Introduction to Internet Marketing
Internet Marketing means performing marketing activities for a product or service of a company by using electronic network. In today's scenario, many companies use internet for promoting their products and services as it is the most effective method to reach maximum customers by incurring less cost and time (Furrer and Sudharshan, 2001). Marketing can be done by using various tools of internet such as email newsletter, social networking sites, display advertising, etc. In this report, internet marketing of Amazon has been described. Amazon is the largest online shopping website which operates their businesses worldwide. This dissertation help report is focused on the elements of internet marketing, its usage for promoting the products and services, digital marketing, internet marketing plan and role of internet in managing the customer relation of Amazon.
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Elements of Internet Marketing
Internet marketing means selling goods and services by promoting and advertising it through internet (Lu and Julian, 2007). In today's scenario, internet is most commonly used by people so; company also promotes their products and sells them through internet. There are basically three elements of internet marketing which are as follows:
1. Digital Marketing: In context with Amazon, company promotes their website and wide range of products with the use of one or more type of digital technologies. Digital marketing activities include search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, etc.
2. E-Commerce: E-Commerce means electronic commerce where buying and selling of goods and services are done by using internet. It can be done either in the form of B2B or B2C. In this case, Amazon purchases goods from other business and displays it on its website. Thus, it is doing B2B transaction and further selling it to the ultimate customers in which it is doing B2C transaction (Yu, 2006).
3. E-Business:In this, all the activities for carrying out businesses is done through internet which includes buying and selling of goods, supplying it to customers, payment processing, managing the inventory, business collaboration with other partners, recruiting and selecting candidates. In this case, Amazon sells the products and provides free shipping service, does payment processing through debit/credit card and takes feedback for better performance (Wong, Chan and Leung, 2005).
Evaluation of internet marketing mix
Marketing mix in a marketing concept are 4Ps which includes Product, Price, Place and Promotion. In internet marketing mix also, these 4Ps are included but they all are in a virtual form. Internet marketing mix for Amazon is as follows:
E-Product: In Amazon, wide range of products is displayed on their website. The products are shown along with its features and complete description. The advantage of this is that complete description of product is mentioned and nothing is hidden from the customers.
E-Price: Traditionally, pricing is done by taking into account many considerations such as cost and competitor’s pricing. Amazon pricing is lower than the prices of product available at stores because it cut down the staff’s salary, rent and other marketing cost (Ghazisaeedi, Pitt and Chaharsooghi, 2007).
E-Place: Place means availing the product to customers at right place on right time. Consumers can now purchase directly from Amazon’s website or mobile app which is easily accessible anytime and anywhere. Now, the challenge for Amazon is to deliver the product at reasonable time to retain the customers for repeat purchase.
E-Promotion: To attract the customers, Amazon does the promotion by giving various offers and high discounts on the products. Promotion can be done on the website itself or by advertising on TV, search engine sites and social networking sites.
Interactive order processing
Order processing is the process or the flow of work which starts at the time of picking goods then packing and delivering the packed item to the shipping carrier. It is the foundation of order fulfillment process (Zugelder, Flaherty and Johnson, 2000). Interactive order processing of Amazon is as follows:
Online shopping: Customers do shopping through online that is from Amazon website and pick the products that they wish to buy.
Payment procedure: After picking the product, customers do payment for that product through online banking or debit/credit card. Amazon also provides the facility for payment on delivery.
Packaging: Afterwards, product is sent for the packaging where it is packed and the details of product and customers' name and address is mentioned on its packing so that the products gets deliver to the right customer.
Shipping: When packaging is done then product is sent for the final shipment. Amazon provides free shipment which attracts more customers.
Amazon provides the online link through which customers can track their order. This makes the order processing in Amazon more interactive. Customers can know that about the stage in which their order is and in case of any issue, they can interact with the buyer (Duermyer, 2015).
Mechanics of search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is a type of internet marketing. It involves the promotion of websites of a company by increasing the visibility of that site on the search engine results pages (Leong, Ewing and Pitt, 2003). It can be done through search engine optimization or pay per click advertising. SEO is a type of focused online marketing tool which can be used by Amazon to improve its ranking and to increase its website's visibility on the search engine sites that is Google, Yahoo, etc. PPC is used for promoting the website of Amazon through paid advertising. It mostly targets the keywords used by searchers.
SEM technique is extensively used these days by Amazon to reach the maximum customers in UK because it is the popular tool of online marketing. Benefit of using SEM is that it helps in promoting their products through common search engine like Google and Yahoo. It promotes the product through a simple keyword search. With SEM, customers can get what they are actually searching for and thus creating benefit for Amazon (Online Marketing, 2010). It helps Amazon to generate lead for them. It is cost effective than other marketing media as well as helps Amazon to build the brand image.
Guidelines for the best practice in online public relation
Online public relations means managing the flow of information between public and an organization by using tools and techniques of internet (Schibrowsky, Peltier and Nill, 2007). There are numerous advantages of online PR such as it directly communicates to the people. It is more interactive and responses of people can be tracked and measured. Also, it is cost effective and has the ability to communicate globally. Amazon can publish blogs, ads on Facebook and use other social media sites to maintain the public relations through internet. For better practice in online public relations, company should follow these guidelines:
- Accurate information must be provided: Amazon should provide the real and accurate information about the products to people and the product which is shown should be delivered and no other product. Then only the relations can be maintained in a better manner.
- No misleading advertising: Company should avoid the misleading advertisement for attracting customers such as advertising that 50% cash will be back on household products but on website, there is only 30% cash back. It would rather reduce the relations with public.
- Fair pricing: Products should be sold at a fair price. Amazon should not charge high for the low costing products and no unnecessary charges on online payment and shipment.
