In the modern era, almost every retail business organization aims to expand its reach in the outer world in order to increase its brand awareness, sales turnover, marginal revenue and goodwill as well. However, growth of E-business has led an evolution in every business sector for adopting the latest technology for marketing its products and services. In the current project, Tesco Plc is the chosen firm which aims to promote its products through internet fir greater expansion of knowledge among targeted customers. This report will help to understand role of internet in a retail industry in marketing.
1.1 Factors involved in E-business
There are two different types of factors involved in E-business, they are:
Macro environmental factors
- Social: - huge part of population in the UK is using internet for the purpose of online shopping and purchasing products in easy manner. In this context, firm has to develop its internet marketing strategy in such a way that meets the needs and demands of online customers (Kalakota & Robinson, 2001).
- Legal: - In this context, policies implemented by domestic as well as international legislation extremely affects the internet usage and other related technologies in Tesco.
- Economic: - Number of economic factors such as price distribution, lay-off employees, inflation and deflation rates and economic crisis plays dominant role in affecting marketing strategies of the cited firm.
- Political: - Political support from regulatory authorities should be good enough which can enable the firm in developing its market online.
- Technological: - Consistent use of internet by people for shopping online, buying and selling through internet, information gathering for new offers and schemes about new arrivals have influenced Tesco to much greater extent (Alter, 2001).
Micro environmental factors
Such factors include internal policies and strategies used by the firm in order to maintain their operations by considering strategies of its competitors. Tesco is a huge retail firm which has number of competitors therefore, it becomes necessary for the firm to adjust their product's price in such a way that suit expectations of customers.
Business transactions types
There are different types of business transactions which have been discussed below:
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1.2 Benefits and barriers to Tesco considering an online presence
In the modern era, internet has changed the operations and procedures of business firm in regard of marketing. However, there are number of benefits and barriers involved in e-business such as:
With the help of e-commerce or e-business techniques including Intranet and Extra-net, Tesco can enable itself to provide consistent services to its customers (Tiwana, Amrit and Williams, 2000). Along with that, the cited firm also understand needs, requirements and expectations of its suppliers as well. Another major benefit of online marketing assist firm in motivating customers to ask for any query or complaint related to the product. As a result, prompt responses can be given to them through effective use of technology. Online services to customers help them to order and pay through direct banking and they do not even have to move to firm's retail shops. Through e-business, Tesco Plc also gain non-financial advantages such as increase in brand image, perceptions of customers, increase in motivation level of employees and creation of positive image of firm in the eyes of customers.
Operating business online will lead to the cited firm to incur huge expenditure in establishment such as domain name, email hosting and website design and development. Apart from that, existing structure of Tesco will also get changed. Another major demerit of e-business can be explained in terms of ongoing maintenance. In other words, lack of expertized staff can also lead to failure for establishment of e-business (Decise, Wright & Nowikow, 2000). On the other hand, legislation related to e-business involves Internet censorship, internet Activity Law 2009 and cyber security crimes.
1.3 Security and legislative issues
Security: - It is a process through the help of which digital equipments used in office or home such as computers, smart phones, tablets and other gadgets and services in a business firm are protected against unauthorized access. The security of computers have been classified below:
- Privacy: - In this context, Internet and piracy are creating a major challenge for not only for the firm but for employees and customers associated with the firm as well (Liautaud & Hammond, 2000).
- Integrity: - Integrity refers to protection of information from being modified or altered by other unauthorized person. However, Tesco Plc can protect its data by using cryptography and digital signature techniques.
- Non-repudiation: - In the modern technical era, large number of firms are coping up with challenges regarding change in unique identity of an individual.
Legislative issues on Online business
The most common and powerful laws that are creating a big challenge for business firms are Internet censorship and cyber security. Regarding online business, number of legislative issues are influencing business operations such as Copyright and Trademark, intellectual property and data protection rights, Privacy and Security and laws on electronic signature in the UK.
1.4 Modes of communication
In e-business, there are different modes of communication which are described below:
Electronic fund transfer:- With the help of this electronic tool, Tesco Plc and its customers can transfer money from one account to another one electronically.
Social networking media:- It is related to social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Digg and many other websites through which customers can visit websites of the firm and can interact with organizational officials (Chen, 2001). In such interaction, customers can share their experience regarding products and services an in case, if they have any kind of complaint, they can easily provide their feedback on the given link.
VOIP:- Voice Over Internet Protocol is a very crucial tool which helps the cited firm Tesco Plc in ensuring that their voice mails have successfully delivered to the customers.
Electronic data interchange:- This tool provides flexibility to Tesco in terms of sending and receiving data from one place to other. Or in other words, through this tool, Tesco Plc can transfer essential documents to other business firm.
