Answer – 1
The two industries chosen for the analysis on the layout, format, and contents of their websites are Online Shopping and Online Marketing Assistance websites. Starting from the first industry – Online Shopping – it includes several organizations that started the business of selling a wide range of products and services ‘online’. The organizations chosen for this paper include LastMinite.com that sells flight tickets,, holiday tickets, hotel booking, car hiring, theatres, restaurants’ and many other stuff online. This organization is usually service-focused than product-focused. Aol Shopping is another organization that sells a wide range of products ranging from apparel, electronics, to industrial products. Yahoo Shopping has almost the same category that sells electronic items, flowers, gifts, jewelry, apparel, etc. And finally, Amazon is another popular website for online shopping where a wide range of products can be purchased instantly.
The second industry is related to providing online marketing help in terms of giving trainings, newsletters, reports, and expert advices. Under this industry the following organizations were chosen, Clickz, which provides marketing news, expert advice, training, iReviews, etc. The Register is another organization that provides assistance to its clients by offering them hardware, software, music, networking stuff, reviews, newsletters, and other internet and business related assistance. DaveChaffey is a personal website that provides books, consultancy, training, lectures, and reports related to marketing and e-commerce. And finally, Jakob Nielsen’s site is almost the same as DaveChafeey that offers reports, e-newsletters, films, books, consultancy services, and articles from various news, magazines, and journals sources.
Answers – 2
Now let’s analyze the overall layout, design, contents, options, and facilities available in the websites of these organizations. Starting from the online shopping ones, they have a professional and eye-catching outlook where the layout is designed quite properly, providing several categories on one side – either left or top – and also using colors that entice the viewers to explore more. Secondly, the use of pictures or animations is making these websites look more attractive and communicative, since images let people remember the stuff longer. Moreover, there are certain hyperlinks such as, careers, login, about us, contact us, etc. that depicts a better and reliable image over the viewers or customers. Also, convenience is being provided to the customers by giving them an option of search, with which they would find what they want. Whatever product or service is new, popular, or trendy, is shown right on the top middle of the website where first look goes. In short, website layout and management is at its best that gives a professional look and provides ease to the visitors.
On the flipside, the online marketing consultancy or assistance websites are not that catchy. Although Clickz and The Register look better and have a professional look since they the categories are clearly defined and placed systemically; nevertheless, the use of colors and pictures is not commendable. Text written is too much that does not motivate the reader to explore more of the website; even worse scene is in DaveChaffey and Useit.com websites where there is not even one picture. Moreover, the colors used are not soothing, layout is cluttered, poor arrangement of options, and text is everywhere that leads a bad impression of the website over visitors who do not feel like exploring more. The use of better colors, category alignment, using pictures, and showing advertisements on right hand columns would add credibility and attractiveness to the websites.
Answer – 3
Electronic commerce is basically an output of phenomenon what we call globalization, where the lifestyles, methods of conducting business, and other activities such as, traveling have gone much easier than before. As a result, many entrepreneurs are starting up their businesses online, along with those businesses that are transforming from the traditional business setting to online one. Electronic selling differs a lot from the traditional department store selling due to several reasons. First, electronic selling uses technology where the customers purchase products by just clicking their mouse. There is no physical location in e-selling like in traditional departmental form where customers have to go to buy. E-selling has certain advantages over traditional method of selling such as, cost savings for the business for not having a physical location, setting products there, maintaining them, electricity, and other costs. Customers also benefit from e-selling where they do buy instantly sitting back at home, without wasting their time and fuel expenses; in short, they are getting convenience at its best.
Considering the ambience that is provided by many departmental stores such as, food chains, restaurants, or garments by using effective use of lighting, displays, music, and fragrance, it does create a favorable impact over the customers for the sellers. Another strategy used is of ‘placement’ of products in such a way that encourages impulse buying; whereas, when talking about the presence of these effects in electronic selling, it can be created but not to a greater extent. Sellers can design their websites in such a way that it displays colors associated with the brand, logo of the company, and playing pleasant music in the background. Moreover, placing the pictures and ads of the products in such a way as they were being placed in the department store and tagging enticing deals/offers, encouraging impulse buying.