New digital media communities in business
Digital media community is a group of people that is connected on social media sites or blogs who have similar goals or interest and they exchange information by using digital media tools such as text, graphics, audio and video (Bailey, 2011). New digital media includes online newspaper, file sharing sites, blogs and social media. Amazon can use new digital media communities to promote their business.
- File sharing sites: Sites such as Dropbox and Google drive are the new digital media communities which help the business to share information regarding its products and services and provide various offers to wide range of customer segment. This media enables company to share information to only those people who have access to these sites.
- Social Media: Amazon can share the information and promote their websites by using Facebook, twitter etc. This helps in reaching the mass market. Here, those customers would join the community who has the same interest. This would help in tracking the target market and information about customer needs and suggestions. This aids in improving the services of company (Chaffey and et.al., 2009).
Secondary market research
Secondary market research can be interpreted as the investigation which is already conducted and organized to provide the market information. This research already provides an overview of the market that is based on facts and figures (Sheth, Eshghi and Krishnan, 2001). Example of secondary market information includes Government census data, studies by other businesses, market research report etc. Amazon would use secondary market research to know the current situation of market. Company can use three types of sources to fetch the information about the latest market trends. These sources are as follows:
- Public sources: Amazon can do secondary research by using information from government, public libraries, etc. This involves the least cost and provides good information.
- Commercial sources: These sources include research and trade associations. This source provides valuable information about the market to Amazon but however, it includes high cost.
- Educational institutions: This type of source is considered to be a more valuable than other two sources because many market studies are conducted at universities. Amazon can get good piece of information about the market trends for conducting the secondary market research.
Secondary market research would enable Amazon to get readily available information about the market scenario. It is cost and time effective because less time and money is involved in doing the research as information is already available. This would help company to manage customer relation by using different and new marketing strategies in different customer segments in a quick time because the market scenario is already known to them.
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Designing online survey
Online survey is a kind of survey which are done using internet and other internet portals. In this, a company designs the questionnaire by using different websites which help in designing the survey questionnaire and with the use of emails, social networking sites, etc. those questionnaires are sent to the respondents. There are some of the steps designing the online survey and they are described below:
- Deciding the Research Goal: Firstly the Amazon has to design the research goal that to who are the target market, for what they are making the research and why they want to research for the same. Moreover, the goal should be set that how many respondents to be targeted, what method to be used for the research and what should be expected result.
- Creating the list of Questionnaire: After deciding the research goal, a lost of questions should be designed in rough matter.
- Choosing the Survey Website: The most accurate website must be chose so that creative questionnaire can be made and results can be achieved in an effective manner.
- Designing the Questionnaire: It is quite complicated to design the survey questionnaire in online portal but it becomes easier to send to the large mass. Further, the company can design the questionnaire by choosing the user friendly website.
- Sending the Online Link: After designing the online questionnaire, a link is sent to the respondents through email and other social networking websites.
This is how online survey is designed and sent to the target market so they can fill them and submit which will automatically get collected in an spreadsheet.
Use of electronic customer relationship management
Customer relationship management means managing company's interaction with the new and existing customers. For managing these activities, company can make an effectual use of electronic network such as internet tools. It is also known as electronic customer relationship management (Charlesworth, 2011). Now a day, ECRM is extensively used by every organization to manage the relationships with customers. Amazon also uses ECRM to attract, maintain and enhance the relationship with customers. It helps the firm to know about the needs and wants of their customers and accordingly, they can bring new products and modify their existing offerings. Through this, Amazon can communicate with their customers and bring out innovation in their services. This helps in retaining the customers in business and building strong relations with them as they would be pleased because services are provided according to their needs (Camusio, 2011).
Producing an outline internet marketing plan
An outline internet marketing plan is explained like:
- Environmental Analysis: It is well known that Amazon is providing its services worldwide. So, it has to follow the rules and regulations of many countries. This brings challenge for them (Mercer, 2011). They have to analyze the international government policies and regulations; economic trends like currency fluctuations; ethics and moral values of the society and religious factor; technological up-gradation and corporate social responsibilities etc. in order to operate in an effective manner.
- Competitor's Analysis: In this case, other online shopping sites are their competitors such as zolando.com, asos marketplace. Amazon has to keep an eye over each step because there is intense competitor rivalry in this industry.
- SWOT Analysis: While designing internet marketing plan, Amazon has to do SWOT analysis of company (Mohammed and et.al., 2003). Strengths include that firm provides the best customer service, diversified product category and satisfied customers. Weakness is like it provides free shipping which leads to losses in the profit. An opportunity for company is global expansion while threat is the increasing competition.
- Market Segmentation: Company has segmented the market according to the usage of social media sites and other internet tools by the people mainly on focusing on young people (Leong, Ewing and Pitt, 2003). These days, young people prefer to do online shopping and they are active on these sites. It has become easier for company to segment its market according to the customer needs. They can promote their products and services by showcasing the exciting offers on other social networking websites.
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After preparing this report, it has been concluded that internet marketing is playing a vital role for the growth and promotion of a business. Products and services can be promoted well by using internet marketing tools such as social media sites, email newsletter, SEM, SEO and PPC. These days, many people are using internet every day. So, it is beneficial for company to market its products and services through digital tools. As a consequence, it would assist in attracting, retaining and managing the customers through internet. Amazon is using internet tools such as Facebook, twitter, email newsletter, blogs and Google ads for promoting their products and services to different customer segments. It manages the customer relationship and keeps a track over their customers' response by using internet. Internet marketing has helped Amazon to flourish its business and provided high satisfaction to customers by serving according to the customer needs.
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