Ecommerce platform to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction.

Final Dissertation

How E-commerce platform can help an organisation to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction: A critical analysis

Submitted to: Dr. Abhijit Ganguly

Submitted by: Muhammad Javed BITE ID: 40872

August 2011

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the MBA Innovative Management In collaboration with Coventry University and the British Institute of Technology & E-commerce
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Acknowledgements
First of all I would like to thank Almighty Allah, who gave me strength and wisdom to complete this project in best possible way. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor DR Abhijit Ganguly for his valuable advice and guidance on this work. I am grateful to him for special support and assistance throughout this research project. My sincere thanks are due to the contestants of this Analysis for giving their valuable time and participated at remote locations. I deeply indebted to my friends Muhammad Shahzad Khan, Asif Shahzad, Tahir Javaid, and Abdul Manan as their assistance and encouragement made this work possible until the end. My sincere thanks are to all those people who cooperated for my research and made it a success.

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Dedications
This thesis is dedicated to My Mother and Father who have supported me all the way since the beginning of my life. I won‟t forget their sacrifice, love, motivation and inspiration in building up my character and personality. Also, this thesis is dedicated to my loving wife, sisters and brothers, who have been a great source of motivation and inspiration. Finally, this thesis is dedicated to my 1 year old lovely daughter Hadia Javed. I wish that they may succeed in their whole life and I really miss them.

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Dissertation Statement of Originality

Statement of Originality Except for those parts in which it is explicitly stated to the contrary, this work is my own. It has not been previously submitted for assessment at this or any other institution.

Checklist      I have included a full reference list using the Harvard style of referencing I have provided Harvard style references for all the ideas, empirical evidence and other materials I have used. I have referenced all passages from my source material. Wherever I have copied someone else‟s words (a quotation), I have clearly shown in the text how much was copied by using speech marks. I have not committed any falsification. This means I have not presented invented data, by for example claiming that I have conducted interviews or sent out questionnaires when I have not, or altering or making up my results.  I can make available evidence of originality, including notes, photocopies, drafts, primary data and computer files.      

Muhammad Javed Student ID: 40872 Date: 12th August 2011

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Abstract
E-commerce is one of the most successful platform organisations are using in order to achieve competitive advantage. E-commerce has no doubt contributed millions towards total revenue generation for many organisations. The study presents an extensive literature review on e-commerce, its forms and especially the B2C ecommerce model. The study also focuses on how e-commerce law, m-commerce and social media play a vital role. The study also gives e-commerce trends worldwide such as United States, Europe, and United Kingdom. The research study is based on the case analysis of United Kingdom’s leading retail store Debenhams. E-commerce platform has helped the retail chain to boost its growth through its multi-channel strategy such as Debehmas.com, Debenhams TV, Mobile Applications, Social Media Integration like Face book, Twitter and You Tube etc. The data analysis clearly explains that Debenhams have many satisfied customers; however, the retail group can improve a lot by investing more into research and development in the ecommerce sector. The e-commerce sector contributed £55.1 million in the financial year 2009 as compared with previous financial year figures of e-commerce that was £43.1 million. The retail store has invested a huge amount of capital and contracted with an e-commerce consultant company, Fredhopper to improve its e-commerce site Debenhms.com. The group have also decided to use world’s leading logistic firm DHL to take over its distribution and products delivery network. Debenhams recent launch of mobile phone application for iphone have passed 500,000 downloads with the contribution of £1 million towards total sales. Debenhams should also provide application for other smart phones and network apart from iphone. The recommended e-commerce model can be used by Debenhams to revise its e-commerce strategy to achieve it ultimate objectives. Debenhams should also exploit international market by offering its product delivery service to the countries where the groups does not have its presence in any form. Finally, Debenhams should also explore the market of quality budget products to capture more customers that currently cannot afford to buy Debenhams product due to superior quality and Designers products. This area of the market needs much research and development to design and make cheap but quality products.

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Table of Contents
No. Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Research Background---------------------------------------------------Aim and Objectives-----------------------------------------------------Research Objectives-----------------------------------------------------Research Questions-----------------------------------------------------Page 9 9 10 10 11 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 16 17 17 17 17

Chapter 2: Research Methodology of Contents Table 2.1 2.2 2.2.1 2.2.2 2.3 2.4 2.4.1 2.4.2 2.5 2.5.1 2.5.2 2.5.3 2.5.4 2.6 2.6.1 2.6.2 2.6.3 2.7 Research Perspective----------------------------------------------------Research Design---------------------------------------------------------Qualitative Research----------------------------------------------------Quantitative Research--------------------------------------------------Research Methodology Employed------------------------------------Data Collection----------------------------------------------------------What is Data Collection?-----------------------------------------------Source of Data-----------------------------------------------------------Data Collection Methods-----------------------------------------------Personal Interviews-----------------------------------------------------Questionnaire------------------------------------------------------------Focus Group Interviews------------------------------------------------Observations-------------------------------------------------------------Sampling Strategy-------------------------------------------------------Gaining Access----------------------------------------------------------Sampling Strategy-------------------------------------------------------Sample Size--------------------------------------------------------------Research Limitations----------------------------------------------------

Chapter 3: Literature Review 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 What is E-commerce?--------------------------------------------------Origin of E-commerce--------------------------------------------------Definitions of E-commerce--------------------------------------------6

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3.1.3 3.1.4 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.5.3 3.6 3.6.1 3.6.2 3.6.3 3.7 3.7.1 3.7.2 3.7.3 3.7.4 3.7.5

Importance of E-commerce-------------------------------------------Forms of E-commerce-------------------------------------------------B2C E-commerce--------------------------------------------------------What is B2C E-commerce?---------------------------------------------Evolution of B2C E-commerce----------------------------------------B2C E-commerce Success Model-------------------------------------E-commerce and E-business--------------------------------------------E-commerce and the Law-----------------------------------------------The Future of E-commerce----------------------------------------------M-Commerce (Mobile-Commerce)------------------------------------Social Commerce---------------------------------------------------------Videos and Streaming Media-------------------------------------------E-Commerce Worldwide Tends----------------------------------------E-Commerce in US-------------------------------------------------------E-Commerce in Europe--------------------------------------------------E-Commerce in the United Kingdom----------------------------------Customer Satisfaction----------------------------------------------------What is Customer Satisfaction?----------------------------------------E-Commerce and Customer Satisfaction-------------------------------Challenges for B2C E-Commerce--------------------------------------E-Commerce Success Model---------------------------------------------Key Takeaways-------------------------------------------------------------

18 19 20 20 20 21 22 23 23 24 24 25 26 26 27 27 28 28 29 29 29 32 33 33 33 34 34 34 35 35

Chapter 4: Case Analysis: Debenhams 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.3.1 4.3.2 4.4 4.5 Introduction----------------------------------------------------------------Background----------------------------------------------------------------Debenhams Sale Profile--------------------------------------------------Multi-brand-----------------------------------------------------------------Multi-category--------------------------------------------------------------Debenhams Stores Worldwide-------------------------------------------Financial Highlights of Debenhams--------------------------------------

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4.6 4.7 4.8 4.8.1 4.8.2 4.9 4.10 4.11

Market Share of Debenhams---------------------------------------------Debenhams E-Commerce Challenge-----------------------------------Debenhams E-Commerce Strategy--------------------------------------Challenges of Change (Debenhams.com)------------------------------Debenhams Multi-channel Strategy-------------------------------------Results-----------------------------------------------------------------------Key Takeaways-------------------------------------------------------------Next Steps--------------------------------------------------------------------

36 36 37 37 38 40 40 41 42 42 42 42 43 43 43 58 60

Chapter 5: Data Analysis and Presentation 5.1 5.1.1 5.1.2 5.2 5.3 5.3.1 5.3.2 5.3.3 5.3.4 Data Analysis---------------------------------------------------------------Qualitative Analysis of Data----------------------------------------------Quantitative Analysis of Data---------------------------------------------Data Presentation-----------------------------------------------------------Findings and Analysis of the Survey-------------------------------------Target Group: Customers--------------------------------------------------Evaluation and Key Takeaways------------------------------------------Target Group: Company----------------------------------------------------

Evaluation and Key Takeaways-------------------------------------------- 62 63 63 64 64 64

Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations 6.1 6.2 6.2.1 6.2.2 6.2.3 6.3 6.4 Conclusion of the Study----------------------------------------------------Recommendations to the Debenhams Plc.-------------------------------Introduction------------------------------------------------------------------E-Commerce Success Model for Debenhams----------------------------

