In the previous chapters it has been discussed how to build a successful website, how to analyze it from the visitors’ point of view and a short overlook was given on how to promote a website on the example of a blog. This chapter is devoted to the outlining the recommendation for the retailor companies’ expanding online, pointing on the specifics of e-commerce websites.
8.1Design and usability
As the conducted survey has shown, visitors tend to trust more to the websites with professional and appealing design. Nevertheless, the design and usability of the website should correlate without confusing a visitor. A potential client should be able to easily find necessary information or product, while being unobtrusively but effectively offered related products.
A website should clearly state, who is selling, what is being sold, at which price and how the purchase would be delivered to the buyer. This implies that a website should have comprehensive description of the product illustrated by photos and 3D models if necessary. Alongside there should be full characteristics and an opportunity for the buyers to share their opinion on the offered product.
Most of the retailor websites require registration for the proceeding of a purchase. Therefore, the registration process should be minimized and simplified, requiring the least possible amount of time for the website account creation. It is getting popular to authorize on websites through the already existing account on the numerous social networking websites as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.
8.2Sales and delivery
A customer should be well informed about the full price of the purchased product, including the additional costs on product delivery. For increasing the level of trust, it is recommended to state which risks a buyer can face when purchasing a product and how a retailor can protect his customer. All the terms and conditions on the return of the product should be stated in a clear and comprehensive way as well.
Good service is not the only thing that will make customers return to the website. It is important to keep the visitor updated and encourage him or her to return with appreciation systems. As for the retailor website, it can be reward points, discounts or pleasant small presents. One additional brick in building successful long-term relationship with visitors of the website is keeping them updates on new events on the website or sales proposals through weekly or monthly newsletters.
8.3Information and branding
Website is the online representation of the company, when future partners may acquire their first impression of the company through its website, it is important to maintain professional website corresponding to the brand book of the entire company.
Placing additional information about the company, its products or services and offering online or offline consultation on any matters is an important part of the informational support of clients and partners. Timely and quality support not only pleases and allocates clients and partners, but also is an essential component of the modern company’s corporate culture.
As the part of the information feature of the retailor website, the practice of placing current job offers is very common nowadays. Listing actual vacancies with the detailed job requirements on the official website significantly increases the chances of acquiring a qualified candidate fitting a position.
Creation of the website is the investment, and as a business instrument, a website should bring returns, inform clients and advertise products or services. If the website is not bringing profit, it is not working and the money spent on creation, filling with the content and promotion are spent meaningless.
Returns from the website can be perceived either as a profit or as an economy, in any way it is participating in the overall performance of the company. It is useful to keep track on the returns from the commercial website to adequately estimate the effort put in the website. A formula of Return on Investment (ROI) can be used for the estimation of website returns.
Where return from investment is consisting from the determined amount of direct sales from the website, potential brought by the new partnership or future contribution of perspective employee. And cost of investment includes amount of money spent on the development and launch of the website and its promotion. It is important to remember that a website is bearing monthly technical maintenance and update and promotion costs.
It is obvious that the website is bringing profit when the monthly income from it is higher than the cost of maintenance, the difference can be called “website net income”. This ratio should be very carefully considered, taking into consideration that costs of promotion and updating are bringing new visitors, thus, potential clients. Therefore, it is necessary to balance between optimal amount of investments and optimal amount of visitors.
Based on the previous chapters where analysis of visitors attitude towards the international retailors’ websites and analysis of the blog, as the major force forming opinion in the Internet were investigates, a list of recommendations for the companies’ expanding online was created. Recommendations include a practical guide for enhancing design and usability of the website, managing sales and delivery, providing information for partners and visitors, branding and calculating return on investments.
Introduction of the Internet has changed the way people communicate and conduct business due to globalization. Modern companies understand the advantages brought by online market and are willing to expand online. Creation of online representation or website has become an ordinary practice, and the amount of the websites is increasing every minute. It raises the question of marketing on the Internet, its strategies and methods of implementation.
In the thesis, website had been investigated as the core tool of online marketing, as a customer oriented platform used for providing no-pressure sales environment and a thoughtful choice making process. To determine the return from the website, be it increase in visitors, brand strengthening or direct sales boost, a website should undergo a thorough assessment, methods of which were also previously discussed in the thesis.
Nevertheless, the primary objective was to analyze the Internet marketing strategies of international retailor companies and to investigate modern trends of Internet marketing, which was impossible to perform due to the limitations of studies. The risk of international retailor companies’ unwillingness of revealing the information about their performance online actually became true. This allowed only partial fulfillment of the primary thesis objective, as the analysis of Internet marketing strategies of international retailor companies was substituted by the analysis of users’ perception of the website as the core item of the marketing strategy.
Secondary objective, that was to develop a comprehensive list of recommendations for the companies’ expanding online, was fulfilled with design and usability, sales and delivery, information and branding and return on investments comprehensive suggestions.
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Sitemap is a list of the pages on the website. It is a way to tell Google (or any other search engine) about the content of your website it may otherwise not discover1.
ROI A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments2.
Questions to measure the satisfaction with the websites1:
Respondents were asked to visit websites one-at-a-time and choose the most appropriate, according to their own opinion, adjective to characterize the website. There were 24 adjectives listed, more than one were available to be chosen. List of the adjectives was shuffled for every question to avoid “clicking through” responses. The list was as follows:
What do you think about Acer website? http://us.acer.com/
What do you think about Apple website? http://www.apple.com/
What do you think about Asus website? http://www.asus.com/
What do you think about Dell website? http://www.dell.com/
What do you think about HP website? http://www.hp.com/
What do you think about Lenovo website? http://lenovo.com/
What do you think about Sony website? http://www.sony.com/
What do you think about Toshiba website? http://www.toshiba.com/
Does your perception of the website correspond to your perception of the brand? (rating scale from 1 to 5)
May visiting retailors’ website influence your purchase decision? (rating scale from 1 to 5)
1Statistic Brain: Internet Statistics, http://www.statisticbrain.com/internet-statistics/
1 Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, usually known before his knighthood as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart, was an English soldier, military historian and leading inter-war theorist. He is credited with greatly influencing the development of armored warfare. (2013)
1 ROI – Return on Investment
1 KISS – keep it short and simple
1 Information about the provider was obtained on the website http://www.speedtest.net/
1 Some of the information used in profiling was taken from http://www.cy-pr.com/