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Online VS Offline

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1. Introduction Electronic Business is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of an organization by deploying innovative information and communications technology. In the past few years, many businesses have faced the challenge of incorporating e-commerce into their repertoire of services in order to serve their customers 24 hours. However, in establishing an online presence next to their existing physical stores, retailers encounter the difficulty of not being able to use the same format for both online and traditional stores. Although online shopping incorporates many of the same characteristics as traditional one, consumers are in a different frame of mind and have different informational needs when shopping on the Internet or the traditional way. Therefore, it is important to first identify the analogies and differences between traditional shopping features and features of online shopping before setting up a format. In addition, retailers have to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping compared to traditional shopping to understand consumers' motives to choose one channel over the other (Monsuwe´┐Ż, 2004). 2. Virtual Retailing Schneider (1994) forecasted that in virtual retailing, "being a merchandiser will be far more important and far different than it is in the real world" (p.37). Essentially, in virtual retailing the store will be bypassed. The idea is how the virtual retailer and merchandiser will manage to draw customers into the virtual store and provide them with satisfying shopping experience. It is obvious that simply putting pictures of products from a catalog to a TV screen will not be enough. Many consumers visit stores to satisfy, besides product needs, social or entertainment needs. For that reason, retailers develop community atmospheres in their stores in order to satisfy social or entertainment consumer needs. Therefore, virtual retailing would have to provide to consumers "significantly better, faster, less expensive, or more entertaining shopping experiences" (Schneider, 1994; p.38). Early research results indicate that the use of the Internet for retailing purposes is very promising (Choudrie et al., 1998). ...read more.

Middle

Tactile cues can drive the decision to buy. A transaction that is face-to-face is usually unmediated. On the other hand, e-tailers communication is the hands of a third party or technology. Discourse: Customers can converse with the merchant face-to-face; unmediated conversation is basic to human communication. People want the feedback available from non-verbal behavior, which forms a large part of judgment process. Community: Customers can interact with other customers and gain feedback about the merchant from other customers, as well as by observing the merchant interacting with other customers. Privacy: Customers can make purchases anonymously with cash; they usually don't have to give their name or address. They don't usually have to worry about what a store will do with their personal information, although this is becoming more of an issue with various recent attempts by lawyers to access private sales and rental records. Privacy is often a measure of how much of his or her identity a buyer wants to invest in a transaction; sometimes, we just want to quietly make our purchase and leave with it. (Source: Philosophe, 2009) 6. Creating Shopping Environment through Website Ambiance (Question-2) The E-Retailers use certain website ambiances to create a shopping environment just like a traditional store. Some examples are: * Drop Down Menu (Popup Menu) The submenus can pop up over form elements, frames, flash, and even go over the browser window. * Flash Buttons Create snow, star, rain, bubble effects, flash-like animations, banners and many more with these buttons. * Navigation Bar: It provides a tabbed interface for sites, very familiar to most visitors. * Animated Buttons: These are that let you generate appealing menus with impressive mouse over and killer fade effects. * Spin Menu: A menu, which starts a 3D spinning of color rectangle on every mouse over generating a great visual effect. * Image Transition: It produces a cross-fade between two images on mouse over. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the time visitor finds Halfsed, they have already been clicking many links. (Source: Econsultants, 2009) 11. My Recommendation to Halfsed's Inc. for Selling Online (Question-6) There are many other pros and cons of Internet distribution. Hafsed can pursue to sell its jeans on the Internet. Halfsed need to consider some factors that will be create an effective Internet selling strategy for selling jeans. My recommendation would be: * Personalized Business Listing: There should be a personalized listing of the business type and name, how it operates its business. * Contact Information for Customers to Reach Them: Halfsed should add as much contact information as possible including phone numbers, email and Website address. It should also include its business hours and availability. It should also list additional locations. * Search Availability: Halfsed should make available its products through search engine inclusion. * Increase Visibility: Halfsed should add the company logo with enhanced Profile. Doing so will help its customers distinguish it from its competitors. * Highlight Halfsed's Specialty: Within the whole website it should highlight its jeans. * Service Area: Halfsed should identify the specific areas and neighborhoods service in the listing with Service Area feature to let its customer know it is in their neighborhood. * Adding Credentials & Credibility: Reputation counts for any business. So, Halfsed should be sure to list any affiliations it has with accredited organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce. * Adding Ratings and Reviews: With a review form Halfsed should encourage its customers to post reviews and rate the service. Not only will those ratings and reviews make the business more attractive to other consumers. 12. Final Thoughts In the first world countries, consumers prefer Internet shopping to traditional one. However, even though these advantages may lead some consumers to prefer online shopping, they are not necessarily choosing one shopping channel over another. Instead, consumers are shopping wherever and whenever it is convenient to them, whether by store, catalog, or Internet. Today's consumers are multi-channel shoppers, and some occasions prefer traditional off-line shopping to shopping on the Internet. ...read more.

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