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Strategies for cyber jungle survival (tips for online retailers)

In the organizational landscape, the novel and logical means that is perhaps the most encouraging of all drivers is E-commerce. It seems to have revolutionized the manner in which business processes and procedures are being undertaken. Some of the goals that it has been able to effectively carry out is the improvement of the dealings among buyers, vendors, and suppliers, greater cost-efficiency and widening one’s scope in the global economy. This has accorded businesses more opportunities for growth and expansion. Through an advocacy of more personalized approaches in business, it has given a new definition to competitiveness. Customer information and data are now being yielded by vendors from their consumers. The significant volume of data also allows these individuals to leverage on promotional offers and the best buys. Online trading has been successful at endorsing price competitiveness and compels online vendors to work towards this end goal.

Within the retailing industry, the increased availability and accessibility of cyber trading has been the key to its immense popularity and steady rise. This also implies high cost efficiency, without the necessity of expenses such as rent, manpower cost or labor. The intense competition in physical markets and the very high fixed costs are just grateful for this innovative solution. The broad array of products and services are appreciated and patronized by consumers. The substantial volumes of online data also compel online vendors to leverage on cost. The relative ease accorded by online shopping has allowed consumers to optimize their management of time. Numerous online vendors have adapted the online store and a novel online shopping experience as concepts on the new online age. An outcome of this occurrence is the birth of the terms “cyber shops, virtual shops, e-tail, and online shops” were brought forth. Physical vendors are pressured to cope or run the risk of being tagged obsolete. This resulted in the mushrooming of websites.

A contemporary investigation conducted by the World Trade Organization has indicated that a specifically promising future is waiting for firms who are engaged in trading products and services through cyber trading. These encompass organizations that are into the sales of computer software, printed news, magazines, music, and film. Numerous industries, including brokerages, tourism, telecoms, and consumer / media advertising that are yielding the benefits of cyber trading. One overall international work of the industry has projected to attain a US$1 trillion value in 2003.  Attributing to the high expenses of operating as a start-up business, difficulties in daily routines, uncompetitive volume of sales, cutthroat competitors, and unpredictability of the arena, Internet players in retail are starting to lose hope and to lose money.

In summary, to sustain its leadership, leading online vendors should to maintain their niche in the following three areas that have been proven to be the leading factors considered by Chinese online consumers:

1)    Improve brand equity – The major dynamic to cyber buying for customers are security and trust elements. Online vendors should to solidify their brands so that products purchased from them are perceived as trustworthy.
2)    Alliance partners – Alliances and networks are critical in the digital economy because of heightened efficiency for transactions and a variety of offerings to the company. Therefore, the addition of alliance partners expected to generate better performance of retailers is a priority area.
3)    Integrative advertising and promotions program – Vendors online must launch intensive marketing efforts to gain visibility. If possible, the online vendors involved in the study should to convey to customers their integrity, honesty and trustworthiness in all these online transactions. This will help address the doubt or uncertainty of online consumers to transact online because of trust issues. The use of banners may not be effective in encouraging customers to purchase online. In the cyber jungle banners are quickly implemented; however, they present low impact. People are inclined to shrug off these banners.

Online marketers ought to leverage on these strategies to put in more into their coffers. In the end, a synergistic combination of marketing efforts, support from partnerships and persistent and effective advertising will win consumers’ mindshare and trust. And, ultimately this will be reflected in his buying decisions.

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