an active development of relations between the seller and the buyer on the digital medium. The close interaction helps the seller understand the buyer and their preferences. This helps in creating the proper content as needed. Loyal consumers will keep long-lasting relationships and will identify themselves with the particular brands (Cummins et al., 2014). According to Leeflang et al. (2014), if as a marketer you can keep healthy relationships with the customers, the customers will turn to be the biggest promoters of your goods.  Constant communication with the consumer also helps in increasing the business visibility in the market.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is a trend that every business needs to adopt as a strategy. It is relatively cheap. More importantly, it gives the two parties a platform to make lasting and constructive relations. According to Levy &Gvili (2015), the engagement results into developing an emotional connection, raising loyalty of the brand, and improving the customer’s satisfaction. Both the social media, websites, and premium e-commerce sites are essential tools for marketing one’s products.

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