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2.1 Internet technologies and their importance
Client server model is network computing concept which have functionality of e mail exchange and web database access. However, web technologies and web protocol build around client server models such as:
- HTTP: - HTTP is a foundation of data communication for internet it is simply a set of rules for transferring any kind of file on internet (Adams, Koushik, Galambos & Vasudeva, 2001).
- Domain name system: - DNS is like a phone book it maintains directory of domain names and translate those names in IP address
- Simple mail transfer protocol: - SMTP is a TCP/IP protocol used for sending and receiving mail
- Telnet- It is a service that allow one person to log in on other computer on same network
- Message transfer unit circuit & packet switching: - By using this technology, data is divided into small parts known as packets. They are routed through network based destination address and allow retail firms to share same data path in network packets containing information about destination address (Chaudhury & Kuilboer, 2001).
- Packet switching: - It is a mode of data transmission in which entire message is broken in various parts all parts are sent through suitable route and all parts become consolidated at destination
- Circuit switching: - circuit switching is a network in which physical path become a single connection between two end points of network phone service it is a circuit switched in telephone that join various wire segments to create single unbroken line for each call.
- Role of TCP/IP: - TCP is a transmission control protocol it is a standard that establish and maintain communication networks via application programs (Applications that perform specific function) that will exchange data, TCP work with IP which define how computer send packet of data to each other (Means, Schneider & Foreword By-Schiro, 2000).
- FTP: - It is known as File transfer protocol, which is used to transfer files from one host other host through TCP which is a transmission control protocol that establish communication route for exchange of data.
- Hyper text transfer protocol: - It is a set of rules for transferring files over a network files may be text, images, videos, music etc. it is a communication protocol used to connect web server5s also used for intranet.
- Domain: - A domain contain group of computers that can be control with common set of rules. If a retail company like TESCO want to connect all it computers with each other within same domain it can be seen that what is going on in system, this will block outside computers within network some software (Deitel, Deitel & Steinbuhler, 2001).
2.2 Main features of HTML
Hyper Text Mark up Language is simply a linguistic communication used for describing web pages using text. Elements of HTML have been described below:
- Video- You can embed any video without using any plugin video can be easily embedded as images are embedded.
- Hyperlink facility- HTML have hyperlink facility in hyper text by using hyperlink we can connect several web pages with each other
- Head- Command for head will be whenever we prepare web page for heading this tag will work
establishes golf as second heading.
- Paragraph- <P> it is used for making paragraph while preparing web page this tag will work.
- Break- it is used to break a line structure will not change but in case of
- Title- It works when title is given to web page.
- Image- this tag is used for showing image on web page.
- Body- this tag will work when writer will mention details on web page.
- Hyperlink- used for hyperlink (McCormack & Johnson, 2010).
- Table- this tag is used for preparing table simple HTML table have two row and two columns.
2.3 Client-server and roles of search engine
Client-server architecture is developed by merging web-servers and web browsers. In this case, sever assists the firm in saving huge amount of data in it. However, server can also transmit data from one end to another (Paul, 2004). Through this, network operators in Tesco Plc can manage and back-up storage. Another main role of client-server is that, it performs number of activities such as remote accessing, security and user authentication as well. However, in order to make use of client server, firm can use different types of web-browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari etc.
Roles of search engines
Search engines plays very crucial role in providing flexibility to Tesco in terms of strewing huge amount of data and simultaneously helps users to find information quickly through number of websites. Specially, search engines are developed for internet user for assessing information in very short time. However, it includes various techniques which includes key-word, index and page ranking and it also demonstrates web page that matches the queries that are based on one or more techniques (Parazoglou, 2006).
2.4 Intranet & Extra-net
Intranet- It is a kind of facility under which so many computers can be connected with each other it is a local or restricted communication network specially a private network which is prepared using software it may consist of local area network it may also use leased lines in wide area network(WAN).
Role of intranet
- Better internal communication- use of intranet make internal communication better because byb using intranet employees can connect to each other while setting in remote place
- Sharing of file- By using intranet facilities employees can share file with each other
- Improved customer service- information about customer grievance can be getting instantly so fast action can be taken (Shields, 2004)
- Reduction in paperwork- forms can be assessed and filled on desktop so there will bwe no need to send documents here and there.
Extra-net- An intranet that can be partially accessed by outsider person who is authorized to work in our intranet
Role of extra-net
- Better inventory management- by using intranet inventory management can be made better
- Collaboration- More effective collaboration among business partners is possible
- Business relations- business relations will improve with channel partners
- Security- no other person can receive information due to controlled security exchange take place in controlled and secured environment.
- Flexibility- extra net make connectivity between employees who are working in remote area.
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3.1 Business Models
E-business models that can used to generate revenue for business are:
- Inter mediation- An intermediary will sell firm's products because not every person take interest in online purchase so management should also make available its products online
- Dis-inter mediation- Tesco can directly mail their lucrative offers to prospective people and will directly provide its product to customers. Today number of online buyers in consistently growing at fast pace and keep eye on schemes so firm should try to get a list of those who mostly visit such online shopping sites (Amit and Zott, 2001).
