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Research paper on online shopping

Every company wants to differentiate itself from its competitors and build its win brand image. The online industry of India is a $14 billion industry (2012) and has huge potential to grow in the future. Thus it becomes very essential for the company to differentiate itself from the others with the best USPS to create and become the best brand. Some online brands like mantra, flippant, bluebonnets etc have various customer engaging activities which lead to build its brand and create an impact on the customers mind.

Objective of study: To understand the online apparel industry in India To analyze how a brand is built for an online apparel company To evaluate arioso customer engagement activities conducted by these companies To find out if there is an effect of customer engagement in brand building of these companies To study the attributes/factors of customer engagement that lead to brand building for these companies Literature Review: Customer Engagement: Concept In March 2006, the Advertising Research Foundation announced the first define ignition of customer engagement the first definition of CE at the rethink! 2nd Annual ARP Convention and Expo: Definition: “Engagement is turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context. Customer engagement can also refer to the stages consumers travel through as they interact with a particular brand. This customer engagement cycle, or customer journey, has been described using myriad of terms but most often consists of five different stages: awareness, consideration, inquiry, purchase and retention. Marketers employ connection strategy to speak to would-be customers at each stage, with media that addresses their particular needs and interests.

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When conducting search engine marketing and search engine optimization, or placing advertisements; marketers must devise media and/or keywords and phrases that encourage customer flow through the customer engagement cycle, towards purchase. (AAA & ARP Customer Engagement Conference, 2006) Because the various define actions often focus on entirely different aspects of CE, they are not in every case competing definitions but, rather, illuminate CE from different perspectives.

Eric Peterson definition for example frames CE as a metric: “Engagement is an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction against a clearly defined set of goals. ” Customer Engagement and Marketing CE-marketing is necessitated by a combination of social, technological and market developments: 1 . Businesses are losing the power to dictate the communications agenda: The effectiveness of the traditional ‘interrupt and repeat’ model of advertising is decreasing.

In August 2006, McKinney & Co published a report which said that by 201 0 traditional TV advertising will only be one-third as effective as it was in 1990. 2. Decreasing brand loyalty: The lowering of entry barriers (such as the need for a sales force, access to channels and physical assets) and the geographical widening Of the market due to the internet have brought about increasing competition. In combination with lower switching costs, easier access to information about rodents and suppliers and increased choice customer loyalty is hard to achieve.

The increasing ineffectiveness of TV advertising due to the shift of consumer attention to the internet, the ability, within new media, to control advertising consumption and the decrease in audience size is bringing about a progressive shift of advertising spending online. CE is the solution that marketers have devised in order to come to terms with the social, technological and market developments outlined above. In a nutshell, it is the attempt to create an engaging dialogue with target consumers and stimulate their engagement with the brand.

Although this must take place consistently both on and off-line, the internet is the primary vehicle for doing so. CE marketing begins with understanding the internal dynamics of these developments and, especially, the behavior and engagement of consumers online. That way, business opportunities can be identified. As Max Oklahoma suggests, consumer-generated media should play a massive role in our understanding and modeling of engagement. Online Customer Engagement: Online inter-customer engagement is a recent social phenomenon that came about through the wide diffusion and adoption of the internet in western societies during the late 1 9905.

Although offline CE predates online CE, the latter is a qualitatively different social phenomenon unlike any offline CE that social theorists or marketers are familiar with. People also engage online in communities that do not necessarily revolve around a particular product, but serve as meeting or networking places, for instance on Namespace. The people in one’s Namespace friend’s list do not necessarily all share a single consumption habit, although they often do. People’s online engagement with one another has brought about both the empowerment of consumers and he purport unity for businesses to engage with their target customers online.

A 201 1 market analysis revealed that 80% of online customers, after reading negative online reviews, report making alternate purchasing decisions, while 87% of consumers said a favorable review has confirmed their decision to go through with a purchase. Customer Engagement and Consumer Behavior What is important in measuring degrees of involvement is the ability of defining and quantifying the Stages On the continuum. One popular suggestion is a four-level model adapted from Kirkpatrick Levels: 1. Click – A deader arrived (current metric) 2.

Consume -A reader read the content 3. Understood – A reader understood the content and remembers it 4. Applied – A reader applies the content in another venue Concerns have, however, been expressed as regards the insurability of stages three and four. Another popular suggestion is Guinea’s typology of engagement. Degrees of Engagement Medium High Highest Adoption Collaborative Filtering Content Creation Social 2nd Bookmaking, Tagging Adding to group Rating Voting, Commenting, Endorsing, Frustrating upload (User Generated Content), Blobbing, Fan community participation,

Create mash-ups, Podiatrist, Flogging Adding Friends, Networking, Create Fan Community Customer Engagement as a Metric All marketing practices, including internet marketing, include measuring the effectiveness of various media along the customer engagement cycle, as consumers travel from awareness to purchase. Often the use of CAP Analysis factors into strategy’ decisions, including budgets and media placement. The CE metric is useful for: a) Planning: Identify where CE-marketing efforts should take place; which of the communities that the target customers participate in are the most engaging?

