Indeed, E-Grocery counts among its competitors large firms – including `adventure’ mega complexes and seasoned retail players capitalizing on brand strength and backed by decades of retailing experience and enormous resources to market their products and ensure information technology support to establish a solid and customer-friendly online presence. Examples of these big, successful companies are eBay and Amazon.
com, which have added food among its product categories, and continually enhanced their online ordering tools, inventory management and marketing thrusts to dominate diverse product categories that include books, consume electronic products, and so on. There are also Wal-Mart and Kmart, which can easily lure customers, well backed-up by their names and technical infrastructure. To measure up, E-Grocery needs to adopt certain e-business strategies to bolster consumer acceptance and help grow its business.
An updated website that offers ease of use is one of those fundamental e-business strategies. Because a recognizable brand name is essential to driving the desired traffic to the website, E-Grocery just may benefit also from changing its generic-sounding corporate name. In the meantime, e-Grocery needs to catch up with large retailers like Amazon and grocery operating web services like FreshDirect, as far as fresh approaches geared towards enticing customers to shop at their sites are concerned. EGrocery will also do well to learn from the pitfalls that other online retailers have experienced.
Obtaining industry-specific knowledge and finetuning the e-business process, and eventually expanding into new quality product categories while implementing well-conceived marketing initiatives like nutrition updates, detailed snack lists, special discounts and offers, or even inventive referral programs, coupled with efficient delivery service, all serve to bolster an e-grocer’s business. Part and parcel of overall marketing thrusts is the development of an engaging e-commerce site that will be able to bring in quality traffic.
“Search engines will play an increasing role in the way online retailers are branded… Amazon is particularly adept at this” (Johnston, 2007, p. F9) so again e-Grocery must make huge strides to maintain competitive, come close to the success enjoyed by popular online retailers, and learn to attract new customers. An e-business consultant who is well-versed with the web may be able to offer strong inputs and create websites that work. Other e-marketing tools which e-Grocery can employ are e-newsletters, blogs, and pay-per-click marketing.
It is important to choose e-business strategies that suit the company’s overall goals. The total e-store solution offers not just secure checkouts and automated ease but also a steady revenue-generating retail outlet that enhances brand visibility. E-Grocery’s marketing department must realize that if it is to increase customer response rates, hold its own against other online retailers, and help ensure long-term growth, it may have to work on developing “an integrated campaign in which each action boosts audience involvement, creating a unified program and message” (De Azevedo and Pomeranz, 2008, p. 205).
De Avezedo, A. , & Pomeranz, R. (2008). Customer obsession. New York: McGraw-Hill. Ernst, S. , & Hooker, N. (2003). E-grocery: emerging trend or just another case study? Retrieved February 14, 2009, from http://aede. osu. edu/programs/e-agbiz/pagepapersandpres/papers_presentations/2003outlookegrocery. pdf Johnston, P. (2007). The online retailers that shoppers like most. Retrieved February 14, 2009, from http://www. stores. org/pdf/SpecialReports/Favorite50. pdf
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