E-commerce or Internet Marketing

Meaning of E-commerce or Internet Marketing

The buying and selling through Internet is called Internet marketing. Internet is the worldwide computer network. It works as communication media. It helps to have direct contact with every individual customer. All the customers may not be equally profitable. Contact with some customers may need to cut off. So, profitable customers should be selected carefully. Internet helps in it. Similarly, Internet also helps to maintain long term relationship with profitable customers. Contact can be made with stakeholders such as suppliers, intermediaries or middlemen, competitors etc. through Internet. Similarly, Internet also helps in promotion of products, price and distribution including strategic association both at local and global levels. Internet use has become popular for the last few years. Internet marketing becomes more suitable in marketing different products such as cars, and other transport means, share, hotel booking, airways ticket booking, books, tape, magazines, dolls, clothes, equipment including many other things.

Internet marketing is electronic marketing. It helps to have direct contact between producers and customer through electronic channel. They are computer, telephone including other electronic media. Internet marketing is also online shopping. Producer, seller, bank, transportation, hotel and other organizations put descriptive catalogue on
Internet or online. Customers look at the online/Internet selects goods or services given on it and order for delivery. Customers look at the catalogue on personal computers at their homes. Suppose, any customer wants a CD player, she/he looks at all brand CDs and selects it and can buy the desired one through online service.

Internet marketing is also direct marketing. Middlemen do not work in it. The producer contacts the customers directly. Producer contacts customers one by one. In this method, commission that is given to middlemen is saved; as a result, the cost becomes less and the customers get goods at cheap price.

In conclusion, marketing done through Internet is called Internet marketing. It is also called online shopping. It helps to have direct contact between customers and producer through electronic media. As direct contact is made between customers and producer, their relationship becomes durable and strong.

Features of E-commerce or Internet Marketing

Online selling, elimination of middlemen, data depository, enhance promotion, global alliances, good relationship and need of electronic device are the main features of E-commerce or Internet marketing.

1. Online selling

In Internet marketing, products are sold through online. Producer, sellers, bank, hotel, transport and other organizations put catalogues of goods or services on Internet online. Customers look at such catalogues and demand for the goods or services of the brands which ever they want.

2. Elimination of middlemen

In Internet marketing, no middlemen can work. They are not needed. So, they are eliminated by such marketing. Customers and sellers keep direct contact with each other through this electronic media and selling and buying is completed between them. The commission that middlemen would take remains saved. Hence, the cost of the product becomes lesser. As a result, the customers get the goods at less rate of price.

3. Data depository

Internet is a data store. Millions of data can be stored and kept in it. They can be looked at taken out or studied as and when needed. Producer, sellers, bank, hotel, transport, and other organizations keep such information and the customers can easily look at them at their home on Internet.

4. Enhance promotion

Advertisement of goods or services can be put on website. Such advertisement becomes more effective. It increases sale of goods or services.

5. Global alliance

Internet is global computer network. So, it can maintain global strategic alliance in distribution and promotion.

6. Good relationship

Direct contact between producer and customer becomes possible through Internet. Such contact can be made strong and durable. Only profitable customers can be contracted through Internet. And other customers who have become burden can be abandoned.

7. Need of electronic devices

Internet marketing is electronic marketing. This needs computer, telephone and other electronic media. In the lack of such devices, Internet marketing is impossible.

Marketing: Meaning and Forms of Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing

Meaning of Direct Marketing

The marketing without intermediaries is called direct marketing. In this type of marketing, the producer himself encourages or motivates the customers to buy goods or services. Direct marketing helps to establish relationship, strengthen, deepen and maintain it. Different writers have defined direct marketing. The important ones have been given as follows:
According to William J. Stanton, Michaela J. Etzel and Bruce J. Walker, "Direct marketing as using advertising to contact consumers who, in turn, purchase products without visiting a retail store."
According to Philip Kotler and Gray Armstrong, "Direct marketing is marketing through various advertising media that interact directly with consumers, generally calling for the consumers to make a direct response."
Immediate reaction is expected from customers in direct marketing. Direct mail, catalogue, telephone, television and Internet etc. are widely used in direct marketing. Recently, direct marketing has become wide and popular. Producers, sellers, service companies, nonprofit organizations, catalogue merchants etc. use direct marketing.