Specify the way in which target customers engage, or want to engage, with the company or offering. B) Measuring Effectiveness: Measure how successful CE-marketing efforts have been at engaging target customers. The importance of CE as a marketing metric is reflected in ARPA statement: “The industry is moving toward customer engagement with marketing communications as the 21st century metric of marketing efficiency and effectiveness. ARP envisages CE exclusively as a metric of engagement with communication, but it is not necessary to distinguish between engaging with the communication and with the product since CE behavior deals with, and is influenced by, involvement with both. ( Marketers Mulling Arab’s Engagement Definition, Enid Burns, 4 April 2006) Eric Peterson definition also frames CE as a metric: “Engagement is an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction on the site against a clearly defined set of goals. In order to be operational, CE- metrics must be combined with psycho demographics. It is not enough to know that a website has 500 highly engaged members, for instance; it is imperative to know what percentage are members of the company’s target market. As a metric for effectiveness, Scott Kara suggests, CE is the solution o the same intractable problems that have long been a struggle for old media: how to prove value. The CE-metric is synthetic and integrates a number of variables. The World Federation of Advertisers calls It ‘consumer- centric holistic measurement’.

The following items have all been proposed as components of a CE-metric: Root metrics Duration of visit Frequency of visit (returning to the site directly -? through a URL or bookmark or indirectly). % repeat visits Regency of visit Depth of visit (% of site visited) Click-through rate Sales Lifetime value Action metrics IRS feed subscriptions Bookmarks, tags, ratings Viewing of high-value or medium-value content (as valued from the organization’s point-of-view). ‘Depth’ of visit can be combined with this variable.

Inquiries Providing personal information Downloads Content rectification Customer reviews Comments: their quality is another indicator of the degree of engagement. Ratio between posts and comments plus trackballs. Customer Engagement and its stages The Four Stages of Customer Interaction are: 1. Initiation – the active management of welcoming (on boarding) a new customer and beginning the relationship (starting the work for which a company has been hired, implementing a product or service, etc. 2. Integration-? the active management and assessment Of the product or service after the initiation stage has been completed, I. . , development/ building/creating is complete and production usage has begun. The ultimate goal of the Integration stage is achieving operational excellence 3. Intelligence – the active management of accumulating all previous Learning from the Initiation and Integration stages, conducting additional fact-filling and research, assessing performance of the customer and the vendor, the vendor deciding what level of further relationship investment is warranted room a financial return standpoint, and developing a deep and keen understanding of the customers long-term strategic goals 4.

Value Creation the active management of developing a partnership with the customer to become an inextricable part of the customer’s performance, find opportunities to drive innovation, create new value, and gain recommendations from the customer for new business. (Customer Engagement Strategies, Inc, 2006) Result of stages of CE The Four Stages result in a new model for ensuring Brand Promises, Business Processes and Customer Experiences are 100% aligned. The Four Stages also pinpoint directional change necessary to generate the customer knowledge needed to create new value for the customer and vendor alike.

The roadman also clarifies which customers warrant long-term investment and which ones do not. (Customer Engagement Strategies, Four stages of Customer Interaction) Use of Customer engagement Marketing Planning -? needs to embrace social media as a new two-way communication channel, a new source of data and new place to manage content and drive greater traffic to your sites. Data strategy – also needs to embrace new digital data sources and how they loud integrate into your customer database (or not as the case may be) and the use of unstructured data from social tracking that does not lend itself to management within traditional databases.

Customer Database Management – where possible, new customer data feeds (from email, website) should be linked back to existing databases (this is more relevant where established and large customer databases already exist). Non identifiable (or addressable) data management -? a greater challenge is how to manage the growing availability of behavioral data which is not linked to a person; how is this data stored and managed and how is it managed in elation to customer data.

Kips and dashboards -? need to Step beyond the traditional methods and measures and incorporate new metrics which track and evaluate customer engagement (web and social data). Satisfaction and loyalty – as well as new tracking these programmer need process and capability developments to allow the management of two ways customer communications; a challenging brief in terms of content management and control.

Analytics – whilst targeting LTV models, RFC metrics and predictive models still have a role, analytics needs to take a step into the customer lifestyle and urn insights into customer events, needs and actions based on their particular behaviors. Social media – consider this channel not only for content and managing two way conversations but as a source of new contacts, email addresses, customer data (consented) and leads. Like other new channels, this should be integrated into your plans as a new tool rather than be seen as a replacement for another channel or tool. Harry Klein) Brand Building Branding has been characterized as the process of creating value through the provision of a compelling and consistent offer and customer experience that ill satisfy customers and keep them coming back. Building brands has been a decade old concept with the emergence of globalization and prevarication in India as then started the race to create brand image and get one’s recognition in the market. It meant that each company had to portrait their brand different from that of its competitors. (Allen. D. 2001) Promotion and brand building One of the first steps in advertising or promoting any company name or product is to build Brand Awareness. Promotional products, giveaways and imprinted gifts are some of the best ways to make company’s brand visible to he public, its customers and its prospects. With so many options available to consumers of all types, from banking customers to retail sales, service industry businesses to Fortune 500 companies, a company wants its brand, its logo, to be the one they think of first and the one they will remember. Visibility creates awareness and awareness will help bring and keep customers.