Recommendations------------------------------------------------------------ 65 Ethical Considerations------------------------------------------------------- 66 Future Research-------------------------------------------------------------67 68 72 75

References and Bibliography Appendix A: Copy of Questionnaire (Target Group: Company) Appendix A: Copy of Questionnaire (Target Group: Customer)

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Chapter 1
Introduction
The research is based on some core issues to be dealt with in E-commerce and to develop strategies that could help organisation increasing revenue and to develop a strong customer satisfaction. These core issues are safety and security of the customer details in online transactions, legal issues in e-commerce, role of social media like face book, twitter, and You Tube etc. The study will be based on the topic of the research and objectives of the research. To explain the area research are in more detail the study will be presented with answering some core research question that will be addressed through extensive literature review, case analysis of Debenhams and analysis of data collected through customer and company survey .survey

1.1

Research Background

The world we are living today is not only in the hype of internet revolution but also it is a world in which many of the traditional businesses are fully dependent on electronic channels. In United Kingdom the government have plans to put all the public services online. Simply, E-commerce is now a mainstream part of the most organisations. The organisations are investing enormous amount of their capital in Ecommerce to achieve competitive advantage over others in the market. Nakache, P (2010) stated that in last few years, sales through E-commerce have increased on average 19% per year as compared with offline sales. Due to all the advancement in technology customers are still reluctant to shop online due to the safety and security of their personal data. The research will look at how this can effect on the revenue generation of an organisation and also the role of social media in boosting organisations revenue due to huge amount of internet traffic on social media sites like face book, twitter and you tube. The organisations processing capabilities and availability of product and services as a result of high demand is also a major factor in that determine success and failure of any organisation. Finally, the role of m-commerce in the current mobile technology is also playing an important role because of people‟s preference of shopping on the move by using their smart phones. The Analysis explains the case of Debenhams that how E-commerce is
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playing its role to attain its ultimate objectives of revenue generation and customer satisfaction

1.2

Aim and Objectives

The Analysis in this dissertation that is requirement of Master in Business Administration (MBA) will be valuable to develop my career and help me to understand that how organisations are coping with the advancement in technology especially in mobile technology and what strategies an organisation can develop a business model that could help an organisation to achieve its ultimate goal of revenue generation and customer satisfaction. The Analysis will also explain the role of current trends in consumers buying behaviour that always helps an organisation to achieve its objectives. It will also explore the impact of technology and the internet on a range of strategies developed for an organisation. The compliance with E-commerce regulations will also be discussed in greater details, because of its importance for any organisation.

1.3

Research Objectives

The research objectives provide the foundation of any type of research. In this research objectives have been formulated keeping in view the research topic and the question that research going to address in this study. Mc Cormack, B and Hill, E (1997) stated that setting research objectives needs clear identification of what research designed to find out, or „what we want to know at the end of it‟. The style of research conducted also depends upon the objectives of the research. Research normally falls into any of the three categories- exploratory, descriptive and casual.

The Analysis is going to meet the following objectives of the research:   To find out the relationship between e-commerce success model and customer satisfaction. To find out how organisations are coping with huge demands of the products in the form of its processing capabilities and availability of the right products.

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   

To find out how organisations can comply with E-commerce regulations to achieve their goals. To identify the impact of social media sites Face book and Twitter in boosting E-commerce transactions. To identify the role of mobile commerce in achieving organisation ultimate objectives. To explore the impact of mobile technology on E-commerce and how organisations are developing new forms of communication with the consumers.

1.4

Research Questions

E-commerce is having a massive role in the success and failure of any organisation. There are many issues of E-commerce. The dissertations will answer the following research questions due to their importance in current business trends and recent advancement in internet technology: Question 1: What are the core issues organisations are facing in E-commerce? Question 2: What strategies an organisation has to develop regarding its processing capabilities and availability of products? Question 3: How organisations comply with e-commerce regulations to achieve their ultimate goals? Question 4: What is the role of social media sites Face book and Twitter in boosting E-commerce transactions? Question 5: What is the role of mobile technology in revenue generation and achieving customer satisfaction? The question mentioned above are devised to explore and to do detailed analysis of the topic. The whole Analysis revolves around the main objective of the research that is how e-commerce platform can help an organisation to achieve its ultimate goals that is profit optimisation and customer satisfaction.

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Chapter 2
Research Methodology
Kumar, R (2008) stated that research methodology is a systematic way to solve a research problem. Research method is only a part of research methodology. Research methodology will not only discuss research methods used but also explain the logic behind the methods. The following Analysis will explain briefly three phases of research plan i.e., perspective, design and data collection methods.

2.1

Research Perspective

The impact of E-commerce on the organisations revenue generation and customer satisfaction has been extensively studied. The research dissertation is going to highlight challenges in E-commerce that are developing with the advancement in technology like m-commerce and social media. The research is also going to explore how social media sites like Face book and Twitter play a very their role in order to maximise the website hits. What strategies Debenhams have in place to achieve a successful e-commerce model that can help Debenhams to maximise their profit and more importantly achieve customer satisfaction.

2.2

Research Design

Kumar, R (2008) stated that the researcher will have to state the conceptual structure within which the research would be conducted that help the research to be efficient and with maximum information yielding. For the purpose of research design several methods are being used with qualitative and quantitative as most commonly used methods. The study now explains briefly both methods of research in the following sections.

2.2.1 Qualitative Research Kumar, R (2008) stated that qualitative research is concerned with the phenomenon relating to the quality or kind. This type of research involves detailed interviews to find out the underlying desire and motives of the research area. This type of research normally done in the health sector.

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2.2.2

Quantitative Research

Kumar, R (2008) stated that it is about measurement of quantity and explains the phenomenon that can be expressed in terms of quantity. In quantitative research the researcher‟s decision is bases on numerical data collected through personal interviews and questionnaires.

2.3

Research Methodology Employed

Considering the nature of the topic and research imperatives, I have employed both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather the data and interpret and analyse to achieve the research objectives. I have used a questionnaire that is structured by using both types of questions that are pen ended and closed ended.

2.4 2.4.1

Data Collection What is Data Collection?

High quality data collection is fundamental for research purposes. Normally data collected through surveys is insufficient. However, collection of appropriate data is very important to carry out research project. There different sources which are used to collect data explained in the next section. 2.4.2 Sources of Data

The data for the Analysis can be collected from two sources:  Primary Sources

These sources are the lifeblood of the research and are also original to the problem under Analysis. The primary data sources are personal interviews, observations, questionnaires and focused group interviews. The data collected through primary resources always consider reliable.  Secondary Sources

The secondary sources are those that do not bear a physical relationship to the problem area being studied. The secondary data sources are quoted material, textbooks, journals, newspapers and internet.

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2.5

Data Collection Methods

The researcher is going to use the both sources of data collection discussed above. However, the primary data collection methods which are of vital importance are personal interviews, questionnaire, Focus group interviews and observations which are being discussed below: 2.5.1 Personal Interviews

Undoubtedly the information collected through direct communication is more reliable. The face-to-face contact gives the researcher chance to get a potential and quality data and more importantly can view interviewee‟s preference in real time. 2.5.2 Questionnaire

Goddard, W et al. (2001), stated that a questionnaire consists of a list of questions in the print format. The researcher asked the respondents to answer those questions. The questionnaire designing is an easy task but on the other hand it is very difficult of formulate a questionnaire that is most effective. The questionnaire consists of both types of questions open-ended and closed ended. The researcher in the Analysis will be going to use both types of questions. 2.5.3 Focus Group Interviews

Hollander (2004) stated that focus group have been defines as “small groups of people with particular characteristics convened for a focused discussion of a particular topic”. In this type of data collection method precise groups of peoples are being interviewed. Focus group interviews are being used by the researcher as qualitative data collection tool. Rabiee, F (2004) 2.5.4 Observations

Sapsford, R et al. (2006) stated that we are all spectators or observers in our everyday life. Observations not only are about watching but the information collected also supported with other senses i.e. tasting, touching, smelling and hearing. The information collected from various senses is usually combines, processed and interpreted in complex ways to form our observations.

