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Today, the concept of e- business is slowly getting adopted by all the business entities. Due to globalization, companies have no option other than reach international markets to improve their profits. The driving force for expanding or leaving national boundaries is the competition among businesses. Every business wants to attract customers from the entire continent. This calls for value creation. Value creation makes the goods and services appealing to international consumers. Due to improved technological advancement, companies are able to showcase their products at the international market. In the business world today, companies are focusing on making goods and services available internationally to meet the needs of customers despite the distance.
Electronic commerce has become a powerful retail tool in the contemporary world. Research shows that online retail sales accrued returns amounting to $7 billion in the United States in the 2000 financial year (Schneider & Perry 2000 p.46). It is surprising how the US retail sales had grown more than seven fold by the year 2009 amounting to $115 billion. Research shows that literature on online marketing has been well presented. This has led to the probable threats to the domestic and international physical retailing business. Electronic retailing has lowered costs that are involved both in local and international trade since barriers of entry into foreign markets have been eliminated (Shim 2000). This has made it possible for retailers to freely transact with clients across the globe. The once sunk costs that were involved in physical retailing have fully been eliminated. The network capability makes it possible for end users to locate services and products that they conform to their tastes and preferences.
Electronic retailing has been observed to carry some advantages that are not inherent in physical retailing. The research shows that virtual retailing stores do not require a physical infrastructure or inventory. Further, online retailing dodges distribution chains avoiding intermediaries that make cost of goods and services higher. This is an advantage as it adds value to goods and services and encourages customers from various parts of the world to buy goods and services. Electronic retailing makes venturing into new markets by the well known businesses easier as they are able to promote their brands on the international market (Shim 2000).
International marketing strategies are initiated by several multinational companies globally to set a common brand platform for products and brands (Bradley 1991). It is passed on to each local market that makes adjustments for their country and oversees its implementation. Such a structure guarantees a global brand consistency, fair pricing, and efficient communication.
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According to Bradley (1991, p. 26), thanks to the deregulation and technological growth in transportation and communication, organizations and companies can market in any country and consumers can also purchase from any country in the world. Because of this heightened competition, it is crucial for companies to produce products that would be of interest globally. Bradley (1991) also notes that companies should adjust their product and service characteristics to fit or conform to each country’s diverse cultures and values. They should select what to produce and how to price and sell their products bearing in mind the divergent legal and political differences, currency, and language fluctuations. When multinational institutions segment their target markets and position their products, cross-cultural education is essential, which is a concept of globalization and requires companies to think globally and act locally (Westland & Clark 1999). Without understanding of structural and cultural differences between nations, leading global corporations can fail in specific markets.
A social business network technology, which is an online platform, establishes and reflects societal relations among business persons with the same interests or activities. Online community services are social networks. Social networks are also a hot topic for marketers since they present a number of opportunities for interacting with customers through fan pages and groups (Schneider & Perry 2000).
A marketing strategy is crucial to move value added goods to the international markets. Business institutions seek information from the internet by conducting surveys in regard to developing new products to suit their customers’ preferences and tastes. It is very crucial for companies to come up with strategies that have an international perspective. They should also use data available in the internet to find the tastes and preferences of customers from various regions. Collected data would then be used for planning purposes and would measure the achievement of their business goals. First, companies need to plan and implement marketing strategies. Second, they need to forecast future expansion. This will be possible if they know the income and education levels of their prospective clients. This is because income will determine consumption among people. This will in turn determine the marketing strategies to use in different areas. Management requires data in making key decisions of the firm. Given the new trends of technology in data collection and presentation, businesses will have to change their ways of doing business. This has great effects on the marketing departments. Businesses and institutions can acquire information from online sources and analyze it to make profitable decisions. They can also represent their data using the modern tools of data presentation.
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The role of marketing is bringing buyers and sellers together. This role has become faster and more efficient than ever before. This is possible through the internet, which has revolutionized every aspect of life. Profit making and nonprofit seeking organizations make use of the internet to provide customers with the goods and services they want. In most cases, people use social media to market their products. Surveys suggest that the web is the best medium for presenting a new product (Bradley 1991). Using social media, businesses can post their catalogues, print advertisements, and organize trade shows. In fact, social networks allow vendors, retailers, and consumers to exchange vital information.
Business firms also use social networks such as Facebook and others to organize discussion groups online. The discussion groups involve employees of a given firm. The firm managers and supervisors have also arranged for workshops, seminars, and professional development meetings via social media. This is contrary to the traditional methods where supervisors and managers arranged and organized seminars and workshops to take place in halls within the firm’s premises. Currently, an employee can follow the proceedings of a workshop or seminar events from home or a train while travelling. One only needs to have an internet connection. Business firms have changed their research operation methods from traditional information gathering methods to the use of social media. Users of social media are always communicating, providing valuable information that a firm can use to develop new technologies and marketing strategies.
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In conclusion, organizations should invest in social media. Making use of social networks will enable business firms gain attention from customers. By creating blogs and fan pages, social networkers shift their attention to the businesses. Business firms should not overspend on traditional advertising and sales methods. They should channel considerable funds to investing in social media. Power and control in businesses is shifting increasingly from the company to the social networks that surround it. Given this shift, companies need to pay extra attention to the social networks, understand network dynamics, and learn how to work with networks. Companies that fail to do this will lose control. Superior understanding of the relationships that surround firms can enable those gain superior knowledge and extra control over social networks, which will define their future.
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