Imprinted items are also excellent tools to assist in recognizing and rewarding your employees. Receiving such gifts or awards can in turn help build company loyalty and pride. Promotional products can offer one of the best returns on investment a many can make when it comes to building your brand. It should be considered an important part of any on-going marketing or advertising program. Brand Building Strategies Direct response marketers are obsessed with generating leads and making the sale so much so in fact that they often discount the value of investing in online branding.

But even for marketers who live and die by their performance, neglecting to invest in brands is a mistake. (Daly, S. , Landlubbers, H. And Seizer, M. , 2001) Understanding the value of brand Investing money in brand online is considered to be very important because: 1. It helps to create brand awareness in a faster and easy way. 2. There is a time and again hammering on the customers mind of the brand and its offerings. Here are five key strategies to consider before launching comma online branding efforts. Research the audience.

To build the brand online, company must first have a clear understanding of its audience, especially before they begin creating content strategies and communication plans. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there that can help Identify the target audience, including products from commerce, Nielsen, Google and Compete. Give the brand a voice. Based n the research, determine what the audience wants to hear and what message the company wants to put forward. This will form the foundation for the brand’s voice. But in doing so, the following has to be kept in mind: There should be an open mind and all ideas should be considered.

When creating content, company should speak with its audience-?not at them-?as people respond better to a conversation that relates to them and engages in them. Company should be consistent in their messaging as people look for consistency in a brand. Balance the online media mix. Work to build the brand through multiple channels. SE display and content networks to build the brand through repetition, and get their ads out in front of the target audience using behavioral targeting, site specific targeting and re-messaging.

From an organic search perspective, make sure that the brand name and messaging is consistent in their title tags and in their Meta descriptions. In addition, be sure that their messaging is consistent with your brand voice throughout your various channels, including paid search. By creating consistent messaging throughout the buying cycle, it allows consumers to continually recognize and recall their brand. This will help the company to make clear choice when customers are ready to make a purchase. Plan the social media integration. What do companies want their brands to say or do online?

What types of interactions does the company want its consumers to have with their business? Is Faceable right for the company? Twitter? Company may not have all of the answers at this point, but a little research should help them understand where its audience is and how to interact with them.. Their brand will be on the path to grow in popularity online in no time if they remember to treat social media as a conversation. Build up the petition online. Building the company’s reputation online is similar to a networking breakfast, but it’s not as easy and it takes more time.

First, it’s important to have a clearly defined strategy for reaching the audience. Next, company needs to identify the tactics they’ll use in the process. For instance, be sure to leverage any existing offline partnerships it has in order to grow their reputation online. Doing so will not only help build links pointing back to their website, but it can also enhance their organic search presence. Overall, the more prevalent their brand becomes in the mind of their reputable peers, he stronger their reputation will grow online. Search engine land) Primary Research: A primary survey was done with a pilot sample of 100 customers from the Iambi region. The results of this analysis are given below starting with the frequency statistics are as following: 1. Do you purchase online? 3. How frequently do you purchase online? 3. Have you purchased apparel online? 4. Which website have you used? 5. What made you choose the website? 6. Rate the following on the basis of importance while making a purchase decision on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest: Advertisement, Offers, Discounts, Loyalty schemes, Friends and family. 7.

Does the above attributes help you to purchase more? 8. Rate the following companies on the given attributes for Mantra: Customer satisfaction, Customer engagement, Product performance, Customer care, Customer delight 9. Which of the following according to you is the most important aspect while buying apparel on Mantra? Coupon code, Sale- regular and mega, Member discount, Sign up discount 10. Name 1 . Age 12. Location 13. Income Hypothesis: Customer engagement affects buying decision for a consumer. Advertisement is not a reason for improving buying decision of customers. Customer satisfaction is not an attribute for Mantra’s customers.

If endings: Secondary Research: It was found from this research that there is a positive relationship between customer engagement and brand building for online companies. A review from a few surveys conducted in the industry proves the same. ‘We believe that the heart of this (successful internet marketing) is branding, creating a strong brand image and electronic identity has become the focus of our business development. ‘ This probably stems from the perceived risks of the virtual ‘cannot see it, cannot touch it’ environment, reflecting one exponent’s observation that ‘e-brands play a vital role in building trust toward the company.

Also it was found that the previous notions Of e-brands as trusted guardians that might help reduce customers’ perceived risks while making purchase decisions in the face of little physical interaction with vendors in the virtual world. Few would dispute the view that the internet has had varying degrees of transformational impact on businesses, from traditional companies to online start-ups. Consumer engagement in a virtual brand community involves specific interactive experiences between nonusers and the brand, and/or other members of the community.


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