Recommend methods to promote an e-commerce system for a local business Essay

Sharron Walker, a local cake maker, is thinking to move into e-commerce. I have created a table setting out the pros and cons of each potential method of promotion listed below.

Search Engines – The site may be displayed on the front page of a search engine which promotes their website and gains them customers and makes the site better known. It is also cost effective. However, other sites can match a meta-tag and make theirs match the business so their site comes up more often. It takes time for websites to be noticed and recognised by customers as a good trustworthy site. I recommend Sharron to have specific mata-tags in order to get noticed on search engines. This means that when people search up something similar to Sharron’s store like ‘Lipstick’ her website will show as one of the first. This will mean that more customers will come to her website.

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Newsgroups and Forums – Newsgroups and forums are easy to find and they can have a moderator which makes sure all the information is relevant and doesn’t contain any inappropriate language. You will be able to find a frequently asked questions on a newsgroup, which is helpful for those who are not sure of anything. It is not a quick as some other methods like direct marketing. Information submitted may be submitted by people who do not know what they are talking about. I recommend that Sharron doesn’t make use of forums or newsgroups because there are better methods out there. Newsgroups and Forums are not quick and effective compared to other promotional methods like Direct Marketing or Search Engines.

Banners and Pop Ups – It will get customers attention and stay in their mind, so if they needed something they might remember to check the website. Another advantage is that users prefer banners as advertisement as they are nicer to look at. Users find pop ups annoying and irritating. Another disadvantage is that recently centre flash adverts have become popular but they are time consuming and expensive. Also pop up blockers will stop customers from seeing the advert. If they can’t see it then it’s pointless to have it. I recommend Sharron to have a banner on social media or another well-known website. This is because they are bold and big and customers on a popular website will be attracted to look at the banner and will remember that website; they may even visit the website. I do not recommend pop ups as they are annoying and customers would not want to purchase from a website that is hassling them.

Spam – Spam is quick to get information to the user and can catch their attention with consistent information. It can be annoying to the user which will make them not shop with you and it may go into spam folders and the user won’t see it. I do not recommend to use spam as its annoying for the user and the customer may not want to do businesses with a company that annoys them.

Site Names – If the site name is well thought and easy for customers to remember then it will help customers find your business and purchase products. If the site is easily misspelt customers may be directed to another website losing business.

I recommend that Sharron has a unique catchy site name to get it recognised. If a name is long and boring, customers won’t be able to remember the site name. However, if it’s short and catchy, customers will remember the name of the website and will visit it.

Direct Marketing – Email marketing gets straight to the customer that likes your business so they can see what they like. When advertising to the customers they can have more control over the message they want sent to them. They can also target products to customers that it will be best suited to. It is also more cost effective than other methods. Emails to customers may be sent to their junk mail which means the user will not see it. It can also annoy customers who don’t like being contacted directly. I do recommend direct marketing because Sharron can target specific customers to advertise specific products that she knows they will be interested in. This means they are likely to buy the item if it’s something they would usually buy. It also makes the experience more personal which customers would like.

Effective User Interface – Having a good interface is that customers will find it easy to use and will most likely shop on the website. The disadvantage is that if it isn’t good they might be too hard for users to work with so they will shop elsewhere. I recommend to have good user interface because it will make it easier for users to use the site which will encourage them to come back. If the website is too confusing and they are unable to use it, they will not visit the site again.

Establishing customer loyalty in a virtual environment – Having a loyal customer base will mean they will keep on purchasing from the businesses, they may even recommend you to friends and family. Having the same customers is good but you also want to gain new ones. It also takes a lot of time to gain customers loyalty. It is a great idea to gain customers loyalty. If you gain their loyalty they will continue to buy products from you. It’s always good to have customers buying from your store repeatedly. However, it’s important you also try gain more new customers to expand the customer base.

In conclusion, there are many promotional methods that I recommend Sharron to use. The ones that I consider are most important to use are Search Engines, Banners, Site Names, Direct marketing, Effective User Interface and Establishing a Loyal Customer Base. If Sharron uses all of these promotional methods her business will be successful and gain a large customer base.