Communication technology is a tool that has in the recent past been embraced by many companies in selling their products to a population defined by multicultural diversities and consumer behavior. Counting on the many benefits that accrue from the use of this technology, company executives have had every reason to heavily invest in this technology in their marketing strategies, product design, and to gain a competitive advantage and a greater market share.
The consumer is the most important aspect of marketing and the sole target in the marketing strategy. Advertising forms a vital part in profit generation apart from a larger gain in market share and knowledge about the dynamic market behavior.Due to the dynamically changing behavior of the consumer, product design is all about incorporating every aspect of different and constantly changing product designs to suit the ever changing consumer behavior and market needs. That is the case with eBay Auctions it all.
The company utilizes communication technology to reach every segment of target markets where anyone can buy or sell anything in the global village. A variety of strategic approaches are utilized by this company to assist its clients successfully thrive in the market in meeting their objectives. This paper provides an insight into the basic characteristics of e-marketing that are basic to eBay, eBay’s marketing mix and its differences with brick and mortar approaches, and online fraud as a contributing factor that discourages others from using the marketing strategy and how to curb it.
Which e-marketing characteristics are basic with eBay?
An e-market derives its definition from the old market. This is where buyers and sellers are linked through electronic means. A number of information technology applications and business processes link the customers in the buying, selling, and providing products and services. Integrated information technologies and business processes are optimized in the process. An e-market is a global market place where marketers cut across cultural diversities to reach the target market, is not limited geographically except where there is no Information Technology infrastructure, is timely as transactions are committed in real time, advertising is cheaper as the cost of branding messages is quite low, and is always within the finger tips of the customer. That is the case with eBay. eBay is characterized by technical interdependence, and faces constantly changing challenges such as innovation to meet customer needs and changing behavior. Other characteristics include low limitations to barriers, minimal switching costs, diffusion of knowledge, and global competition.
eBay’s Marketing mix
Successful e-business thrives on a market mix that critically identifies and incorporates customer needs and behavior in its product designs. eBay, a successful online trading company’s incorporates the four elements of product, price, place and promotion in its marketing strategies. Its products incorporate key objectives and priorities while keeping its prices competitively low. The big picture keeps the company focused in its marketing strategies. Many of its products were consumer based but as times and business strategies keep evolving, an inventory of older equipments has formed part of the company’s products, drastically improving its marketing mix.
These products are targeted for small consumers, medium sized consumers, to large scale consumers. Many consumers find it convenient to sell and buy their goods on various sites provided on eBay. Many small businesses find it an advantage to retail their products through eBay’s sites. Primarily some other companies have found it profitable and eBay as an integral strategic partner in conducting their business transactions. The company promotes its products through information technology tools such as the use of websites and messaging that instantly reaches target markets.
Traditional marketing mix basically did not incorporate Information technology Infrastructure to reach the target market. In addition to that, brick and mortar approaches were expensive. Communication was slow and the ever changing consumer behavior could not be ascertained on time to tailor products to the new customer behavior and trends as opposed to eBay that thrives on technology that provides instant communication. In addition to that, accessing the global market was limited geographically and legal requirements could bar businesses from accessing certain markets. Discounts could be provided instantly in the current e-marketing strategies while in the discount stores, quantity products could be a pre-condition to enjoy price discounts. Thus, eBay has overridden the old brick and mortar approaches. In addition to that, many Information technology tools such as the internet traverse the globe.
What has eBay done in light of online fraud that has discouraged more customers from using the site and what more should be done?
Online fraud spans any scheme that incorporates the use of online services such as eBay to fraudulently solicit funds from individuals or organizations, to conduct illegal transactions, and or to transmit illegally acquired money through any financial institution such as eBay. With its keen eye on fraudulent transactions, eBay experiences only about 0.01 percent fraud on all its transactions.
Among the many approaches is where the company constantly modifies user agreements that bar any fraudulent user and constantly provide user assessment and feedbacks that rate the company and companies hosted on its site. Escrow payment services form part of the financial transactions with eBay. An escrow is an account protects both parties involved in a transaction so as to assure either parties of the integrity of the transaction and inspire confidence in both parties. Thus valued transactions inspire a peace of mind in both parties.
eBay provides credit card protection through companies such as Paypal and other service providers that further increases the degree of trust required to create confidence in a buyer and seller. Thus the potential for fraud in electronic commerce transactions are drastically reduced. eBay further incorporates monitoring of suspicious activities through its Trust & Safety Department to assist law enforcement agencies in curbing fraudulent acts.
To improve its services, eBay needs to incorporate other ideas and strategies to maintain its lead in the market and continue in its path of growth. One such strategy is to identify potential customers and regular customers. While potential customers can be attracted to the use of eBay’s services, free hosting for their products for a given period of time, offers to promote their products and services for free for a limited period of time, and other business incentives. eBay should incorporate some free services for those who use the site regularly and approach potential customers with excellent business promotion offers.
The site should be innovatively improved and partner with social networking sites to reach more customers. Much as its leadership has been objectively focused and driven the company to success, and comprehensively incorporate all networks of ecommerce activities. These may include e-markets, customers, procurements, excellent supply chain strategies, enterprises, and distribution channels and selling points. All aspects of B2B models should be incorporated in its e-marketing strategies, with fully fledged participant ownership and an incorporation of all revenue models. These revenue models include subscription fees, transaction related fees, value added services, advertising and marketing, and sales of information and data. eBay’s executives will continue to experience the company’s growth as the customer base widens further.