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2.6 2.6.1

Sampling Strategy Gaining Access

Goffin, K et al. (2010) stated that to gain access for the research purposes is not that easy as it is typically invading the privacy of the respondents or the peoples going to be observed. Therefore, care should be taken and ethical issues should be considered when collecting the data for research purposes. 2.6.2 Sampling Strategy

Goffin, K et al. (2010) stated that sampling strategy is about selecting the right time of data collection, the activities to observe and the peoples to be interviewed. Purposive sampling strategy is the most commonly used in which purposive samples are being chosen to best match the objective of the research. The researcher should be careful to avoid choosing opportunistic sample in which friends, family and other direct contacts are selected and that could brings bias into the research. 2.6.3 Sample Size

A sample of 150 is going to be selected in this Analysis on random basis from general public. The following questions are going to be asked to the respondents before handing out the questionnaire:    Explaining who I am and why I am conducting this research. Taking the consent of the respondent. Asking the respondents couple of very basic questions about their buying behaviour.  It will be a great help if the questionnaire would be completed and returned to the researcher?  Appreciating the respondents about the precious time they have spend completing the questionnaire.

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The questions in the questionnaire are written in plain English and straightforward because there are many questions just need a single tick because of the multiple choices given in the questionnaire.

2.7

Research Limitations

Goddard, W et al. (2001) stated that, researchers have to measure data in some way. The mechanism used to collect data is called instrument or method. The data collected through different methods discussed above can have some limitations. Considering the topic I have chosen may suffer from the limitations of limited amount of primary research and awareness about this topic is not available to people. Furthermore, the sample selected was on random basis that might not cover the whole opinion of the population.

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Chapter 3 Literature Review
3.1 What is E-commerce?

The E-commerce phenomenon after the so called „dot com/internet revolutions is still emerging and constantly changing area of business management and information technology. Tassabehji, R (2003) According to the editor-in-chief of International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Vladimir Zwass, „Electronic commerce is sharing business information; maintain business relationships and conducting business transactions by means of telecommunications networks‟.

3.1.1 Origin of E-commerce Botha, J (2004) stated that soon after the emergence of internet organisations soon realised that it could be used to give immediate access to the public by publishing it on the server through websites. These websites could be used for trading goods and services that allow people to pay for them via internet. This has increased to a greater extent in these days because people prefer to shop online rather than going to the store physically.

3.1.2 Definitions of E-commerce

Electronic Commerce (EC) describes the buying and selling of products, services, and information via computer networks including internet. Following are different definitions found in different publications and media: Berger, A (2003) stated that E-commerce can be defined as “the conduct of business communication and transactions over networks and through computers or as the buying and selling of goods and services, and transfer of funds, through digital communications.” Rosen, A (2002) stated that “E-commerce is about online business activities for products and services, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, through internet”.
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“Electronic commerce is about doing business electronically”. In simple words e-commerce is all about doing online business transactions with customers to provide a fast, efficient and reliable service. In the coming sections the phenomenon will be explained in more details.

3.1.3 Importance of E-commerce Schnieder, G (2009) stated that E-commerce have greater importance for the organisations as E-commerce;  Facilitates to increase profits and reduce costs through revenue generation and efficient order processing and delivery.   Geographically scattered small groups can be reached easily. The increased usage of internet is helping organisation to have greater opportunities of trading.  Due to the direct communication in real time it facilitates speed and accuracy of information exchange between the buyer and seller.  The customers always have an opportunity to buy at their own convenience because of the 24/7 availability of the internet, anywhere.  The payment system can be monitored very easily via different payment gateways.  The customers from remote areas can have easy access to the products and services they don‟t have in their local store.  Customer complaints can be heard and addressed in a very short period of time.  Very large number of customer can be reached in a very small amount of time as compared with traditional trading.  Very economical for organisations that even small business can get benefits of e-commerce.

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3.1.4

Forms of E-commerce

There are several forms of E-commerce when it is being used for trading. However Ecommerce can be divided into four main categories: 

Business-to-Business (B2B) Business-to-business e-commerce represents transactions between businesses conducted online. Haig, M (2001) stated that B2B companies no longer need to depend on the traditional one-to-one model for business transactions. For example Dell.com etc. This form of e-commerce is also getting popular among businesses to get competitive advantages.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Business-to-customer refers to the electronic transactions take place between business and customers. It has become popular among the customers since 1990‟s the examples are Amazon.com, Play.com, and BestBuy.com etc. B2C e-commerce is also called customer oriented e-commerce platform where customer gets more attention. The Analysis will explain B2C business model in more details in coming sections.
B2C

C2B

C2C

B2B

Figure 3.1 Main Categories of E-Commerce

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Consumer-to-Business (C2B) The C2B model, also called a reverse auction or demand collection model, enables buyers to name their own price, often binding, for a specific good or service generating demand. The website collects the “demand bids” and then offers the bids to the participating sellers. ReverseAuction.com (travel, autos, and consumer electronics) and priceline.com (travel, telephone, and mortgages) are examples of C2B e-business models.

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) Consumer-to-consumer e-commerce model refers to the online transaction between consumers. The most cited example of C2C e-commerce is eBay. The consumers made transaction with each other without the direct involvement of the eBay that only charge some fees from the consumers for using their marketplace.

3.2

B2C E-commerce

3.2.1 What is B2C E-commerce? Customer use B2C e-commerce for the convenience of online shopping rather than going in-store physically. It is also called consumer oriented E-commerce where businesses attract new customers, to reach new markets, and promote products and services. Sun, Zhaoho et al. (2004) stated that B2C e-commerce is about online business transactions in marketing, ordering, paying, after sales service, and in the case of intangible or virtual goods and services, even delivery. In other words in this form of e-commerce the business flow is aiming towards the consumers rather than small businesses.

3.2.2 Evolution of B2C E-commerce It is the internet that made possible for the consumers to shop without visiting a store physically. As internet becomes popular among peoples, soon it becomes the necessity. Internet also changed the people‟s buying behaviour and patterns that made a significant impact on in-store shopping. The customer find it and convenient and cheaper to buy online. The customers at the same time have tremendous opportunity to compare products and prices in real time and made their buying decisions. On the
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other hand businesses also find it economical because an online business needs very low investment. As described in previous section that the most common among other forms of e-commerce is B2C (Business-to-Consumer). In 1990‟s phone, fax and emails were used as method of communication between businesses and consumers. In early 2000‟s when many people started using internet as necessity the companies used online catalogue as a marketing tool. Then in mid 2000‟s internet was being used as doing business transactions. Early 2000’s Mid 2000’s
Content Commerce

1990
Communication

Late 2000’s
Interaction

until -2011
Social Commerce

Fax, Phone, Email

On-line Catalogue

On-line Transactions

Seller-buyer Interaction

Social Networking

Figure 3.2 Evolution of B2C E-commerce In late 2000‟s due to the development in internet technology interactive websites attract more customers. In an interactive environment the buyer able to communicate with the seller in real time and can bargain of the price. Now a day with more research and development in internet technology peoples started using it as social networking and at the same time business also got benefited from it. It has given birth to the term social commerce where business use social networking sites Face book and twitter as a modern marketing tool. Most of the businesses have their pages developed on these websites to interact with the users of these sites.

3.2.3 B2C E-commerce Success Model B2C form of e-commerce is very popular among customers. It is vital for any business to develop an e-commerce strategy model that could provide excellent web site experience. The user satisfaction can convert and a site visitor to actual buyer. It is only possible through the provision of user friendly services. More importantly the provision of product description will assist the visitor to make buying decision more quickly. In the next step there should be a strategy to monitor user experience and to receive customer feedback as it always helps businesses to improve services. More visitors converted to buyer will result in increased revenue.

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Convert Visitors to Buyers

User Friendly Services

Grow Online Revenue

B2C E-commerce Strategy

Monitor Customer Experience

Customer Feedback

Customer Support 24/7

Figure 3.3: B2C e-commerce Success Model

3.3

E-commerce and E-business

Li, F (2007) argues that many people have different views about what e-business or E-commerce is, as it becomes difficult when we start measuring the phenomenon. It has been said that measuring the size of E-commerce and e-business is like measuring a rubber band- the result depends on how far you stretch it. It is not easy to draw the lines between e-business and E-commerce. It is a significant issue from business perspective. Li, F (2007) stated that e-business is a phenomenon that everyone has a different view on what it is. E-business is not just about dot.com or internet only organisations or doing business transactions via electronic channels. E-Business is a much broader concept and it is about using the internet and related technologies to integrate and redesign an organisation‟s internal activities. Turban et al. (2005, p.4) stated that E-commerce is all about trading via internet that is a network of computers, however, on the other hand e-business does not only include trading process but also the customer services.
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3.4

E-commerce and the Law

The nature of E-commerce is that trader and customer are not in face-to-face contact at any point and the business is conducted remotely. Thus there are many issues and challenges to the formation and enforcement of contracts. There are E-commerce Regulations 2002 for this purpose that explains how organisations should meet the requirements of the law. The organisations and traders should also comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 for the safety and security of the customer‟s personal data. (Business Link 2011). The Analysis will explain the issues and challenges faced by organisations in compliance with the law in greater details.

