Learning all about E Commerce and E Marketing is the pressing need of every student as well as every marketing and business manager. No one can afford to ignore the E Business channel and hope to grow oneâ€™s business the traditional way. Even if an Organisation continues to explore and grow its traditional channels of sales and distribution, the online presence is something that will need to be considered as a parallel marketing strategy, simply for the fact that the competition will be present and visible to the customer and more importantly the customer expects you to be available on the net.
The starting point of understanding all about E Business is to first understand and explore the Internet and its users. Understanding of the userâ€™s profile, their habits and behaviour gives us an idea of the market and the characteristics of the customer group.
One needs to keep in mind that internet provides for some basic and unique features that make it attractive for the individuals to access the internet and search. The internet carries the power of providing information globally as well as instantly.
The amount of information and data available on the internet is so huge and varied that it makes the individual feel overwhelmed. Truly it takes the individual user on an information highway. With the realisation of this, an individual feels overawed and powerful at the same time. Internet browsing then becomes an exhilarating and liberating habit where in the customer gets used to shopping online and depending upon internet for his services.
Once there is an understanding of what internet is all about we see that individuals get into the habit of logging and browsing the internet for several hours a day. They may not have any specific need but like to make friends, participate in discussions and usually hangout. Researchers have carried out specific analysis and say that amongst the millions of users on the internet, most of them happen to be men who are not married but are professionals and students. From the profile of the users it is very evident that their needs of using internet have to do with looking for information, emailing, chatting and making friends. One basic need of every human being is the need to be in touch with others and communicate with other individuals. Internet makes this happen so easily and instantly that it makes the users engage in conversations and relationships without any inhibitions and thus become a part of virtual communities.
We also have the families who have internet at home and are used to using the internet for some online shopping and payment of their bills. Online banking has been accepted widely by everyone since the banks have managed to provide simple but secure transaction desks that has made it very convenient for the users. People have accepted and begun online shopping for a few of the things like books, furniture, clothes etc. While shopping too, individuals look for a familiarity with the Organisation that is front ending on the internet. Amazon, E Bay etc have become symbols of trust. Most people living in cities have begun to depend upon the internet for booking their movie tickets, ordering Pizza on home delivery as well as making their travel arrangements and downloading music and movies too.
One fact that stands out clearly is that people use internet mainly to search for information. Search holds the key to attracting the customer and getting him to check out what the business has got to offer. Second fact is that most internet users use internet not for buying but for browsing through virtual communities and checking out various information. This gives us the clue that the web pages have got to be compelling enough to get his attention. There is yet another fact that one might over look, which is that the number of users on the internet are a small fragment of the entire community and this number is growing every day. So who do all these mean to the marketing manager who is trying to map an E Marketing strategy for his business?.
Studying the behaviour and understanding the needs of the internet customers gives us an insight as to how to forge a relationship with customers via the internet and offer customised solutions. Internet customers today are looking for convenience of shopping and transacting easily and are also looking for the cheapest bargains as well as faster service and delivery too. These are the basic demands of every customer who will be going through your website. But then how will you stand out from amongst the competition and engage your customer into a relationship is the primary challenge in E Marketing.