The Internet has drastically changed the world of business and marketing. Consumers have embraced the Internet to conduct their business and shopping transactions. While the Internet may have started as a communication technology, it has become the world of business for commercial transactions. Companies have developed e-business and creative online value propositions to engage customers. Customers gain value through rich content, customization, Internet communities, convenience, choice, and cost-reduction. However, not all consumers shop on the Internet, and thus businesses still need to consider non-digital selling and marketing strategies.
As businesses consider their approach to e-commerce and e-business, the benefits are increased revenue based on the larger customer base and encouraging repeat purchases from loyal customers. The company can also improve profitability through cost reductions in staffing, materials, and transportation costs. On the other hand, some businesses may not see as much benefit from offering their services or products over the Internet. For example, if the company does not have products to sell but delivers a service locally instead, such as a plumber, they may not see the value of a strong Internet presence. Still, all businesses today need to have some visibility online.
E-commerce involves online shopping, basically retailing, although manufacturers and distributors also engage in e-commerce. E-business is a broader term that encompasses the technology that business uses (such as interactions with external suppliers) and the electronic processes and procedures. E-commerce has a direct interaction with the consumer and the sale of products or services. Yet almost every business needs to engage in e-business and ensure that they have a visible presence online.
Consumers now search for information and reviews on service-oriented businesses. They also want to compare pricing, as well as understanding the services that a business has to offer. This may create challenges for small businesses that do not have the expertise to build websites.
However, businesses can leverage the use of social media to reach clients. It does not take much expertise to put a business onto Facebook. One of the advantages of using social media is the ability to tell the story of the business and become a part of the local community. Plus, it becomes much easier to reach local consumers.
What businesses have to remember is that marketing is no longer a one-way street. While businesses can utilize digital strategies to deliver messages, the real benefit to consumers from e-business is the ability to interact with other consumers, search for information, compare costs, and compare value.
No matter how a business decides to create an online presence, it needs to ensure that enough customers see the messages. This is known as impressions. Similar to market share, an impression share (primarily used in Google Ads) is the percentage of impressions that the company receives when compared to all impressions offering the same product or service.
Marketers need to deliver the brand message consistently across all digital platforms (and non-digital as well) as they launch products and engage with customers. The marketing plan is based on the analysis of the external business environment; however, marketers need to remember that the Internet enables them to micro-segment their target market based on consumer behaviors and business trends. Branding, identity, and images all need to align as companies differentiate their products.
Resources and References
Juneja, P. (n.d.). Basic understanding of e-commerce. MSG Management Study Guide. Retrieved from https://www.managementstudyguide.com/understanding-e-commerce.htm (Links to an external site.)
Smith, K. (2018, January 2nd). 15 reasons why marketing through social media is a must for every small business. Lyfe Marketing. Retrieved from https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/marketing-through-social-media/ (Links to an external site.)
Describe the evolution of Internet use for communication and marketing. What changes do you see in terms of accountability for communication?
For your peer response, discuss how technology may continue impacting how we are held accountable in terms of communication.
For your citation, you might use articles that show examples of accountability in communication. You can also find articles from experts that suggest how to hold ourselves and each other accountable as it relates to communication.
Your initial and reply posts should work to develop a group understanding of this topic. Challenge each other. Build on each other. Always be respectful but discuss this and figure it out together.
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