Hedley, S (2006) stated that E-commerce law and internet law are very new entities. There are many sectors in the field of Information and communication technology and it has become very difficult to differentiate, draft and implement law. For example no one is sure about how information technology law and law of telecommunications relates to each other. There is no doubt that understanding of technology is necessary for both applying the law and for assessing its value. It is certainly unusual for a legal topic to be so heavily reliant on a particular technology, but then the internet is an unusual technology. 3.5 The future of E-commerce:

It is evident that growth in the online market is more than the growth in traditional retail market. Online shopping has increased to its maximum as never before and more retailers venture online for the first time, the competition set to increase further. The following trends are the main factors that are changing the way we shop. Mobile commerce and social commerce are also grown than last year due to the advancement in technology. Far more retailers are expecting customers to use smart phones to read customer reviews, compare prices and locate items that may be out of stock. Meanwhile, digitally literate shoppers will continue to follow retailers on Face book and Twitter to learn about special promotions. Many organisations have also set up channels of online video sharing site You Tube where you can watch promotions, special offers, and any other product or company related information. Normally retails organisations market their fashion products in online media to reach a greater part of the community.
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3.5.1

M-commerce (Mobile Commerce)

M-commerce is the key to success of an e-commerce business model in the current world of information technology. Dholakia, R (2006) stated that m-commerce or mobile commerce is about conducting monetary transactions via a mobile telecommunications network using devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDA‟s), enhanced alphanumeric handheld gadgets, iPad and so on. The global wireless networks of various kinds, and the user basses of such networks, constitute the bedrock infrastructure if mobile commerce. Deans, P (2005) stated that the opportunity to access information at any time and any place results in the development of small devices at large scale in recent years. The peoples are now using their mobile devices for E-commerce transactions. However, there are many issues are still their which are being explored in this Analysis like data protection and its impact on organisations that are dependent on E-commerce for their day –to-day business activities.

3.5.2

Social Commerce

Social commerce is the most recent phenomenon businesses are using to market and sell their products. Stephen, A & Toubia, O (2010) stated that social commerce is an emerging trend in which sellers are connected in online social networks and sellers are individuals instead of firms. Social commerce and social communities are increasing in number and size with the time. In other words social commerce is about merger of online shopping and social networking. Consumer‟s roles vary across Websites or platforms and can range from generating contents (e.g. products reviews and recommendations on websites such as Epinions.com and Yelp.com) to being sellers and curators of online stores (e.g. eBay.com and Squidoo.com). Palmer, M (2008) stated that according to the Financial Times report, internet traffic to social commerce and social shopping web sites grew by more than 500% between 2007 and early 2008. The social media marketing is playing a vital role in boosting firm‟s revenue due to the huge internet traffic on the websites like Face book, Twitter. The organisation normally gives a link to these sites on the prominent space on the website. The research will look at the impact of this factor on organisation‟s revenue generation and processing capabilities.

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3.5.3

Videos and Streaming Media

There has been increased use of video and streaming media in e-commerce by online retailers. A large number of organisations now have their web pages on the social media sites like Face book and You Tube. The organisation use Face book to attract more and more fans and have the channels set up on You Tube. The retailers find it more beneficial to use these sites as the internet traffic is so high on these social media sites.

Video in E-commerce: You Tube and Face book E-commerce video has grown in the past year, with 73% of US retails sites now using video among other tools such as alternative views, rating/ reviews, view in a room, and guide/ how to. The following table 3.5 and bar chart in figure 3.5 provides the product page features on US retails websites in Quarter 4 2009 and Quarter 4 2010.

Product Page Features Quarter 4 2009 (%) Quarter 4 2010 (%)

Alternative Views 76 80

Rating/ Reviews 74 87

Videos 55 73

View in a room 42 49

Guides/ how to 30 39

Table 3.5: Product Page Features of US Retail Websites

Guides/How-to

View in a room*

Videos

Rating/Reviews

Alternative Views* 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Q4 2009

Q4 2010

Figure 3.5: Product Page Features of US Retail Websites (Source:emarketer)

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3.6

E-commerce Worldwide Trends

The advancement in internet technology and the provision of social media sites the overall e-commerce sales have increased in recent years. The customers prefer to buy online rather than going store physically. The factors that have changed the trends of the customers are the availability of different mechanisms such as efficient and effective services, secure transactions, feedback, customer reviews and comments and comparability. The study will now explain the worldwide e-commerce trends to present a comparative study of the major economies like United States (US), Europe and specially United Kingdom (UK).

3.6.1

E-commerce in the United States (US)

According to eMarketer (2010), the US retail e-commerce sales increased in recent years to a greater extent. In 2005 the total e-commerce retail sales were $92.5 billion that increased to $162.5 billion in 2010 as shown in the table 3.6.1 and bar chart figure 3.6.1. The graph also explains the gradual change in trends to shop online. The factors that influence the increase in the online e-commerce sales as given above are the used of more social media sites, availability of internet at large scale. The study excludes online travel, event ticket and digital download sales.

Years E-commerce sales ($ Billions)

2005 92.5

2006 114.4

2007 137.3

2008 141.9

2009 144.1

2010 162.4

Table: 3.6.1: US Retail E-commerce Sales
$162.4 $137.3 $114.4 $92.5 $141.9 $144.1

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Figure 3.6.1: US Retail E-commerce Sales (Source: eMarketer, Oct 2010)
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3.6.2

E-commerce in Europe

In Europe unlike United Stated (US) B2C e-commerce sales have increased at a greater rate that can be seen in the graph chat given in the table 3.6.2 and bar graph figure 3.6.2. In 2006 the total e-commerce was $132.9 billion and in 2011 $406.8 billion that excludes online travel, event ticket and digital download sales.

Years E-commerce sales ($ Billions)

2006 132.9

2007 196.9

2008 255.7

2009 307.1

2010 357.4

2011 406.8

Table: 3.6.2: B2C E-commerce sales in Europe

$406.8 $357.4 $307.1 $255.7 $196.9 $132.9

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Figure 3.6.2: B2C E-commerce Sales in Europe (Source: eMarketer, Oct 2010)

3.6.3

E-commerce in United Kingdom

E-commerce trends in the United Kingdom like other parts of the world are also growing. Many businesses have moved their services online to get the competitive advantage of providing fast, efficient and reliable services to the online shoppers. The UK B2C E-Commerce report analyses how the challenging economic environment is affecting online versus offline sales revenues. In 2008, UK businessto-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales (including digital downloads and tickets for travel and events) will total £59.8 billion ($116.6 billion), up more than 28% over 2007. The following are the highlights of the e-commerce trends in the United Kingdom.

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3.7

Customer Satisfaction

3.7.1 What is Customer Satisfaction? Yi (1991) defined customer definition as a customer‟s process of perceiving and evaluating a consumption experience. Customer‟s satisfaction is about customer‟s evaluation of the experience and expectation of the product or service. In the first stage of customer experience basic customer requirements are being met and taking into consideration of customer complaints. In the next level of customer satisfaction unstated needs of customers being met that develops customer confidence. Customer becomes loyal when the level of achievement is higher than perception. This is the stage when we can say customer becomes loyal towards the product or service and that gives birth to 3R‟s of customer loyalty.    Retention Related Sales and Referrals

Hill, N et al (2007) stated that 3R‟s are customer behaviors- staying longer, choosing to use more of the products or services supplied by an organisation and recommending it to others.

Achieve Customer Delight

Build Customer Loyalty

Satisfy Unstated Customer Needs

Develop Customer Confidence

Meet Basic Customer Requirements

Prevent Customer Complaints

Figure 3.7.1: Customer Satisfaction Model
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3.7.2 E-commerce and Customer Satisfaction Westbrook (1980) stated that “customer satisfaction is a measure of a customer‟s subjective evaluation of any outcome or experience associated with the purchase of a product”. In e-commerce industry customer experience get more importance as it has a significant impact on customer satisfaction because there is not direct communication with the seller. Zeithaml (2000) stated that for online retailers, customer satisfaction is all about customer retention, positive word of mouth and increased profit.