- Re-inter mediation- Here the mentioned firm can connect buyer with seller today in case of electronic products like mobile bikes many people like to keep them for short period so company can choose it as business segment
- Merchants- TESCO may solely perform functions of wholesaler and retailer in other words it will open its own distribution channels for selling its products
- Subscriber- The cited firm can provide subscribe facility to its customers so customers will receive only receive selected product mails
3.2 Analysis of each model
Analysis of each model in terms of capacity to generate revenue:
- Inter mediation- there are two kind of prospective consumers one who like to buy online second who like to buy from retail shops mostly people today also prefer retail so inter mediation have high potential to generate revenue (Gordijn & Akkermans, 2001).
- Dis inter-mediation - Number of online buyer is small but its number is growing at rapid pace so in long term this model have a very high potential of growth it will become big source of revenue generation in long term.
- Re-inter mediation- TESCO can focus in this segment is not so wide but can be used as supplement to revenue growth
- Merchant - Following this model create special brand image in mind of people it makes good perception and people become familiar with name but it has less potential than inter mediation and dis-inter mediation.
- Subscriber- Many time people prefer any particular product like watches shoes so TESCO can send mail about offers to such candidates and can generate sales from this side.
- Advertising- People visit a lot of sites specially sites related to study company can advertise its offer on such sites. It is evident that mostly youngsters make online purchase so message of company lucrative offers will directly reach to our target customers (Liautaud & Hammond, 2000).
3.3 Future developments of e-models
In the near future, it has been expected that e business is going to achieve new heights.
Wireless – In the modern context, the use of Wi-Fi will provide new opportunities to the business. Through this technique, the use of mobile application will eventually increase that leads to efficiency in e business for the firms.
Mobile transactions – the use of mobile transactions will be increase as there are many mobile applications that have been developed to make easy payments. This leads to greater e business opportunities for the firms to carry out their business (Chaudhury & Kuilboer, 2001).
M-commerce – the use of m-commerce have been increasing due to excessive use of mobile shopping. Company creates their own web portals for online shopping that enable m-commerce to achieve success.
4.1 Key elements of good website design
Elements of good website design are as follows;
- Web page – there must be a good website page structure so that it could be easily accessible by the user. They are able to find content of the portal easily.
- Website organization – the website must be well organized that all the words should be clearly visible. They should be easy to watch and no animation must be there.
- Attract people – the website must be developed in such a manner that it is capable to attract audience. It should be easy to access and well defined by company (Alter, 2001).
- Visual design – there should be use of visual design so that people gets attracted and the content of web page becomes easy to find.
- Navigation – there must be easy navigation so that people could easily move from one page to another to search and access the content.
4.2 Impact of well designed website
A well designed website can create an outstanding impact on the visitor of the website. Extremely good color combination and attractive design can create positive impact on customers. Relevant data should be short but should include lot on information in short paragraph. Simple language used in content of website should be easy to understand. Along with that, content of website designed by Tesco should be created in such a way that can easily convince user to read more and then make purchase (Kalakota & Robinson, 2001). On the other hand, the improved technology in terms of search engines have also assisted both user and firm to keep their products and services on top of the table.
4.3 Issues concerned with website usability
Issues related with website usability are as follows:
Accessibility: - Some websites are unable to fulfill the needs and requirements of users. Issues can be faced by users in terms of loading web page and content. In addition to this, it can also be said that performance of website can also create some issues.
Stakeholders acceptability: - Without easy accessibility of the website, stakeholders of the firm will be unable to meet the content of the website (Paul & Fox, 2004).
Legal issues: - According to the Equality Act 2010, it has been developed to increase accessibility of the website. However, if any firm does not follow this act than it will create issue.
According to this marketing dissertation research report, it has been concluded that e-business plays dominant role in providing assistance to business organisations. In this report, Tesco is the chosen firm which have made efforts in promoting its products and services through internet marketing.
Books and Journals
- Adams, J., Koushik, S., Galambos, G., and Vasudeva, G., 2001. Patterns for e-business: A Strategy for Reuse. IBM Press.
- Alter, S., 2001. Information systems: foundation of e-business. Prentice Hall PTR.
- Amit, R. and Zott, C., 2001. Value creation in e‐business. Strategic management journal.
- Chaudhury, A., and Kuilboer, J. P., 2001. E-business and E-commerce Infrastructure: Technologies Supporting the E-business Initiative. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
- Chen, S., 2001. Strategic management of e-business. John Wiley and Sons, Inc..
- Decise, M. V., Wright, A., and Nowikow, C., 2000. Executive's guide to e-business: from tactics to strategy. John Wiley and Sons, Inc..
- Deitel, H. M., Deitel, P. J., and Steinbuhler, K., 2001. e-Business and e-Commerce for Managers. Pearson Education India.