Presentation on theme: "B2C E-Commerce Selling on the Internet Alan Barefield University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service."— Presentation transcript:
B2C E-Commerce Selling on the Internet Alan Barefield University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service
What is the biggest problem with selling to consumers on the Internet today? Inexperienced people with overinflated expectations who create online stores with the belief that once they’ve done the work, the dollars will roll in. (Carroll and Broadhead, page 3) A majority of people who start a business... assume that once they open, customers will flock in without any marketing or promotion. Unless you are McDonald’s, this will not happen. Pat Bishop, The Daily Oklahoman
If this won’t work, what will? Think about how the traditional “bricks and mortar” business model became successful Utilize these principles to develop an online marketing strategy Implement that strategy Constantly monitor, assess, and update this strategy
What are we talking about? An Online Marketing Plan!
Traditional Marketing Considerations Provide a product or service that somebody needs or wants Provide superior customer service in the form of technical assistance, product information, etc. Develop a relationship with the customer Strive for satisfied customers and repeat business rather than new customers
Internet Marketing Components World Wide Web Site E-mail These are the typical online marketing components that are within the reach of today’s typical small business. There will be others in the future.
Let’s look at e-mail first Why is e-mail so great? It’s everywhere Enables the business to maximize its relationship with the customer Who are the most valuable customers? Offers individualized service Establishment of meaningful dialogues It’s about communication
Let’s look at e-mail first Why is e-mail so bad? It’s everywhere Spam is everywhere. Spam is unsolicited, usually commercial, E-mail sent to a large number of addresses (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). Spam is the tele-marketing of the internet. Why? Internet service is a cost to us, not the merchant. The customer wants to be in control
E-mail advantages It’s proactive – websites must wait for visitors It’s timely – customers can be notified in real time It’s personal – no two e-mail inboxes are alike It’s cost-effective – costs less than telephone calls or mail but not everyone has e-mail It’s measurable – response activity can be measured and tracked; you can see what works and what doesn’t
E-mail myths Asking people what they want never works This is not a myth in the offline world Works on the internet because you are delivering value to your customers based on their wants and needs Tell them why you want the information Only get the bare essentials at first (prove your worth) Make it easy to unsubscribe
E-mail myths I have only one chance to ask my customers questions Remember, your goal is to strive for customer retention If you retain them, they will come back and you can get more information If they don’t come back, you are not meeting their wants or needs
E-mail myths My customers will not want my e-mail Your customers will want to hear from you occasionally, but regularly, if you provide them with information that they deem valuable If you have nothing of value to give them, you have bigger problems than can be addressed in this conference
E-mail myths E-mail marketing is easy Sending spam is easy Providing personalized service can be extremely difficult and time consuming You have to plan to provide this type of service Requires both marketing and information technology expertise if the customer base is large
E-mail myths E-mail marketing is free If the customer base is large, you will need to develop or purchase e-mail marketing software However, unless spam is your goal, a continous and effective e-mail marketing program requires a great deal of time and management Are you saying that your time is worth nothing?
E-mail myths Information technology will just install some software to run our e-mail marketing programs There is no off-the-shelf software to do this Even if there were, each company’s needs are unique While information technology support of some type needs to be present An e-mail marketing strategy is a marketing function
Permission marketing Since an e-mail strategy is proactive, get your customers’ permission; otherwise it is spam Rules of permission marketing Permission must be granted – it can’t be assumed Permission is selfish Permission can be revoked as easily as it’s granted Permission can’t be transferred
Permission marketing Tests of permission marketing Does every marketing effort encourage a learning relationship with the customer? Does it invite customers to start communicating? Do you track the people who have given you permission? If a customer gives you permission, do you have anything to say?
Levels of permission marketing Intravenous treatment – the emergency room Green stamps – frequent flyer miles Personal relationships – neighborhood butcher giving you ribeyes instead of sirloin at no charge Branding – people usually choose the known over the unknown Situational selling – a sales clerk recommends a video Spam – calling a stranger at home during dinner without permission
E-mail design The subject line is critical Get their attention in the opening sentence Deliver value Layout/design should be readable & professional Personalize to the degree you can afford Provide a clickthrough as the response Carefully design the landing page Test & measure, test & measure, test & measure. Then refine.
Ten ways to fail at e-commerce Spread the responsibilities of converting to e- commerce among several people Form a committee (particularly a committee of busy people) Develop the simplest approach possible Choose vendors who are dismissive of your traditional business, but whose abilities you are the least capable of assessing
Ten ways to fail at e-commerce Operate the same way on the web as you do off- line (after all, the Internet is just a tool) Insist that the e-commerce venture meet every existing company standard (cost controls, recruitment sources, purchasing policies, etc) Don’t encourage different units to cooperate; reward each one separately
Ten ways to fail at e-commerce Compare performance with traditional industry competitors Give employees tools that they are unable to use and require changes they are confused about making. When the these take too much time and make the work harder, punish the employees. The company, not the customer, is in the driver’s seat
Components of an on-line store Display mechanism Commonly thought of as the website Provides a place to display your wares Registration system for customers Transaction and Order Processing System Shopping cart Order processing system Secure transaction path to “payment gateway”
Effective on-line store considerations Image and appearance Content Reliability Credibility, trust, respect Product information Design and navigation Order information Shipping information Exchanges, returns, and warranties Pricing information Checkout procedures Customer service, support Channel integration Market research
E-commerce ideas Don’t put your entire store online Turn your inventory over as quickly as possible Customers like to see what they are buying Keep shipping costs to a minimum and don’t blindside your customers with them Use the Internet to know your customers and their demographics better than ever before
Developing your website (online store) www.allhishorses.com www.ezhauling.com www.honeyjelly.com www.slawsa.com www.amazon.com store.yahoo.com www.williamscreekretreat.com www.sweetwatervalley.com www.gardens2grow.com www.radioshack.com www.landsend.com www.coach.com Visit several commercial websites to determine what you can do with an online store:
Sources Brondmo, Hans Peter. The Eng@ged Customer. Harper Business. Carroll, Jim and Rick Broadhead. Selling Online. Dearborn Trade. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. The Tenn Deadly Mistakes of Wanna- Dots. Harvard Business Review. January 2001. Rapp, Stan and Chuck Martin. Max- e- Marketing In The Net Future. McGraw-Hill. Stern, Jim. World Wide Web Marketing (3 rd Edition). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. www.wiley.com/compbooks or www.amazon.com