In conclusion, the marketing done only through advertisement without help of any middlemen is called direct marketing. In this method, sellers and customers keep direct contact through different media. Advertisement is compulsory in direct marketing. Mail, telephone, television, internet etc. make it more effective.

Features of Direct Marketing

The features of direct marketing are: no middlemen, customer oriented, various forms, direct distribution channel and direct contact between producer and customers etc.

1. No middlemen

In direct marketing system, selling and buying take place keeping direct contact between marketers and customers through different media. So, no middlemen are found in this marketing. Since no middlemen work in it and no commission is given to them, the cost is saved and the customers can get goods at the cheapest price.

2. Customer oriented

In direct marketing, relationship between sellers and customers becomes deep as well as strong. The sellers give emphasis on the wants, desires of each customer. It is one-to-one marketing. As the producers remain in direct contact with customers, they make marketing mix keeping the customers at the center.

3. Forms

The channels which help to conduct direct marketing are taken as its forms. So, there are many forms of direct marketing. They are direct mail, and catalogue marketing, telemarketing, television marketing, Internet marketing, etc. Any of these forms can be direct marketing.

4. Direct channel

Marketing channel becomes direct in direct marketing. In this marketing channel, no middlemen can be found. The producers themselves deliver products to the customers directly. Customers also keep direct contact with producers or distributors through different media. Selling and buying take place directly between them. As the channel becomes short in this marketing, distribution cost also becomes least.

5. Direct contact

There is direct channel in direct marketing. Since no middlemen remain in this form, direct contact is established between sellers and customers. Producers can keep contact with customers one by one. This makes easy for the producers to know about the purchasing power, wants and interest of the customers. Direct ransacking taking place. Distribution cost is also reduced due to direct channel of distribution.

Forms of Direct Marketing

The forms of direct marketing are direct mail and catalogue marketing, telemarketing, television marketing and online shopping. This is made clear by the following figure:-

1. Direct mail and catalogue marketing

a) Direct mail marketing: The main form of direct marketing is direct mail marketing. Products can be delivered to the selected customers through post office, courier, fax, e-mail etc. Defining direct mail marketing, Kotler and Armstrong say, "Direct-mail marketing through single mailings that include letters, ads, samples, foldouts and others sales people on wings sent to prospect on mailing lists." Help of customers' list is taken to prepare mailing list. While sending mail to thousands of customers, it costs more than other channels. However, it has proved completely successful in sending books, magazines, donation, insurance etc. Direct marketing is being widely used to send new products, gifts, clothes, food grains, industrial goods etc.

b) Catalogue marketing: Producers prepare catalogues of different products and send them to selected customers through different channels, especially through mails etc. The customer's order for goods after studying descriptive catalogue.

Defining catalogue marketing Kotler and Armstrong have said, "Direct marketing through catalogue that are mailed to select list of customers or made available in stores." If anything is needed to ask, telephone is used in catalogue marketing.

2. Telemarketing

Using telephone to have contact with customers to sell any product to them directly is called telemarketing. Defining telemarketing, Kotler and Armstrong have said, "Using the telephone to sell directly to customers is telemarketing." Call center is arranged for receiving customers' calls. In this marketing, sufficient information is given to the customers to make selling easy and all information about goods or services is given through telephone. However, telemarketing has also troubled the customers. So, Association of Telemarketing has said, "We want to target people who want to be targeted." Nowadays, cellular phone has become more popular.

3. Television marketing

Using television to sell any product directly to the customers is called television marketing. There are two forms of television marketing. They are Direct Response Advertising and Home Shopping Channel. Magazines, books, CD, tape and other products are suitable for first form and second form is suitable for ornaments, dulls, clothes, equipment, electronics and other products. Quality Value Channel (QV), Home Shopping Network (HSN), Value Club of America etc. are the major Home Shopping Channels of the world.

4. Online shopping

Online shopping is electronic marketing. It is also called Internet marketing. Producer, seller, bank, transport, hotel and other organizations provide descriptive catalogue of products through computer online. Customers look at the online messages in computer and demand for wanted products staying at home. Suppose, if any customer wanted to buy CD player, she/he can look at all brand CD players in computerized catalogues and can select any of them. Defining online shopping, Kotler and Armstrong have said, "Shopping through interactive online computers services, two-way system that link consumers with sellers electronically." Online shopping has remained at its infancy as yet. Online shopping system has not become so successful as expected due to lack of low number membership and less use of computers. But, CompuServe, Prodigy, and American Online are successfully operating.