In this report, analysis is going to be discussed in terms of how the following organisations; EasyJet, eBay and Debenhams, use internet marketing activates to build on conventional online and offline marketing principals, offering customers greater freedom of choice and benefits.
EasyJet is a British airline carrier that is based at London Luton Airport. EasyJet is the largest airline of the United Kingdom, by number of passengers carried, operating domestic and international scheduled services for over 700 routes in 32 countries. http://www.easyjet.com/en/
EBay Inc. is an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company, providing consumer-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via the internet. EBay is an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and series worldwide. In addition to its auction-style sales, the website has since expanded to include ‘Buy-It-Now’ shopping. EBay is not a free website, but charges users an invoice seller fee based on if they have sold or listed any items. http://www.ebay.co.uk/
Debenhams plc is a British multinational retailer operating under a department store format in the United Kingdom and Ireland with franchise stores in other countries. It sells a range of clothing, household items and furniture and has been known since 1993 for its ‘Designers and Debenhams’ brand range. http://www.debenhams.com/
Opportunities to compare and select products
Customers compare and select different providers in order to be able to decide on which place they are going to purchase a product/service from. What the customer will do is look at the provider that is offering them the best deal and value for money. Customers will be able to do this by using comparison websites like Go Compare. This is one of the most comprehensive comparison services around the UK currently, which is committed to finding customers the best possible deal for the right price. For example, if the customer were looking at flights, you would use the Go Compare website to be able to find the best provider with the best deal. They will compare providers such as EasyJet, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. It will then be up the customer to put in the details and choose which they would be willing to pay. You could also compare this to Debenhams. When customers are looking at shopping online at stores, for example if they are looking to buy some new shoes, they are likely to not just be looking at Debenhams.
They may also look at other retail shops such as, New Look, River Island, and Topshop etc….. The customers will be comparing the different stores and their different variety of shoes; they will be also looking at the cost. Debenhams may charge more than New Look, but you are likely to be getting better quality. The benefits of using this type of internet marketing are that the customer does not have to physically visit the store to see which of the products are cheaper and which product to purchase. With internet marketing customers can easily compare prices and the quality of a product with a click of a button. One of the major disadvantages of this type of internet marketing is that the product prices may change often online and comparing the prices of products could become more difficult, or you might compare the prices and wish to buy them in a weeks’ time but when you look, the prices have increased.
Another disadvantage of this would be that you are not getting the benefit of the actual store, you don’t have the ability to try something on online like you do in store, and you can actually see the product in person and feel the material, which you are unable to do online. This type of internet marketing can also beat traditional marketing as the customer can easily sit back at home, click through the website, and look at the different prices and product that are available. They are able to do this without having to visit the store and have people coming up to them asking them questions about products. They are able to do it at their own time and at the comfort of their own home. With traditional marketing customers are able to physically go into the stores and look at the products face-to-face and compare them that way. This will allow customers to feel and see the difference between different products and allows them to try on clothing items whereas you are not able to online. This allows customers to have the physical presence of the product that you will not get online. Go Compare comparison website example:
Comprehensive and up to date product information
In both businesses to customer and business-to-business markets, the internet offers businesses the opportunity to provide detailed product information on products or services. Product information is a benefit to businesses, as the internet does not allow customers the opportunity to touch, feel, sample, or taste certain products. Providing detailed and up-to-date product information allows the customer to know as much about the product as possible without actually being in the store. One feature that EasyJet use when providing customers with the availability of more comprehensive and up-to-date product information is the ‘Flight tracker’. Customers accessing the flight tracker tool are given the opportunity to receive the latest information about their flight, for example, if there are any issues that may affect their journey, such as; Delays.
This can be accessed through the company’s operations centre on the website. This is a benefit for customers as the information provided may affect customer’s journey to and from the airport, for example, if a flight is delayed it may affect customers transport times. The Flight tracker is also a benefit as many customers flying with the company prefer to be organised and on time with flight departures. If up-to-date information is not provided, customers may feel panicked if any changes are made to the flight details. It is therefore crucial that customers are given up-to-date service information on flight details, so no negative feedback is given to the business. Easy Jet also use a link on their website homepage ‘Latest travel info’ allowing customers to visit the page and receive the company’s latest travel information. Information provided may include; Road works around the airport area, terminal changes and train services to and from the airport. This is a benefit for customers as information such as terminal changes are an essential part of the flight process, as customers need to know what terminal they must be in, in order to board the plane.