Answer – 4
Businesses these days are selling almost all kind of products and services that come under wide range of categories; some are bought more some are not. Of course there are some reasons behind that since some products or services are more conducive to sell online as compared to other. It has been observed that the services such as, airline tickets, hotel booking, vacation trips and stay, car hiring, spa booking, theatres tickets, and food delivery from restaurants are more conducive to be sold online. It does not mean that the products are not sold quickly; in fact, they are but not ‘all’.
For example, products such as electronic items, books, music items, households, and sports stuff are easily sold on the internet where customers do not hesitate to buy them. Whereas, products such as jewelry, shoes, apparel, and pets are not sold quickly and in large quantity; reason being that customers feel the need to try these products and analyze them whether they suit them or not.
Moreover, customers hesitate a little bit when purchasing expensive products online due to security and safety issues, where spamming websites might collect their useful information such as, credit card numbers and use them at their fullest. E-tailers are reducing such risks by designing websites that do not allow such spams, pop-ups, having copyrights, trademarks, and ensuring built-in firewall system to prevent any unwanted happenings.
Answer – 5
Although physical departmental stores do keep in touch with the customers face-to-face and listen to any feedback or complaint that they might have; however, internet can also provide such customer contact, build relationships with them, and boost them to benefit both the parties – business and the customer. Companies can, via internet, can boost the levels of customer service by devising and implementing certain strategies including keeping records of their customers, making them calls after a certain period of time to provide any information about new deals/offers, listening to their complaints, and asking for their suggestions to improve the thing they think needs the same. Moreover, websites must have a separate category for feedback or complaints where the customers can post their feedback either positive or negative.
Another innovative strategy is provide them with the option to comment on certain deals and offers for the products or services being offered, which would instantly give a fair idea about the attitudes of customers towards those offers or deals. Many organizations have added sections for online surveys or research that request the customers to spare a few minutes and answer certain questions. Customers actually like giving their remarks or suggestions because they think they are being given importance by the businesses that might prefer to keep their customers satisfied at every cost.
Answer – 6
The methods of conducting business have really changed as the impact of globalization has causes several flexibilities and easiness in our lifestyles and daily life. Many businesses find it costly to open it in a physical location and expanding through outlets, which often does not target large audience. Therefore, many businesses are starting through internet where they can target customers from all over the world, market their products or services easily and economically, and get payments right away. Not only this, those businesses that do not operate virtually and have physical locations are finding it more effective and financially beneficial to market their products through internet, and that what is called Internet Marketing. Internet marketing also contains the elements of Direct Marketing, where the promotion of products is done online such as, websites (ResearchStarters, 2008).
It does not mean that when businesses are started online they would always save costs and be successful; in fact, many businesses fail due to several factors and one significant of them is poor marketing strategies. Of course, the consumers would not have any idea that a new business has started that for instance, sells soccer jerseys, through its website. The target market should have to be made aware of that business, the products, new offers/deals, customer value, feedback, etc. Therefore, all this requires the business to use effective marketing tools and strategies where it can convey the message to the audience, impress them, convince them to purchase, and provide feedback. Businesses can use online marketing strategies such as, designing websites that grab the attention of the customers at first sight, force them to explore, make them realize that they are everything for the company, provide them with ease in shopping online, and let them give a chance to give a feedback.
Moreover, businesses can also use the strategy of mass-emailing to the customers or potential customers whether they are individuals or other entities. Placing ads on popular and most-visited websites is another strategy but is quite expensive. And finally, the use of social networking websites such as, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, is lucrative since it is inexpensive and targets wide range of audience.
E-tailing is the result of e-commerce that has made it much easier for the businesses to market and sell their products online by using certain softwares and websites. Extensive information is provided to the customers through websites about the products and services they want to purchase; moreover, the customers can shop with utmost convenience without going somewhere and wasting their time.
Talking about the two industries – online shopping and online marketing assistance – the role of e-commerce is sound, since the services provided by these industries are loved to be taken by the customers while staying at their places and clicking mouse buttons, without wasting any time or fuel. Further improvement can be made in attracting more online customers by improving websites, adding new features, and becoming more customer-centric.