Business Strategy – E-commerce Online Stores

The internet in principle is no different than any typical town main street. There are plenty of different small, medium and large stores to choose from, some are well known names and some not so well known. There are also plenty of information centres, recreation and food and beverage facilities all designed to improve the shopping experience. For the majority of proactive retailers however, the internet is now established as being by far the biggest profit centre of all, contributing the lion’s share of corporate gross revenues and yet the online main street store costs far less to develop, far less to maintain and far less to stock than even the smallest traditional main street store. However this unprecedented success has still been achieved largely by accident. At the beginning of the internet revolution most companies viewed the internet as being a source of new enquiries achieved in much the same way as a main street bill board or advertising on TV. The idea of using their corporate web sites as an online store has very much evolved over time. Now consumers can purchase anything that they can usually purchase within their local town main street online via the internet as well. This can invariably be done quicker, cheaper and more efficiently too. So what is the difference between good and bad online retailers? Any good marketing expert will always advise you to feature your product as prominently as possible within any advertising or public relations campaign that you undertake. The internet is no different. Visitors to Harrods in London tend to go there for the Harrods experience. Customers expect in many cases to pay slightly more for products which they could purchase elsewhere for less, but the difference is considered worthwhile because you are purchasing the product from Harrods. The same is true of Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. Creating the Harrods experience online has proven to be virtually impossible however and the company are still struggling to achieve this goal. Visitors to Harrods online expect to visit recognizable departments in the same way that they would if they visited the store. Providing the same products online is not sufficient in this instance because the same customers would not be prepared to pay inflated prices for products online via the company’s web site if they are not also being provided with the Harrods Experience. Conversely Amazon has done very well indeed online, although the success has not been achieved without problems along the way, but these problems were caused by too much success and consequential delays with supply chain management and distribution. The main reason why Amazon has succeeded ultimately is because it is actually very easy for them to provide customers with a better experience than they would normally have in a main street bookshop or DVD store and they can also provide the products at a more competitive price. Book shop and DVD customers do not tend to be browsers like Harrods customers. They tend to walk into the store with a product in mind and the frustration of searching for it through endless stocks of other books and DVDs has been unceremoniously stripped away by Amazon. Not only that but they have been able to ensure that almost all of your favourite author’s books are already in stock, which tends to increase sales revenue and subsequently purchasing power considerably. It is a good example of where impulse buying can actually be more powerful over the internet than in a typical main street store. Another example of this is Tesco. Always leading the market by determining their customers needs and buying patterns in advance, Tesco has developed their online store in such a way that it more-or-less replicates the shopping experience of a typical main street store. All of the products are still decentralized into clearly recognizable departments. You can still virtually pick up the product and read the ingredients, compare health information, browse through alternative products, put items into your basket and then change your mind and take them out again. You can review the total cost of your daily shopping as you go along and adjust this without the embarrassment of having to face a check out assistant. Supermarket shopping tends to be laborious and hard work, particularly for elderly customers, pregnant customers, or customers who work long hours or who have small children. So it has been easy to strip out all of these frustrations and add in numerous benefits when shopping online. Their web site database remembers your last orders which saves you time can you can still take advantage of special offers. You can have your goods delivered to your home and customers will invariably have the time and the patience to browse around for other products which may be of use. In an industry where profit margins are small and competition is fierce the internet has effectively provided the industry with the supermarket store of the future and it is not impossible to envisage a time when their typical main street or out-of-town counterparts will no longer be necessary. The Academy of Business Strategy has succeeded in developing and facilitating education online, where many mainstream business schools and universities have not. The reason for this is quite simple. ABS provides programmes require the practical integration of academic theory as an integral part of the qualification process and as such students tend to be in full-time employment while training. Many students also travel internationally with work while training as well and as such it is much more convenient for students to be able to study online without having to carry their study material and project studies around with them. You can then make the study experience more interactive, more enjoyable, less daunting and more fun. Individual students can also plan and manage their own study time. Contrary to Harrods for example, ABS can therefore provide its customers with a better experience online than it would otherwise be able to in a classroom on campus. The general message here is quite clear. Those retailers who are able to replicate their typical main street store customer experience within their store online and are then able to add additional benefits from shopping online tend to be those who will succeed. It is not sufficient merely to offer the same products online at a discounted price. Innovation can also play a part. I remember as a child being impressed by a particular department store merely because they had installed escalators. Well I had never seen any before! I thought that this store was very modern and even to this day think of them as being at the forefront of innovation. The brand image has therefore been sustained merely because they have invested in innovative development to improve the consumer experience. This can also be achieved online by being at the forefront of innovative technology, which directly impacts upon user experience. This requires significant and consistent investment but it is still far less costly than developing and managing a typical main street store. The key success factors when developing online stores are therefore as follows: 1.Make sure that your products or services feature prominently. They should always be the stars of the show. 2.Remember to replicate the benefits of your traditional main street store online. 3.Be innovative with the development and management of your online user experience. 4.Your online store should offer additional benefits apart from the most obvious one of cost savings. 5.Be acutely aware of whether you would in fact be able to improve your consumer experience by having an online store, or whether you would be making it worse. Products or services that are considered to be necessities by consumers always tend to do better online, as opposed to those that are considered to be luxury items. This does not of course mean that benefit cannot be achieved online with luxury items, but the e-commerce strategy does need to be approached from a completely different perspective.

Promote Your Band With New Marketing Ideas

Promote your band
Key ways are mp3 music ringtones, Mini dvd discs and postcards.