Up-to-date information such as road works around the airport area is also crucial, as customers must be on time if they wish to board the plane. If there are roadwork’s present around the airport, customers need to be informed so they do not miss their flight. As well as both the ‘Flight tracker’ and ‘Up-to-date’ information, Easy Jet also provide a ‘Contact Us’ page, that allows customers using the website to contact the company, asking any questions they may need to know. It is therefore a huge benefit for customers receiving up-to-date information, as customers are kept happy, leaving a positive feedback of the company. Some of the disadvantages of this type of internet marketing are that when purchasing online, the customer is unable to feel, touch, smell or sample the product for him or herself. Another disadvantage may be that the customer may not know the duration of the delivery of the product; sometime they say 3-5 working days, which can be hard for some people to plan around, if the product requires a signature.
Debenhams also offer their customers comprehensive and more up-to-date information. For example, within Debenhams they will provide the customer with all the details under each product such as the material and if it has waterproof etc. They will list this under product details for customers. This allows their customers to be able to identify each product and what it has to offer for them. This type of internet marketing can be better than traditional marketing because the customer can purchase and look at the product online, looking at all the description of the products online without having to physically to go into the store and to ask questions about the product. For example, if you were buying a plane ticket, you would have to ask them for all the details about it before purchasing, whilst online, with all the information being stated online they would not need to ask questions.
Flight Tracker EasyJet:
Opportunities for lower costs via dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing is where a prices is not firmly set; instead it changes based on changing circumstances such as increases in demand for specific times e.g. summer, type of customer being targeted or changing marketing conditions. This type of pricing strategy is most common within airline companies who are constantly changing flight prices. They may also be used with product pricing. Within EasyJet, prices will be set at a lower prices when fewer seats are being purchased and there is a large amount of seats left as they will be looking to fill the seats, and selling the place out at a lower price is bringing in more than a half full plane. The opposite will happen when there are fewer seats available, and prices will be put up. This is showing that ticket prices are likely to be constantly moving throughout the year. You could also compare this with eBay as that is a sight, which is also likely to be constantly changing their prices.
For example, the more bidders there are on a product, the higher and more often the price is going to change. Unless the product is listed as a ‘Buy It Now’ product, their prices are going to be changing throughout the period of time the product is on the site. One of the major benefits of this to EasyJet customers would be that customer may not have to spend as much money on plane tickets as they thought they would have. If the customers books tickets at a time where there is a wide range of seats available on the flight, tickets prices will have been lowered therefore, saving the customer money. This type of internet marketing is also better than traditional marketing as the customer is likely to be saving money compared.
For example, when they are looking online they are able to write down the information, and then look at it again in another week and the prices may have changed, benefiting them. If you went in store, they may charge you fees for booking, and the holiday itself overall could be much higher. In addition, it also allows customers to book online without any hassle or pressures from the people in store. One thing that may not benefit the customer is that when you are booking to go on holiday, the customers may not know if the prices are going to be frequently updated, or if they are going to change. They may end up paying extra for their tickets than the person did that booked two weeks after them. In addition, customers who purchase tickets late may be changed extra if they know they need to purchase a ticket and there are only few tickets left. Responsive transaction facilities
The internet allows customers to be able to conduct immediate transactions and immediately be able to have the satisfaction of knowing that they have been able to make an online booking. By booking tickets online, this allows for an easier process for customers. A good example where you may see this would be booking through EasyJet. You could also compare this is eBay as they provide their customers with ‘PayPal’. This allows the customers to be able to pay online without entering sensitive financial information. PayPal also allows customers to be able to have a speedy process as it only takes a few clicks to have the payment done. This shows the PayPal is efficient to customers and are able to purchase products quickly. A benefit of internet marketing is that there is now a greater supply convenience through availability of responsive transaction facilities. EasyJet offers a convenient system on their website where the customer is able to book online which means that you are able to do it at any time of the day, wherever you are.
Customers are able to book a flight at home, whilst they are in the office and even when they are out via a Smartphone. By being able to purchase a ticket online, customers do not need to worry about going into a travel agent or waiting to get though on a phone call. Customer do not feel that pressure of booking a flight without really thinking about it, which you are more likely to get when you are in a travel agent rather than booking at home. Booking a flight online is also a great way for customers to be able to save time, as they are able to check in using the online procedures. You go onto the Easy Jet website and find your reservation, enter all your information and print out the boarding pass at home.
