E-COMMERCE AND MARKETING 5
Table of content
Executive summary 3
E-commerce and marketing 4
Marks & Spencer 4
Unique features that should be used in an online platform website 5
Global reach 5
Universal standards 5
Information density 6
Personalization/ customization 6
Features that the site has implemented well 7
Feature that are poor and have not been implemented 8
Findings and suggestions 8
The paper gives a clear incite on how Marks &Spencer a UK based website that is concerned with e-commerce. Thepaper has accessed seven unique features of a website. These areubiquity, global reach, universal standards, richness, interactivity,information density and personalization. In addition to that thepaper has given clear detailed information concerning the featuresthat the site has implemented well. In relation to that, the paperhas also highlighted some of the features that are poor implementedor have not been implemented. Lastly it provides findings andsuggestions for the improvement and an action plan to reinforce theonline presence.
E-commerce is a global strategy that is beingimplemented by various organization since it the best method that canascertain that the firm is competitive in the market. It is the roleof the firm management to ascertain that e-commerce is used so thatthe company goals can be achieved. Due to the increased use ofSmartphone’s and personal computers goods and services can bepurchased using the online platform. So that the e-commerce meets theneed of the customers there is need to make sure that it has uniquefeatures that can be used by the customers interactively. This paperseeks to discuss Marks & Spencer a UK based website that isconcerned with e-commerce. In addition to that, it will criticallyassess the website in terms of seven unique features. Lastly it willprovide findings and suggestions for the improvement and an actionplan to reinforce the online presence.
M&S is a UK based website and it is used bythe consumer’s different customers to post their brands andpurchasing is done online. The website sells women, men and kindsclothing, footwear, home and furniture, food and wine, flower andgifts, beauty products and lingerie. M&S offer the products witha 50% discount and thus consumers get great saving when they use M&Swebsite. The website is managed in way that it attracts both men andwomen since the products offered are of high quality. The onlineplatform has a lot of store in UK and for the consumer to know thenearest store that is convenient to him or her is by just enteringthe postcode or town and searching which will display the store andthus online transaction can be done. For one to buy products via theonline platform one must register as a member and one is providedwith Sparks Card which is activated and ready to use. Delivery isfree and incase of any problem when the goods are being delivered ortransacting then the “Help” command is user-friendly and thus anyproblem is solved instantly. For more information if one need tovisit the website just goggle www.marksandspencer.com (Marks & Spencer).
Uniquefeatures that should be used in an online platform website Ubiquity
The term refers to the website availability. Isthe website everywhere in UK? The website should contain theinformation that the user need and where the products can be accessedin simplicity. Being an online platform implies that there is need toconduct marketing so that people can be aware of it and the productsavailable meet the consumer need and expectations. In this regard, M& S is accessible anytime and anywhere and thus possible to offerthe products that the customer need.
Global reach shows how many end-users can usethe website at the same time and use different language so thatdifferent users can understand the e-commerce. It is important forthe stakeholders of the website and the administrators to ensure thatthe website uses more than 10 languages so that it can be classifiedas the best website worldwide and be competitive in the market.
Universal standard should be embraced where theprice should be set in way that it is not so high and not low for thesake of the customers. For instance, the price of the product that isin the website should be fair and standards so that the consumers canbe loyal to the website (Finn and Johnson, 2013, pg59).
It is important to ensure that the website isrich with details, for example, the use of video, text messages andaudio messages that can welcome the customer when he or she justclicks an icon in the website. The video and audio message should bedescribing various products that are offered by the website withtheir prices so that the customers can be aware of the products thatthey feel they are offered at low discount. Richness implies that itwill make many people visit the website since it is a form ofattraction.
Interactivity implies that there is two waycommunications where the customers and the merchants can share theirinformation either when bargaining or whole the product will bedelivered. For example, in case of problem does the website containcontact information like phone number, email and video call amongothers? if the website has such information then it implies that itis interactive and thus business can be conducted freely (Light,2001, pg459).
