This paper gives an in depth analysis of the concept of multichannel marketing as one of the latest strategies in the commercial arena. This will be done by having a critical evaluation of Ruby Roy Dholakia, Miao Zhao, and Nikihilesh Dholakia’s Multichannel Retailing: A Case Study of Early Experiences. This is a quite provocative paper which dives precise and clear information on the marketing concept. Besides, it sheds more light on the underlying factors on multichannel marketing in consideration with the consumer behavior along side the other prevailing market conditions. As these authors explain, business has become so competitive in the recent past (Christensen, C.M., 2007). It’s therefore essential that investors should ensure that they carry out an extensive research to ensure that they acquaint themselves with the necessary data which can put them in a better position to enjoy a competitive advantage over their competitors. This is the only way through which they can propel the development of their companies and ensure that they develop.
The paper goes ahead to analyze an ideal marketing situation in which various suppliers are confronted with a very stiff competition. However, as it is known, the most applicable philosophy in every business is the survival for the fittest. This implies that all the businesspeople should be up to date and come up with feasible strategies which can sustain them. They should not be eliminated based on the quality of their decisions (Hochbaum, E. et al., 2011). While making sales, it is essential to begin by carrying out a marketing research. This will enable them to understand the context I which they are operating so as not to go astray at any one given time. For instance, as the paper discusses, it is at times crucial for the investors to ensure that they adopt the most modern technologies in the market. If they take such initiatives, they will definitely stand a better chance of expanding their operations. In carrying out this critique, the paper will allude to the theories of marketing along side real example of actual companies which have benefited from this dynamic endeavor (Philip, G., 2000).
First and foremost, I would like to commend these authors for writing a life changing article. In deed, Multichannel Retailing: a Case Study of Early Experiences was a well conducted research done by authorities who have clear credentials in the marketing field. The ideas explained in this article are quite relevant and can be so beneficial to anyone who is willing to understand the concept under which they are operating and may be make a significant shift to a more expansive level (Maurine, M.J., 2009). I would like to concur with the article for advocating for research as the most fundamental tool in the establishment of businesses. Ideally, it does not make sense for any businessperson to simply venture into the business field without proper planning (Rangaswamy, A. & Gerrit H. V.B., 2005).
The kind of competition in the market always prompts businessmen to come up with better plans. Since the primary goal of any business is to make profit, it is paramount that they come up with ideas that can transform their investments. A part from annexing resources, there is a need to ensure that the services rendered are accessed by all the targeted clients irrespective of their geographical position. Therefore, as the article asserts, retailers should look for all the possible options that will make their products be known to and used by their customers. This will mean that it will be better for such traders to use different kinds of channels to distribute their products (Kotler, P. & K. L. Kevin, 2012).
Traditionally, business has been prospering as a result of the use of traditional channels such as direct distribution or the 8se of catalogues. As is widely accepted, these would efficiently ensure that there as an uninterrupted flow of information from the sellers to the buyers. However, things have since changed. Businessmen nowadays use a blend of channels to market their products (Kerin, R.A., 2012). These include, but not limited to catalogues, retail shops and the internet. Instead of relying only on one channel which could be vulnerable to lots of obstacles, it is better to be dynamic. Meaning, all the above channels are used as a means of distributing the produce. Even if this may not be efficient for certain products, it is the best strategy to adopt because it will ensure a wider coverage by the product. As a result, the product will be sold to different clients. This is because; the use of these channels will act as an alternative source to the sellers.
Significantly, the adoption of internet marketing can bring more advantages to the sellers since it will connect them to lots of targeted clients from different parts of the world. Since internet has become a global tool, it can be used to make world be a smaller village (Foxall, G., 2005). Meaning, a product sold through the web site will have to access many buyers who will have an opportunity to learn more about the product being sold, make inquiries before eventually deciding to settle on the product and buy it for their own use.
However, I would like to say that the use of multichannel as a means of distribution can be so challenging. To begin with, it is a very expensive affair. It can be extremely expensive for emerging firms to launch and maintain an online selling activity (McNair, B., 2008). This is simply because of the hiked operation costs which may include a full time online support for the clients. At the same time, it can be so expensive because it needs the company to hire computer gurus to manage the affairs of the technical department. This is a sensitive job that should only be done by professionals. However, these may be difficult to find or pay. The same can apply to all the other channels which may require a lot of funds to sustain. As a result, it will inconvenience the company because of the increased costs of production which will mean reduced returns from the total sales (Caroline, R., 2001).
I would like to use Vodafone as a case study in analyzing this concept. As a well established multinational, Vodafone has resorted to adopting the marketing theories such as the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,
Theory of Planned Behavior, Elaboration Likelihood model and Cognitive dissonance (Laermer, R.E., 2001). This has enabled it to adopt all the above mentioned channels as a means of distributing its products to the international community. I think that is why it has emerged to be one of the most developed cellular companies in the world. In order to expand its sales, Vodafone has established branches in different countries, nearly in all the continents. Each of these has stores which are used as distribution points for its products. At the same time, it has launched an online sales department which promotes and distributes its commodities to the potential buyers.
Most of such adverts are placed in the popular social sites like Facebook, Tweeter, My Space, Yahoo, Gmail and Wikipedia. These are very prominent sites which are accessed by millions of users. Hence, placing such adverts in these places increase their chances of being read by many people. As a result, they are coaxed into placing online orders before they eventually receive their products.
This kind of strategy is adopted by the leading motor car companies such as Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan. A part from establishing branches in different parts of the world; they use many other channels to distribute their products. These include the catalogues and internet buying. Just like Vodafone, these companies simply place adverts at strategic sites that can be easily viewed by those surfing the internet. As they bump themselves into such ads, they get attracted to such products which they eventually purchase. After the conclusion of such transactions, the commodities are then shipped into the client’s nearest port (Rakesh, M., 2005). At the same time, these companies involve the use of direct distribution and middle men who purchase their commodities and supply to their customers in their respective geographical areas. This kind of dynamism has enabled these companies to expand their customer base, increase the volume of their sales, profit and expand to multinational levels.
I would like to conclude by accepting that this is a life changing article. One f the major mistakes done by many entrepreneurs is lack of proper planning. This justifies why many firms often succumb to stiff competitions in the market. Marketing is a very important aspect of any form of business. In order to ensure prosperity, the paper suggests that there should dynamism of all kinds. All investors should take advantage of the modern technology to improve their efficiency, quality of services and accessibility. There should be a clear understanding and appropriate application of all the marketing theories. This is the only way through which massive expansion can be realized. All these activities should be properly planned to ensure that there is loyalty and confidence in the company. This will retain the potential clients and prevent them from frequently shifting from the channel as has been experienced in many businesses.