Easy Jet also offer mobile check in options where the traveller can have the boarding pass bar code sent to their Smartphone, this saves a lot of time once arriving at the airport, as you do not have to wait in the queues and get to go through fast tracks. One of the disadvantages of this is that customers could accidently click the pay button twice, for example, if the sight is slow and this would leave to the product costing the customer twice as much as they expected for one silly mistake. Internet marketing is better than traditional marketing because the customers are able to have the freedom of sitting back and relaxing so they do not need to worry about their seats when they are booking for a holiday as EasyJet will have stored every detail and the purchase history that every customer has made. Another advantage of why internet marketing is better it because it is done quickly and efficiently and assures the customers that the ticket has been booked and they have nothing to worry about. Customer service experiences
Marketing will constantly be looking at customers needs and demands as customer’s service is important if a business wants to be able to remain competitive as products and services can be similar, but strong customer service can persuade people into purchasing their product or service. Meeting customer expectations is a challenge for a company like EasyJet as people these days use the Internet to buy products online. Therefore, individuals are having increased expectation of online procedures. Many airlines sell similar products so the customer service of EasyJet needs to be good in order to get people purchasing their tickets. EasyJet has a number of ways of providing enhanced customer service through the Internet. This is because their website is available 24/7. It also includes links such as customer support, FAQ, contact us, product conditions etc….. These facilities give customers a greater level of service.
EasyJet also provides customers with a digital complaints section on their websites for customers to give them feedback. These services exist so that customers can write any complains about EasyJet’s online products or services. Customers can benefit from this because they can voice their opinion to those who have also complained so this gives a collective view. Therefore, EasyJet can review the complaints and improve their products and services. This could also be compared to both eBay and Debenhams are all three of these services provide their customers with FAQ sections for their customers to visit. Websites like EasyJet, Debenhams and eBay provide their customers with customer service and contact us pages. All three sites provide similar services for their customers. The benefit of internet marketing to consumers is that if they have an issues or confusion, a large amount of companies provide you with a FAQ page that consumers are able o look at.
Digital service complaint sections are also beneficial because if a customer has a problem or concern they will be able to easily visit the page without having to physically visit the store or talk to a member of staff. The disadvantages of internet marketing is that customers may not be able to find an answer for the questions they are looking for, therefore having to have to physically ringing up or go into the store to have the question answered. A disadvantage of the digital complaints it that customers complaints may be able to be given in as much detail as they may have been able to be face-to-face. Internet marketing is better than traditional marketing as customers are able to find out the vital information about the business that they need to know. This is better than traditional marketing as customers will be able to do this whilst at home via online facilities. They are able to view FAQ without physically going into the stores. Digital complains may also beat traditional marketing because customers are able to access from their homes. Customers are able to review a product or service by a business and instead of having to discuss the product or service; they are able to read peoples comments and reviews on the products, which will be able to give customers who are wishing to purchase the product and insight into it.
– Better prices with the ‘middlemen’ removed
Instead of going through traditional distribution channels, which has some type of intermediate (such as a distributor, wholesaler, broker, or agent); companies may now deal with every customer directly, for example via the Internet. One important factor is a drop in the cost of servicing customers directly. This would be how EasyJet would get rid of the ‘middleman’. Removing the ‘middleman’ within an airline company like EasyJet means that is will be cheaper for the business as it is going through a shorter process. Other airline businesses like Thomas Cook and Thompsons who are able to offer holiday packages would be costing the customer more than it would to book directly over the internet. It will be cheaper for the customer to book directly over the internet than through a travel agent as they will be likely to be costing you extra fees. You can compare this to eBay, which their customers will be able to negotiate potential deals with at a low price. EBay customers are the intermediaries of eBay therefore; all products can be purchased directly.
Customers are able to bid prices they wish to pay for a product in the hope of purchasing the product and they can even email the seller if they think they could offer them a good deal of the product. The benefits that this has to the customers are that it will give the customer more flexibility. This is because it makes it easier for the customers to be able to cancel any bookings, as they are able to go directly to the EasyJet website rather than having to go through any travel agencies who may be likely to be charging the customer cancellation fees. Another benefit to the customer is that there will be no sales pressure on the customer. Customers are able to go online to the website whenever they want and you do not have to think about the opening time. There is no one who is trying to sell you any products or services you have to time to relax which makes it more beneficial to the customer.
One disadvantage of disintermediation for the consumer is that it might not save her that much money, but it does eliminate jobs as small local retailers go out of business because they cannot compete with the prices offered by discounters and wholesalers. This is also another consequence of using internet marketing as online shopping is becoming more popular to customers than traditional marketing. Internet marketing is better than traditional marketing as customers are able to have the power to choose where they wish to purchase tickets with, and have the flexibility when booking tickets. Customers are able to choose which company they wish to purchase from and will be able to purchase tickets directly from the provider without the intermediaries. Conclusion
In conclusion, I have talked about three different organisations; EasyJet, Debenhams and eBay. I have talked about the use of internet marketing within the businesses and the benefits that they offer to their customers. I have also given a comparison between the different organisations on different headings.