Information density indicates the amount andthe quality information that is contained in the website. Is itshowing clear information concerning the products available, theircost and delivery methods among others. The market participantsshould be provided with such clear information that involves themdirectly so that in case of any problem they can diagnose and ensurethat the website is working for the attainment of the goals.
It is important for the website to ensure thatmessages are delivered to the customers (Lewis, 2004, pg48). Forexample in case of new product that is in the market or in thewebsite then it is important for the website to send messages to theentire customers creating awareness about and the price charged forthe product. This is the role of the administrators who monitor andmaintain the website since it should be well established in such waythat it can personalize the information freely to the customers.
Featuresthat the site has implemented well
M & S uses universal standard feature as amethod to attract the customers. The prices that M & S set forthe products either women, men or kinds wears are standard and thusthe customer have owned the company. For example, women’s clothingsuch as blazers, dresses and coats and jackets are provided with 50%discount where the offer is used as a strategy to attract theconsumers. For instance, when one buys two T-shirts one is sold at$25 and the second is sold at half price an indication that the priceis standard and it fair to the customers.
The second feature that is implemented by M &S is personalization/ customization. The features plays an integralpart in ensure that the customers updated for new cloth that areavailable in their website. For instance, M & S allowsindividuals to sign up a text alerts that update the customers aboutnew and latest cloths and footwear’s for both men, women and kinds.If there is an offer in the company they still alert the customerswhich play an integral role in making sure that the customers areaware about the products offered. The feature if managed well canresult to profit being incurred since it is a form of advertisementsand thus price penetration method can be used so the customers can beloyal.
The third feature that is implemented by M &S is ubiquity (Shoniregun, 2003, pg20). The feature is functionalbased on the fact that it is a website that is available to customersas long as one is in a location where one can access internet. In UKone just need to specify the place he or she is and the stores areall over so that online transaction can be conducted and the productdelivered to the customers with 24 hours. It is the role of themanagement to ensure that delivery is not delayed and any transactionshould be conducted in fair and accountable manner to avoid loss ofthe product.
Featurethat are poor and have not been implemented
One of the features that M & S have notimplemented is global reach. The only language that is available in M& S website is English. Global reach implies that the websiteshould have more than three languages that can be used to enhanceunderstanding of the customers. Some customers are not conversantwith English and they may fail to understand it while others canspeak and write Spanish well, on the other hand others may writeArabic among other languages and thus the website should contain atleast three languages that can be used so that interactivity canincrease. This is an implication that language is the key factor thatshould be considered during online transactions since one is dealingwith different people from different countries. If one does notunderstand each other then it is impossible to conduct businesstransactions.
The second feature that is not incorporated inthe website is richness. The website does have video calls and aplace for text messages and thus it cannot attract the customers tokeep on browsing so that they can get the products of their choice.The feature should be functional based on that it results tointeractivity among the merchants and the customers leading tocustomer loyalty. Failure to have good interaction between thecustomers and the merchants implies that there is no goodinterpersonal skills that can make the consumer to change his mindwhen he or she was thinking to shift to other online platforms (John,P. 2013, pg21).
Upon various observations it is evident thatinteractivity, ubiquity, universal standards, and personalizationhave been used and thus they make the website to be interactive andbe customer centric. Based on the fact that in many parts ofcountries such as UK and US among other continents there is need tomake sure that e-commerce is embraced. I suggest M & Sadministrators to embrace the use of video calling and texts messagesso that customer’s interactivity can increase. Additionally due tothe cyber crimes I suggest the administrators to keep on monitoringthe website so that the customers are not diverted to other websitesand loss of fund due to hacking among other issues (Cheng and Holmen,2015, pg177). The action plan to reinforce the online presence of M &S should come up with an advertising strategy that can createawareness of the customer who need quick delivery and high qualityproducts. In conclusion, e-commerce is the best method of businesstransaction based on the fact that there is increased use ofSmartphone’s and personal computers.
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