By Chris Ciabarra

This is a paper on how to promote your band, over the past 12 months I have been in contact with a hundreds of bands looking to become famous in LA. Everyone wants to a hit! Well it all comes down to being discovered! You can be the best band in the world and if you don&;t market yourself right well good luck! Lets analysis fortune 500 companies. Take a look at there budgets They dump 35% to 65 % or more of their profits back into marketing and advertisements every year. Becoming and remaining number one requires a lot of work. Advancing to more and more new customers not only requires more and more marketing but keeping the old ones happy!

Wanting to Promote your band with Live performances and marketing new ideas well you have come to the right spot.

Once people have bought a bands CD and their tee shirt, and seen the band live now what? Note, promoting a band is a lot of more then just t-shirts and cd&;s hell anyone can do that! You need to promote in many ways, just look at fortune 500 companies they email, do giveaways, mini dvd discs promo&;s, cold calling, internet marketing etc. You must do at least 3 forms of promoting to get a response out of your audience. The newsiest one for bands is music mp3 ringtones which we will get into later.

We will go over many ways of promoting your band:

1. Great item that I have seen so far are mini DVD discs called pocketreels. GOTO www.pocketreels.com for more info on how to pick them up. These mini dvds can go a far way just think what people would do if you handed them a mini dvd. They go crazy and they are super impressed! Place a nice video of your band on it and see how many new customers you receive at your next show!

2. Having a photograph or videoagrapher at your shows to help promote your band is a good thing. They can take pictures and or videos and upload the images or videos to your website which can boost mailing lists and a fan club! And then they may be compelled to come to your next show and bring more friends or soak in the opportunities for fame and the live music experience itself. For video or photographer outlets call PR Productions at 310-694-8350 for CALIFORNIA only. They have the best crews around but they are not cheap. Shoots start at $400 + editing.

3. That brings us to a mailing list, each visitor to your website you should be collecting their email address so you can send them useful information like when your next show is going to be.

4. Promoting your band is not easy so do your self a favor and get a good publicist to promote your band. A good one can get you in 3 to 4 magazines and newspapers in one month for free, of course you have to pay the publicist but it will be well worth it. It can range from $400 to $2000. Note you can do this part yourself if you know how to negotiate with editors.

5. Promote your band by creating a really cool website! Check out www.royacom.com to make yourself a website with a CMS system. CMS stands for Content Management system A good website will cost: starting at $1000 but it will have video, email list generators, photo section and best of all easy management. They are a little bit more then a regular website but the ROI
Or return on investment is greater then a plain website. You can change show times just like myspace and it makes it really easy for owners to manage so in the long run you save big!

6. Make a professional music video for your band or gig. This will help with promoting your band. High quality Video can be found at many locations for a crew with experience one west coast call 310-694-8350 for east coast goto the best http://suitespotnyc.com a New york production company

7. Saving the best for last Another great way to promote your band is by making a music ringtone at www.a-free-ringtone.com for example you can download a nickelback ringtone and wow free advertising everytime someone calls that person and bam there is a song on your phone. You need help making your own mp3 or polyphonic ringtone please goto www.a-free-ringtone.com By making a ringtone like nickelback you can have your song ringing all over the world!

Your goal is to continue to reach more and more locals. Develop more ways to attract people’s attention. Always have something on you to promote yourself with.

Just for example. In an area with one million people, if you are getting less than 100 people to every show, perhaps you could be doing much more to reach more of the people in the community?

Its tough out there, and you must be relentless every day to meet new people, shake hands and hand out your mini DVD discs or if you can&;t afford mini DVD discs get free business cards by click here and smile at people who are passing by you on the street and in stores when you are out shopping alone or with friends, in bars carousing. Go out and meet new people. Walk up to people, introduce yourself, Hi, my name is Scott I play at ___ ___ place on blank night. What do you do? Here is my promo disc (mini DVD) with my video or here is my business card with my website on it. You can download my mp3 ringtone (or my polyphonic ringtone) for free at this address. Hand them a card with the information on it. Note always test all information you hand out before hitting the road. Nothing is worse then a fan going home and something you handing them not working!

Have a stack of Mini DVD discs or business cards or flyers in your pocket at all times ready to hand out. Make sure on your Mini DVD, Business card or flyer you have your contact information, website, and the next local performance. You do this 20+ times per hour for 2-3 hours and then youre distributing at least 50 mini DVD discs or business cards or flyers in those 3 hours.

You then go back to your car and re-stock. Grab something refreshing to drink, munch on a a sandwich, or whatever, and move on to the next part of town, or the next gathering of people. Or go to the next live gig, the next bar, the next scene etc. and you keep it going.

Once or twice a week, you hit Kinko’s, or the copier next to your office desk and you photocopy flyers and any designs you have created for promotion of your demos, etc. Better yet think ahead and goto gotprint.com much better deals then Kinko’s. (EXAMPLE 5000 post cards for $99 full color first side!)

Sell yourself. Meet with people and sell yourself. They dont know what youre doing. And unless you sell yourself, they wont care about what youre doing. They want to care, but they depend upon YOU to make that happen. People want so badly to care about something besides there problems. They want something to believe in. Entertainment helps take them there. You can be that entertainer, that leader of willing people of all ages that helps them to believe that there just might be something in this world worth caring about. They want to listen to you, and they want you to tell them about something that really matters to you. So, stay informed and develop interests in topics that may be discussed, even debated. Maybe you are trying to make a difference in the world – one person and one performance at a time. People want to believe in this and they want to believe in you. so, get out there and make it happen.

Remember go armed for battle you would not go into a war forgetting your gun would you? Look at it this way you rather have a tank and machine gun with you when you goto war so do the same with life. Make sure you have mini dvd discs, your own ringtone songs, postcards with info, website and publicist! Good luck and most of all have fun with what you do! BLOG your experience at http://promote-band.blogspot.com Hope all this helps