3.7.3 Challenges for B2C E-commerce to achieve Customer Satisfaction Bhattacherjee (2001) argued that unlike traditional or conventional retailing in B2C ecommerce environment customer satisfaction is more challenging as customer‟s demands are at higher levels and needs plenty of information about the product or service to make buying decisions. It is important for online retailers, therefore, to understand customer requirements and to identify the factors affecting customer satisfaction in the context of B2C e-commerce.

Dimensions of Website Quality Liu & Arnett (2000) stated that the website characteristics of online business can be divided into three stages of marketing that are pre-sales, online sales, and after sales. Lin, H (2007) stated that presales stage is about providing product and price-related information to minimize customer‟s research cost. In the next stage of online sales purchasing activities starts with the orders being placed and payments made electronically. In the after sale stage customer service, delivery and problem solutions takes place. Janda et al (2002) explained three determinants of customer satisfaction in a B2C e-commerce environment which are website usability, provision of accurate information and transaction security.

3.7.4 E-commerce Success Model to achieve Customer Satisfaction McLean (2003) have mentioned three important determinants of an e-commerce success model which are system quality, information quality and the quality of service provided by a website. Lin, H (2007) stated that despite identifying various attributes of website quality in the B2C e-commerce context, the above mentioned study

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explains that website quality is a multi-dimensional that contains above mentioned vital determinants that contributes towards the success of the e-commerce site.

Website design

System Quality
Interactivity

Informativeness

Information Quality
Security

Customer Satisfaction

Responsiveness

Service Quality

Trust

Empathy

Figure 3.7.4: E-commerce success model to achieve customer satisfaction

a) Systems Quality: DeLone & McLean (2003) stated that systems quality can be measured in terms of user friendliness and ease of use of the website. There are some other characteristics like website design, access convenience, and ease of use and reliability that put values among customer when shopping online. Palmer (2002) have mentioned website interactivity importance between an online retailers and its customers as the more interactive web interface will attract more customer and they will have an excellent online shopping experience. Moreover, the provision

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of a feedback mechanism through an email link or frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) will be beneficial for the objectives of the website. In this study two aspects of systems quality have been explained that are success factors of any website:  

Website design: is about user friendliness, website usability, reliability, access convenience, and ease of use. Interactivity: is about website interactive interface and that includes feedback mechanism and multiple choice purchasing decisions.

b) Information Quality: DeLone & McLean (2003) stated that “information quality is a measure of value perceived by a customer of the output produced by a website”. The importance determinants of perceived information quality are up-to-date contents of a website, usefulness, complete and more importantly its presentation. Janda et al (2002) stated the second most important factor that customer often concerned about is the security of their personal details provided during an online transaction to the online retailer. In the study above two factors have been explained that are the most important in order to give an excellent user experience and customer satisfaction: 

Informativness: is about website ability to give detailed information about product and alternatives and other factors like timeliness, accuracy, usefulness and completeness.

Security: the guarantee provided by the online retailers that the personal details of the customer will be secure by using secure certificate mechanisms.

c) Service Quality: Santos (2003) stated that service quality is about overall customer evaluation and judgments regarding the quality of online service delivery. In other words service quality is about website ability to help in offering fast, efficient, effective shopping, purchasing, and product delivery. The purchase intention of the customer is also depend on the service quality provided by the website.
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DeLone & McLean (2003) that the e-commerce success is dependent on the quality dimensions like responsiveness, trust and empathy. They are also called the critical success factors for an e-commerce website and can be further explained as:   

Responsiveness: the website ability to provide a service that customer perceives as responsiveness and helpful. Trust: is about getting customer higher level of satisfaction through providing a robust system and mechanism of their data security. Empathy: empathy is all about the care of the customer in the form of individualized and personal attention and targeted e-mail about the customer preferences and requirements.

3.7.5 Key Takeaways It has been seen in the above study that website design, reliability, access, convenience, and ease of use are the primary factors that measures customer perception of website performance.    The interactivity provided in a website improves its online presence and customer satisfaction. The website in informativeness helps to reduce the costs associated with information searching and processing. The satisfaction of customer needs is completely dependent on website‟s ability to provide an up-to-date, real time, accurate, useful and complete information about the products or services.  The critical factor here as discussed above is the use of secure certificate mechanism that can guarantee the security of customer‟s personal details will gain customer satisfaction and increased customer retention.  The three service quality variables discussed in the study above, trust is the strongest factor and key driver to achieve customer satisfaction. In the literature discussed above the main critical factors that can help to achieve ultimate customer satisfaction and increased customer retention are web site usability, user friendliness, informativeness, and most importantly now a days the guarantee of secure online transactions.

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Chapter 4
Case Analysis: Debenhams

4.1

Introduction

Debenhams is one of the UK‟s leading fashion retailers among its other competitors such as Next, John Lewis and Tesco etc. It has 167 stores throughout the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark with 60 international franchise outlets in 23 countries. Debenhams has 29,000 employees and 55 its own brands and 25 Designers at Debenhams brands. The study now will focus on the background of the Debenhams, its sales profile, financial highlights, market share of Debenhams, and worldwide stores. The study is also going to explain the challenges faced by

Debenhams in the e-commerce sector and strategy to tackle issues in e-commerce. 4.2 Background

Debenhams history started in 1778 when William Clark established a drapers store at 44 Wigmore Street in London‟s West End. The store started selling expensive fabrics, bonnets, gloves and parasols. In Cheltenham in 1818 the first store was opened which was an exact replica of the Wigmore Street store. Debenhams renamed to Debenhams & Freebody in 1851 after the investment from Clement Freebody and retails stores started selling cloths and other items to large retails. The firm also opened offices in this period in South Africa, Australia, Canada and China. Acquisitions continued into the next century and in 1905 Debenhams Ltd. was incorporated. In 1928 it becomes a public limited company. It continued to grow with the acquisitions of other retail firms until 1985 and to 1998 it was the part of Burton Group. In 1993 a revolutionary idea of Designers at Debenhams was launched and sue to the success of this a large number of stores were opened throughout the United Kingdom. Debenhams opened its first international franchise store in Bahrain in 1997. Debenhams listed in the London Stock Exchange until 2003 after the demerger form the Burton Group. The success story of Debenhams continues until now with increase in sales and profit margins.

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4.3

Debenhams Sale Profile

Debenhams offer unique multi-brand and multi-category products to its customers that are the combination of unique brand mix with strength across key product categories. These two are going to be explained in the next section of multi-brand and multi-category. 4.3.1 Multi-brand Debenhams offers own bough private labels, own bough Designers at Debenhams, own bough international brands and concessions.

Own bought Private label Own bought Designers at Debenhams Own bough international brands Concessions

Figure: 4.3.1 Multi-brand

4.3.2 Multi-category Debenhams also offers multi-category in its products that are women‟s clothing, men‟s clothing, children‟s ware, home and gift, health and beauty, Accessories, lingerie and food services.

Women‟s clothing Men‟s clothing Children swear Home and Gift Health and Beauty Accessories Lingerie Food Service

Figure: 4.3.2 Multi-category

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4.4

Debenhams Stores Worldwide

Debenhams has 167 stores throughout the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark with 60 international franchise outlets in 23 countries. Debenhams also have Desire stores as small franchise and Magasin du Nord store in Europe.

Department Stores

 Desire Stores

 International Franchise Stores

 Magasin du Nord

Figure 4.4: Debenhams Stores Worldwide

4.5     

Financial Highlights of Debenhams 2010 Gross Transaction Value: £2.56 billion (up 9.6%) 2010 Revenue: £2.12 billion (up 10.7%) 2010 Headline Profit before Tax: £151.0 million (up 20.6%) 2010 Earnings per share: 7.5 pence Debenhams direct sales: £92.3 million (up 82.4%)

4.6

Market Share of Debenhams

Debenhams market share is 10% among other retailers like such as M&S, Next, Arcadia, Asda, Matalan, Tesco, Bhs, New Look, and John Lewis as shown in the table 4.6 and pie chart shown in the figure 4.6.

