Traditionally the marketing mix is co-ordinated so efficient product, price, promotion and place strategies are developed for products purchased over the counter. The internet is changing the way we sell our products and services. That’s a fact. Consumers now use the internet to research and purchase products/services online. Organization now needs online strategies to attract and retain customers. The e-marketing mix considers the elements of presenting the marketing mix online.
Online, this immediate tangibility disappears. But, is that a disadvantage? E-commerce sales are increasing at extremely high rates. Why? What does buying products online offer over one to one sales? Firstly there are clear online facts about the product you are purchasing. The buyer knows immediately about product features, the facts, not sales persons assumptions. Electrical store offers clear information on products and their specification, consumers know what they get if not there is a customer service number where they can find out more. The buying process is also customized for returning visitors, making repeat purchases easier. Organizations can also offer immediately ancillary products along with the main purchase. As mentioned in marketing mix section, pricing is always difficult to do and must take into account many considerations.
Traditionally pricing was about finding about your costs, discovering how much consumers are willing to pay, taking account competition pricing then setting your price. The internet has made pricing very competitive. Many costs i.e. store costs, staff cost have disappeared for complete online stores, placing price pressures on traditional retailers. The internet gives consumers the power to shop around for the best deal at a click of a button. Such easy access to information helps to maintain prices within the online world.
E-pricing can also easily reward loyal customers. Technology allows repeat visitors to be tracked, easily allowing loyalty incentives to be targeted towards them. Payment is also easy online credit cards use allows for easy payments. One of the biggest changes to the marketing mix is online purchasing. Consumers can purchase direct from manufacturers cutting out retailers totally. The challenge for online retailers is to insure that the product is delivered to the consumer within a reasonable time. Location is important within our place strategy.
Online location can refer to where links are placed on other websites. Promoting products and service online is concerned with a number of issues. Having a recognizable domain name is first stage towards e-promotion. Most organizations today have some form of webpage used in most if not all advertisements. Placing banner advertisements on other web pages is a common form of e-promotion. Banner ads must be placed where potential customers browse. Web public relations are another approach to promoting online. News worthy stories based on product or service launches can be placed on the company’s webpage, or WPR articles sent to review sites for consumers to read. Hopefully this form of online promotion will pull the consumer in. Direct email is a popular and common form of e-promotions, although slowly becoming the most hated my many consumers. Organizations can send e-leaflets to hundreds and thousands of respondents, hoping a small percentage will reply.
To summaries e-promotion includes: Banner promotion, Web public relations (WPR), E-leaflets and having a domain name. The e-marketing mix must work together and support each other if the company is to have a successful online marketing strategy.