Modeling Consumer Adoption of the Internet as a Shopping Medium: An Integrated Perspective

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As of [update] approximately 30 million websites have been registered worldwide and million were connected to the Internet. Online advertising includes elements such as: graphic images as website banners, pop-up advertisements , homepage restyling and anchor deals co-operation between two organizations. Interactivity is a characteristic feature of the Internet that was described in by John Deighton. Moreover, personal responses of customers will be collected by corporations and their individual demands will be met according to their desires.

On one hand, traditional media are "push" formats where marketers broadcast their messages to customers, but do not allow direct feedback. The interaction between the two parties is few and far between. On the other hand, Internet media have the attribute of "pull" where customers have the freedom to search for whatever they wish. For instance, whenever a consumer types "flower" on Google 's search engine, an advertisement of a specific flower shop might be placed on the top or bottom of the search result page by the Google Adword program.

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The traditional one-way "push" communication is supplanted by the more productive two-way "push and pull" interaction. Compared with the traditional media where the same information is received by all consumers, Internet media can send information "tailored" to the need of a specific consumer. This is another advantage of two-way interaction of the Internet media. One of the first and most prominent examples is the personalized service provided by Amazon in which consumers are called by their names and "tailored" recommendations are provided according to their previous purchase records.

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Douban is a Chinese social networking service website which allows its users to rate movies, TV dramas, music and concerts. It rapidly grew to million registered users in founded in In addition, people who like the same TV drama, like Game of Thrones , or fans of the same movie star, such as Tom Cruise , will group together to discuss and share their feelings.

This allows companies to take advantage of mass customisation to sell products or reinforce their brand equity in suitable target groups. By doing so, the interaction and co-operation of companies and consumers are deepening, widening and multiplying in a variety of ways. Restructuring followed by disintermediation and reintermediation is one of the essential features of the transition from traditional to Internet marketing communications. The Internet may force traditional distributors or retailers out of business simply because Internet transactions are less costly.

In , JD. Haoyu Shen, the chief executive of the JD. As an ecommerce business, JD. Social media's market penetration is rising thanks to services like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Companies are using these external social media platforms to personally engage with existing and future customers, reinforce brand messaging, influence customer opinions, provide targeted offers, and service customers more efficiently. Influencer Marketing: Influencer Marketing used to be focused on using celebrity endorsement to help influence audiences. Nowadays, with the growing outreach of Social Media, "common people" are becoming popular and are used as influencers for brands and products.

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Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.

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Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database. Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.

Another channel for direct digital marketing is in-product communication or in-product marketing , which delivers marketing content directly to a user's internet-connected device or software application. In-product marketing content is often very similar to that of email marketing campaigns, but the segmentation and delivery is more targeted. Because email has become a standard tool in the digital marketing toolkit, the email channel often is overloaded and overused, leading to much lower open rates , lower engagement rates, lower click-through rates CTR , and lower conversion rates.

The rise of internet-connected IOT devices is enabling a growing number of consumer products manufacturers to take advantage of this channel of marketing communications, to supplement other digital marketing channels. In direct marketing the producer communicates directly with potential customers, instead of through third party media. Individual customer's responses and transactions are recorded. It is designed to build the relationship between the customer and the brand, [52] known as customer relationship management CRM.

Organizations use customer accounts in order to monitor and understand their needs. They manage detailed information about the customer's touch points with the objective to maximize satisfaction and loyalty. The communication can be in person, by telephone, mail, email or website.

Direct marketing relies on CRM databases which contain valuable customer information. Good quality databases can provide a competitive advantage and increase profitability.


Treating the customer database as an expense rather than an investment, or not continuously maintaining or updating them can be detrimental. Direct mail is a letter, card, catalogue, or sample sent through post, email, fax , or courier. This communication is most effective when the recipient has shown interest in or has previously purchased from the organization. Advantages of direct mail are personalisation, careful targeting, creativity and flexibility. Email is low-cost, but can be lost through spam and junk email filters. Direct mail is dependent on accurate databases. Telemarketing is marketing communication via telephone.

There are two types of telemarketing: outbound and inbound. Inbound telemarketing is where people call the organization to complain or inquire about products. Both outbound and inbound can be used as a customer service strategy to boost sales and receive suggestions for improvement. Advantages of telemarketing include targeted communications, flexible and direct interaction between the organization and the customer, it can be an effective personal selling partner and it is cost effective compared to face-to-face contact.

A disadvantage is that call centres are usually used to handle outbound and inbound telemarketing, which need to be implemented, managed and financed. Mail order marketing is a catalogue of products that customers can order to receive in the mail. This form of direct marketing dates back over years.

Home shopping, online shopping and teleshopping now accompany it. With current technology mail order has improved.

Now there can be a larger range in catalogue, delivery is faster, and complaints are dealt with professionally. Mail order exerts less pressure on the customer than telemarketing and sales are easy to manage, however costly infrastructure is required in maintaining the back-end. Direct-response advertising is partially direct marketing. It is a message transmitted through traditional communications media that requires the reader, viewer, listener or customer to respond directly to the organization.

A common example of direct response advertising is in television "home shopping immediately to receive a particular deal or discount. Disadvantages are that focus can be lost because of the medium of communication and the targeting can be less narrow compared to direct mail. Organizational messages can get cluttered and crowded.

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Cellular marketing uses audience's mobile phone and SMS to promote a product or brand. Advantages are a high level of flexibility and easy integration through computer systems using the Internet to send mass text messages. This marketing communications platform allows organizations to directly target customers to remind them to renew subscriptions, give exclusive product discounts, or build brand reputation through competitions or sweepstakes.

The disadvantage is that some customers are charged to receive SMS, so opt-in permission is required. CD and DVD discs can be used as part of e-communications. Entire marketing presentations, catalogues, brochures and price lists can be stored on a CD. CDs are small and simple to hand out to target audiences and most modern computers have CD drive readers, however most of the same information can be presented on a website or email. Integrated marketing communications IMC is the use of marketing strategies to optimise the communication of a consistent message of the company's brands to stakeholders.

In the mid to late s, the marketing environment was undergoing profound environmental changes with implications for marketing communications.

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Media proliferation, audience fragmentation, globalisation of markets, the advent of new communications technologies, the widespread use of databases meant that the old methods, and practices used in mass marketing were no longer relevant. In particular, the rise of digital and interactive media meant that marketers were relying less on advertising as the dominant form of marketing communications. Amongst practitioners and scholars, there was an increasing recognition that new approaches to marketing communications were required. That new approach would become known as integrated marketing communications.

A number of empirical studies, carried out in the early s, found that the new IMC was far from a "short-lived managerial fad," but rather was a very clear reaction by advertisers and marketers to the changing external environment. Integrated marketing communications is a holistic planning process that focuses on integrating messages across communications disciplines, creative executions, media, timing and stakeholders.

An integrated approach has emerged as the dominant approach used by companies to plan and execute their marketing communication programs [56] and has been described as a paradigm shift. IMC unifies and coordinates an organization's marketing communications to promote a consistent brand message. The impetus to rethink marketing communications came from a number of environmental changes that were becoming increasingly apparent throughout the mid to late s. Media was proliferating and at the same time converging, audiences were fragmenting and many new communications disciplines were emerging.

Few advertising agencies provided the full suite of services in terms of the varied communications disciplines.