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Stores M&S Next Arcadia Deben- Asda hams % Market Share Matalan Tesco BHS New Look John Lewis

24

15

14

10

9

7

6

6

5

4

Table 4.6: Market Share of Debenhams

M&S
5% 6% 6% 4% 24%

Next Arcadia Debenhams Asda Matalan Tesco
15%

7%

9%

BHS New Look John Lewis

10%

14%

Figure 4.6: Market Share of Debenhams

4.7

Debenhams E-commerce Challenge

The advent of the internet brought revolution the way businesses compete in the market. It has provided businesses with a huge platform to develop and grow at an international level, however, at the same time the businesses have to face many challenges. In general, the firms who want to operate in an e-commerce environment have to face challenges that include: website design, development, hardware, software and strategic planning. The major concerns in today‟s e-commerce environment are internet security, social networking, and mobile commerce. The organisations have to have a solid ecommerce strategy to successfully compete in the market because competitors are investing massive amount of capital in the area of e-commerce. Harris, L (2002) stated that in early 1990s after Debenhams separation from the Burton Group create a need to reinvent Debenhams corporate strategy. Debenhams
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started focusing on setting up new goals, aims and objectives. In order to stay in the market among the competitors Debenhams has to work towards the complete redevelopment of the business. The advent of e-commerce as a new channel to market was to play a critical role in the repositioning if the business.

4.8

Debenhams E-commerce Strategy

In 1996 to compete in the market, to improve customer experience and increase in the number of shopping modes available to customers, Debenhams.com evolved in October 1999. There were three years of research and development work behind the launch of Debenhams.com.

4.8.1 Challenges of change (Debenhams.com) Phase 1: Debenhams.com was first introduced as a “soft “launch to bring incremental changes not radical changes to the business model, although many other competitor sites were offering multi-channel marketing. The marketing of Debenhams.com taken place through advertising the URL on shopping bags, till receipts and posters but at the same time Debenhams has the advantage of an established brand that played a significant role in the success for the launch. Over 10,000 browsers hit Debenhams.com even before the official launch of the website. Harris, L (2002) stated that Debenham.com to stay competitive in the market has to develop rapidly. The main challenge caused by the speed of change in e-commerce was that the technology platform could not keep up with the marketing demands placed upon it; for example:    

Debenhams affiliate partnership did not work because of the incompatibility of the site technology. The banner and button links were restricted to a particular area to the website. Communication problems occurred due to lack of affiliate management and analysis. There was also lack of Day-to-day marketing efforts that results in less creativity. For example, the set promotional email formats for „What‟s New‟ and „What‟s Hot‟.

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The major issued was the missed opportunity to record and track transactions and the most visited area of the website. In other words there was lack of data mining capabilities.

Phase 2: Therefore an outdated technology causes serious problems for site profitability, credibility and market position. Due to the huge investment in Debenhams.com the business in return have greater expectations to prove its worth. Therefore to meet customer expectations a more sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) solution was needed. That brings phase „2‟ to take place to increase

transaction capabilities of the site and to increase good customer experience.

Phase 3: In October 2001, Debenhams.com „phase 3‟ was launched giving new „look and feel‟ of the site that was developed by Blue Martini a well known Internet Service provider. The new platform allowed Debenhams.com to:         increase functionality within the site and portal/affiliate presence; fine-tune customer profiling; create new data mining opportunities; personalize the customers shopping experience; free up limited merchandising capabilities through cross-sell, up-sell and combination facilities; deepen customer service; aid business development; increase efficiency and cost effectiveness.

The one of the key objective of “phase 3” launch was to provide customers with an excellent online experience through re-invention of website‟s navigation functions.

4.8.2 Debenhams Multi-channel Strategy “Debenhams claims that the development of a full multi-channel offering alongside its web operation is one of the group's key business priorities, with a crucial part of the project being the in-store and online integration to improve product availability”. (Mari, A 2009)
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Debenhams strategy for multi-channel development is based on; increasing multichannel access points; effective multi-channel marketing; an easier customer journey; and improving product content and availability.  Multi-channel access points: Significant progress was made in this area in 2010 including the introduction of in-store ordering to all stores and the trialling of self-service kiosks, the launch of collect from store and international delivery. Most recently, an iphone app and Debenhams TV, our online video facility, have been launched. A euro-denominated website for the Republic of Ireland will be introduced during the first half of 2011.  Multi-channel marketing: Our aim is to produce clear and consistent messaging across our stores and all customer communications. We have been using e-mail marketing for some time and have been actively increasing the size of our marketing database in 2010. We have also been seeking to improve search engine optimisation and were pleased to be ranked number one for UK fashion search in the third quarter of 2010 (source: Greenlight). We are fully engaged with social media such as Face book and Twitter.  Easier customer journey: In 2010 we improved page layout and navigation on debenhams.com. We also introduced a much cleaner and faster checkout process. Looking forward, a new web platform will be introduced during 2011 which will improve the customer journey further.  Product content and availability: We want our online content to reflect what we are famous for in-store: in particular Designers at Debenhams, health and beauty and gifting. We add new products and range to debenhams.com all the time and our Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) count online increased by 10.4 per cent during 2010. Going forward, we will be increasing our product content in the footwear, electrical, furniture and garden categories. In health and beauty, a number of top brands will be available online by spring/summer 2011 including MAC and Bobbi Brown.

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4.9 

Results The firm‟s web operations Debenhams Direct posted a sales increase of 31 per cent at £55.1m during the year to 29 August, against the £42.1m for the same period last year, resulting in pre-tax profit that was up 133 per cent. (Mari, A 2009)  Visitors to the web store also increased by 36.8 per cent during 2009, helped by a change to the group's online fulfillment provider, which Debenhams claims has improved service levels and reduced delivery times. Debenhams posted a 23 per cent rise in annual profit to £95.1m for its full fiscal year. (Mari, A 2009)  Online, in-store and mobile sales in first 43 weeks of the financial year we up 77 per cent year-on-year, excluding VAT, with today‟s interim management statement indicating that Debenhams‟ iphone app has recently passed 500,000 downloads and has already recorded its first £1 million in sales.  The recently launched Nokia and Android apps are also proving popular, while the retailer says its Beauty Club app has been welcomed by existing customers and new adopters alike. (Sillitoe, B 2011)

4.10 

Key Takeaways Debenhams‟ multi-channel business has grown strongly over the last two years, with Debenhams Direct sales up nearly 150 per cent on a two-year basis. As a result, debenhams.com has become our largest store and we are now in the top ten online retailers for both fashion and home.

By 2014, online is expected to influence 50 per cent of all UK non-food sales whether through browsing online prior to buying in-store, using click and collect or reserve, buying online or using in-store ordering services. We want to engage with our customers fully through all these channels and to make them relevant, inspiring and convenient.

Debenhams website Debenhams.com now delivers to seven international destinations i.e., France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand

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and United States for delivery in 10-14 working days. As yet, said Debenhams, the new destinations are “generating incremental business even though the service has yet to be marketed.” (Rigby 2010)  Debenhams has enhanced its E-commerce outlet more engaging and mediarich with its Debenhams TV service. It will bring exclusive video content to consumers who choose to shop online. (Bradshaw 2010)  Debenhams has released mobile E-commerce application for iphone and ipad users. Incorporating a „barcode scanner‟, the new app allows Debenhams customers to photograph item labels in store to check on price and product reviews. (Charlton 2010)  The group also improved its web site this year. It has added features such as social networking capability, video and catwalk/outfit projection, an online outlet that leads to current offers and promotions, a facility that allows customers to shop by size, as well as product reviews and surveys. (Mari, A 2009) 4.11  Next Steps Debenhams has appointed e-commerce technology company Fredhopper to enrich the shopping experience of its online customers and drive sales. Debenhams.com will roll out new technologies this month to further improve its online store user experience. Fredhopper‟s „search box predictive text‟ and search engine optimisation (SEO) modules are due to be integrated into the site. (Armitt, C 2010)  Debenhams have signed a deal with logistics firm DHL to carry out order fulfilment of e-commerce service for Debenhams Direct, the trader‟s online platform, from the Debenhams distribution centre at Peterborough until 2015. (Whitaker, J 2011)

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Chapter 5
Data Analysis and Presentation
5.1 Data Analysis

Rowans (2004) stated that the data collected in the research process may or may not be in numerical or quantitative form. It can be in the form of numbers. If the data is not in numerical form, the research can be carried through qualitative analysis based on the individual‟s experiences, but if the data is in numerical form, some descriptive statistics should be carried out through quantitative analysis. The descriptive statistics include measure of central tendency within a sample e.g. mean and measures of spread of scores e.g. range. The both methods are going to be discussed below:

5.1.1 Qualitative Analysis of Data This method has gain popularity since mid-1990. In this type of data analysis the researcher sometime use direct quotations from their participants, arguing that such quotations are often very revealing. The evaluation of the data collected through personal interviews, observations and case studies varies with the researcher, therefore the findings can be unreliable and hard to replicate.

