Technology in Global Markets
Business Management and Enterprise (Year 12) - Management (U4)
Distribution of Products
Product distribution is the way businesses distribute their goods & services to consumers in the market. Technology can aid this process in many ways:
Costs and efficiencies – there are less intermediaries as technology allows businesses to find quicker and more direct routes; this also breaks geographical barriers
Distribution Channels – these are much shorter and the firms can sell directly to customers using an online store (e-commerce)
Inventory Management – digital inventory management systems reduce costs and delays, as there is increased accuracy in procurement and the process becomes more efficient
Tracking – this can be done in real time, which consumers prefer; it gives them increased safety, peace-of-mind, and satisfaction from the overall process. The improved reliability has also reduced the cost for businesses, which further helps consumers in the long run
General improvements – these can be seen in the time and reliability of product distribution. There are also reduced costs of transporting goods
This is the process of selling goods and services over the internet. It can be one of three main ways:
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): This occurs when electronic facilities allow transactions between consumers to happen via a third party (e.g. eBay)
Business-to-business (B2B): This occurs when one business makes a commercial transaction with another. Common examples of these transactions are:
A firm is sourcing materials for their production process
A firm needs the services of another, for operational reasons
A business re-sells goods and services produced by others
Business-to-consumer (B2C): This occurs when a consumer can electronically purchase goods or services directly from the producer (e.g. purchasing a textbook from Elucidate!)
There are four main impacts of e-commerce.
E-commerce’s impact on product: Each consumer can get personal products and services, that can be tailored to their specific needs. Firms selling over the internet can afford to stock a much wider range of goods compared to nearly all shops.
E-commerce’s impact on price: E-markets are much more competitive, as prices can be compared so rapidly in both B2C and B2B markets. Competitive pricing is much more likely to be used than cost plus, which means customers are now more in control.
E-commerce’s impact on promotion: Promotional opportunities have been greatly expanded by the internet and other ICT developments, such as pop-ups, banners, social marketing, QR codes and YouTube ads. Costs have also significantly reduced.
E-commerce’s impact on placement: The internet has transformed the buying/shopping experience. Consumers increasingly turn to online sales first and expect fast delivery.
Social media campaigns
Businesses have increasingly turned to social media websites and applications to create and share content with potential customers. Social media is beneficial for the following reasons:
Enhancing brand awareness: More customers can become aware of the product as social media is globally accessible
Creation of viral marketing: A particular advertisement can become globally famous, with consumers associating the brand with the popular advertisement (example: A viral Snickers ad)
Creation of positive public relations: Social media allows for two-way communication to occur. This allows consumers to voice concerns and feedback, which is beneficial for overall public relations
Cheaper than above-the-line promotion: As social media appeals to a mass market, the costs associated are usually much lower making it a viable option for business of all sizes
Ability to market cheaply in different regions: It leads to the elimination of geographical barriers and can be used to help create an international brand
Businesses can use the following strategies to increase online sales:
Effective user interface for website design
Seach engine optimisation to feature at the top of sites like Google
Email marketing by gathering information about customers through the site
Affiliate, reseller and associate programs
Employ an internet marketing consultant
Online press releases