5.1.2 Quantitative Analysis of Data The data collected in the numeric form is going to be analysed through descriptive statistics. There two keys types of measures that are being used to analyse that data collected: 

Measures of Central Tendency which provides some indication of the size of average or typical scores using Mean, Median and Mode.

Measures of Dispersion which indicates the extent to which the scores are spread out using Range.

Considering the research topic and the objectives of the research the study in the data analysis is going to use both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

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5.2

Data Presentation

The information from a sample after analysis can be presented in several ways to explain the meaning if the results and findings of the research. The data in this research will be presented in the form of graph or chart because it is very easy to understand for the people that what has been found compared to simply presenting information about central tendency and dispersion.

5.3

Findings and Analysis of the Survey

Considering the topic of the research and the research objectives the following survey study have been divided into two target groups which were customers and the company. The data collected from both surveys were analysed and then presented by plotting onto the graph charts to get the clear picture of the research findings. 5.3.1 Target Group: Customers The sample size of the survey was 150 that consist of members from the general public selected on random basis. The 129 respondents out of 150 questionnaires distributes returned filled to the researcher with a total response of 86%. Question No. 1: Which of the following describes your age? In the online retail sales the age is the main factor that could influence people how they should perceive about the product and more importantly in the study the age factor can also play a significant role towards the peoples buying behaviour and patterns. In this question five categories of different age groups were given to the respondent to choose from that are shown in the table 5.3.1 (1). Age Respondents Less than 20 25 21-30 27 31-40 41 41-50 30 More than 50 8 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (1): Age From the survey results it is clear that the age group 31-40 response level was high as compared to other age group. The graph chart in the figure 5.3.1 (1) given below explains the results more clearly after plotting the data.
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50 40 30 20 10 0 Age
Figure 5.3.1 (1): Age

Respondents

Less than 20 21-30 31-40 41-50 More than 50

Question No. 2: What is your Gender? The main aim of this question in the survey was to find out the level of satisfaction and website experience between different sex groups. The table 5.3.1 (2) explains that most of the questionnaires were filled by female rather than male group. 49 males and 71 females completed the questionnaire and 9 out of 129 respondents prefer not to describe their age. Gender Respondents Male 49 Female 71 Prefer not to say 9 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (2): Gender When plotted on to a bar graph shown in the figure 5.3.1 (2) it clearly explains that interest shown by the females in the survey was more than male.

Respondents

80 60 40 20 0 Gender Male Femal Prefer not to say

Question No. 3: Please circle the highest year of school completed? The aim of this question in the survey questionnaire was to find out how education level influences people to buy or not to buy online. In the table 5.3.1 (3) it is clear that
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out of 129 respondents 19 were having high school education, 32 college or university level, 55 were with graduate level of education and 23 did not mention any level of education. Education Respondents Primary 0 High School 19 College/ University 32 Graduate School 55

Not given 23

Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (3): Education The survey results also clear from the graph shown below that most of the respondents took part in the research were educated to graduate levels.

60

Respondents

40 20 0 Education

Primary High School College/ University Graduate School Not Given

Figure 5.3.1 (3): Education Question No. 4: Annual income of the family (Approximately)? The basic aim of this question was to identify how level of income influence people to shop online. The table 5.3.1 (4) shows that 27 respondents were in the income band of less than £10K, 39 were with the income level of £11K-£20K, 15 with £21K-£30K, 7 with more than £30K and 41 out of 129 did not want to disclose their income level or with no income. Income Level Respondents Less than £10K 27 £11k-£20k 39 £21k-£30k 15 More than £30k 7 Prefer not to say 41 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (4): Income Level

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50 40 30 20 10 0 Income Level

Respondents

Less than £10K £11k-£20k £21k-£30k More than £30k Prefer not to say

Figure 5.3.1 (4): Income Level

The result can also be explained when plotted on a graph chart shown in the figure 5.3.1 (4) most of the people did not disclose their income level or claim that they do not have any income and 39 out of 129 respondents were with the income level between £11K-£20K. Question No. 5: Which of the following applies to you in relation to internet usage? The aim of this question was to identify the usage of internet over a period of time because more the use of internet more will be website hits through online marketing or social networking sites. The table 5.3.1 (5) has given us the results of the survey as out of 129 respondents 52 use internet every day, 26 once in a week. 15 once a month, 7 did not remember when they have used internet last time and 29 never used internet as they did not knew how to use or not having the immediate access to the internet. Internet Usage Respondents Every day 52 Once a week 26 Once a month 15 Do not remember 7 Never used internet 29 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (5): Internet Usage The bar graph shown in the figure 5.3.1 (5) clearly explains the trends of the internet usage among peoples as most of them they have the internet access at home or in the office and use on daily basis.

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60

Respondents

Every day 40 20 0 Internet Usage Once a week Once a month Do not remember Never used internet

Figure 5.3.1 (5): Internet Usage Question No. 6: Which of the following you use for the internet? The aim of this question was to identify the reason of the usage of internet. The response will then be going to analyse the correlation between the usage of internet and the purpose of its usage. The table 5.3.1 (6) gives us the results of the survey study as 35 respondents out of 129 were using internet for emails, 45 for social networking, 27 for online shopping, 9 for marketing or advertising and 13 for other purposes. Reason for Internet Use Respondents Email 35 Social Networking 45 Online Shopping 27 Marketing/ Advertising 9 Other 13

Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (6): Reason for Internet Use The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (6) explains that the reason of internet usage is mainly for email, social networking, and online shopping. As the data collected in the survey tells is that social networking is popular among the internet users after email and online shopping. That‟s why the businesses are putting links on to the social media sites such as face book, twitter and You Tube.

Respondents

60 40 20 0 Reason for Internet Use

Email Social Networking Online Shopping Marketing/ Advertising Other

Figure 5.3.1 (6): Reason for Internet Usage
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Question No. 7: How long you have purchased from Debenhams? The aim of this question was to find out the buying frequency of the respondents at Debenhams and also if people know about Debenhams. From the table 5.3.1 (7) below it is clear that out of 129 respondents 19 never bought from Debenhams, 26 less than 1 month, 30 bought in last 2-3 months, 24 bought in last 4-6 months and 9 did not know about Debenhams. Buying Frequency Respondents Have not yet purchased 19 Less than 1 month 26 2- 3 months 30 4-6 Months 45

Do not know Debenhams 9 Source: Survey

Table 5.3.1 (7): Buying Frequency at Debenhams The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (7) explains that there are some people who never bought from Debenhams and few did not even know what Debenhams is. But the majority of the respondents that were 120 out 129 who knew about Debenhams and 101 have at least shop at Debenhams.
Have not yet purchased Less than 1 month 2-3 months 4-6 months Buying Frequency at Debenhams Do not know Debenhams

50 40 30 20 10 0

Respondents

Figure 5.3.1 (7): Buying Frequency at Debenhams Question No. 8: How you usually purchase Debenhams products? The aim of this question was to identify the buying patterns of the Debenhams customers. Buying patterns may wary according to the need and demand of the individual buyer such as in-store physical shopping, telephone, online at Debenhmas.com, through mobile phone and by using links at social networking sites. From the table 5.3.1 (8) below it is clear that out of 101 respondents mentioned in

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previous question who at least bought once from Debenhams 46 shop by going physically into the store, 5 via telephone orders, 28 bought at Debenhmas.com, 3 via mobile phone, and 18 using links at social networking sites. Buying Patterns Respondents In-Store Physical 46 Online Telephone 5
(Debenha ms.com)

Mobile Phone 3

28

Social Networking Sites 18 Source: Survey

Table 5.3.1 (8): Buying Patterns at Debenhams The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (8) explains that most of the customers use store for their shopping. Online shopping seems customer‟s second priority; however, with the launch of mobile phone applications and social networking site links the buying pattern is also shifting from in-store to mobile.
In-Store Physical Telephone Online (Debenhams.com) Mobile Phone Buying Patterns at Debenhams Social Networking Sites

50 40 30 20 10 0

Respondents

Figure 5.3.1 (8): Buying Patterns at Debenhams Question No. 9: Please select the option which accurately reflects how much satisfied or dissatisfied you are with Debenhams multi-channel strategy: The set of options given in this question were designed to find out customer‟s level of satisfaction over online shopping experience at Debenhams.com, via mobile phone, and through social networking site. A total of 49 out 101 respondents with a percentage of 48.5 who at least bought once from Debenhams used Debenhams multichannel medium for their shopping. The following questions explains the e-commerce success factors such as multi-channel usability, multi-channel interactivity, choice of products, real-time stock information, security of customer‟s personal data, availability of special offers, and presence on social media sites.
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9 (a): Multi-Channel Usability? Usability is one of the key factors that influence customer‟s perception to make buying decision about the product. In this section 49 out of 101 respondents (48.5%) who at least bought once from Debenhams have given their level of satisfaction over Debenhams multi-channel usability. The table 5.3.1 (9a) below clearly shows the survey results with customer‟s level of satisfaction. 7 out of 49 respondents were very satisfied with the multi-channel usability, 26 were satisfied, 10 were neutral, 5 were dissatisfied and only 1 was very dissatisfied. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 7 Satisfied 26 Neutral 10 Dissatisfied 5 Very Dissatisfied 1 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9a): Multi-Channel Usability The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9a) also gives a clear indication of the customer satisfaction over the multi-channel usability provided by Debenhams in their modes of e-commerce.

30

Respondents

20 10 0 Level of Satisfaction

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9a): Multi-Channel Usability 9 (b): Multi-Channel Interactivity? Interactivity is about providing a better feedback mechanism to win consumer trust. In this section 49 out of 101 respondents (48.5%) who at least bought once from Debenhams have given their level of satisfaction over Debenhams multi-channel interactivity. The table 5.3.1 (9b) below explains that 3 out of 49 respondents were

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very satisfied with the multi-channel interactivity, 24 were satisfied, 12 were neutral, 8 were dissatisfied and only 2 was very dissatisfied. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 3 Satisfied 24 Neutral 12 Dissatisfied 8 Very Dissatisfied 2 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9b): Multi-Channel Interactivity The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9b) also clearly shows the level of satisfaction over multi-channel interactivity with mostly satisfied customers.

25 20 15 10 5 0 Level of Satisfaction

Respondents

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9b): Multi-Channel Interactivity 9 (c): Choice of Products?

Choice of products made it possible for the customers to compare with other competitors. The aim of this question was to find out the customers level of satisfaction of the choice of different products available through these channels. The table 5.3.1 (9c) explains that 10 out of 49 respondents were very satisfied with the choice of products, 29 were satisfied, 8 were neutral, 2 were dissatisfied and none with very dissatisfied level. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 10 Satisfied 29 Neutral 8 Dissatisfied 2 Very Dissatisfied 0 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9c): Choice of Products
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The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9c) also gives a clear picture of the customer satisfaction over choice of products available at Debenhams. Debenhams again have mostly satisfied customers over the choice of products.

Respondents

30 20 10 0 Level of Satisfaction

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9c): Choice of Products 9 (d): Real-time Stock Information? To achieve customer satisfaction and retention the provision of right stock and its availability is a key factor. The aim of this question was also to identify if there are stock gaps and lack of real-time information about the availability of stock. The table 5.3.1 (9d) below clearly shows the survey results with customer‟s level of satisfaction in which 1 out of 49 respondents was very satisfied with the availability of the right stock and right level, 15 were satisfied, 25 remain neutral, 8 were dissatisfied and none were very dissatisfied. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 1 Satisfied 15 Neutral 25 Dissatisfied 8 Very Dissatisfied 0 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9d): Real Time Stock Information The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9d) gives level of customer satisfaction over availability of the stock. Debenhams in terms of availability of the stock is doing very good few dissatisfied customers.

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25 20 15 10 5 0 Level of Satisfaction

Respondents

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9d): Real Time Stock Information 9 (e): Security of customer’s personal data in online transactions? Customer‟s safety and security is a critical success factor in any business. In doing online transaction the security of buyer‟s personal data is very important. An insecure e-commerce platform will have less user traffic and thus fewer sales. The main aim of this vital issue of personal data security is to achieve customer satisfaction and retention. The table 5.3.1 (9e) below explains the level of customer‟s satisfaction as 10 out of 49 respondents were very satisfied with the security mechanism employed by Debenhams, 13 were satisfied, 5 were neutral, 10 were dissatisfied and only 1 was very dissatisfied. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 10 Satisfied 13 Neutral 5 Dissatisfied 10 Very Dissatisfied 1 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9e): Personal Data Security The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9e) clearly shows the level of satisfaction over customer‟s personal data security. Most of the customers are still dissatisfied with the level of system Debenhams is providing to secure their customer‟s personal data, however, customers always feel in-secure due to the internet fraud.

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15

Respondents

10 5 0 Level of Satisfaction

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9e): Personal Data Security 9 (f): Availability of special offers? The main aim of this question was to find out if the customers are happy with the special offers from Debenhams. The table 5.3.1 (9f) below clearly shows the survey results with customer‟s level of satisfaction over availability of special offers on Debenhams products as 5 out of 49 respondents were very satisfied with the availability of special offers, 18 were satisfied, 21 remained neutral, 5 were dissatisfied and none were very dissatisfied. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 5 Satisfied 18 Neutral 21 Dissatisfied 5 Very Dissatisfied 0 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9f): Availability of special offers The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9f) clearly shows the level of customer‟s satisfaction over the availability of the special offers on Debenhams products. In this section there were none with very dissatisfied level of satisfaction.

30

Respondents

20 10 0 Level of Satisfaction

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9f): Availability of special offers
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9 (g): Social Networking Sites? There are many organisations that have their presence on social networking and media sites such as Face book, Twitter, and You Tube. The main aim of this question was to find out if the customers are happy with the Debenhams presence on to those social media and networking sites. The table 5.3.1 (9g) below clearly shows that none of 49 respondents were very satisfied with the Debenhams presence of social media and networking sites, although 33 were satisfied, 12 remained neutral, 4 were dissatisfied and none were very dissatisfied. Level of Satisfaction Respondents Very Satisfied 0 Satisfied 33 Neutral 12 Dissatisfied 4 Very Dissatisfied 0 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (9g): Social Networking Sites The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (9g) clearly shows the level of customer‟s satisfaction over Debenhams presence on social media and networking sites like Face book, Twitter, and You Tube etc with none very dissatisfied customers.

40

Respondents

30 20 10 0 Level of Satisfaction

Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

Figure 5.3.1 (9g): Social Networking Sites Question No. 10: How likely you continue using Debenhams products? The aim of this question was to find out very important factor which is customer retention. Customer satisfaction always leads to customer retention. From the table 5.3.1 (10) below it is clear that out of 101 respondents who at least bought once from Debenhams 14 very likely continue using Debenhams, 39 Somewhat likely, 45 remained neutral, 3 somewhat unlikely and none very unlikely.
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Customer Retention Respondents

Very Likely 14

Somewhat likely 39

Neutral 45

Somewhat unlikely 3

Very Unlikely 0 Source: Survey

Table 5.3.1 (10): Customer Retention The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (10) clearly shows that it is very likely that customers continue using Debenhams products. It is very likely 53 out of 101 respondents (54%) will continue using Debenhams products.

50 40 30 20 10 0 Customer Retention

Respondents

Very Likely Somewhat Likely Neutral Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely

Figure 5.3.1 (10): Customer Retention Question No. 11: Have you ever recommend Debenhams to others? The aim of this question was also to find out another important factor which is customer recommendations. Customer satisfaction leads to customer retention and customer retention leads to customer recommendation. From the table 5.3.1 (11) below it is clear that out of 101 respondents who at least bought once from Debenhams 18 never recommend Debenhams products to others, 35 once or twice, 20 several times and 28 do not remember when last time they have recommended Debenhams products to someone. Customer Recommendations Respondents Never 18 Once or Twice 35 Several Times 20 Do not Remember 28 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (11): Customer Recommendations

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The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (11) many customers recommended Debenhams products to others.

Respondents

40 30 20 10 0 Customer Recommendations Never Once or Twice Several Times Do not Remember

Figure 5.3.1 (11): Customer Recommendations Question No. 12: How do you rate Debenhams products in comparison to other companies that offer the same products? The basic aim of this question was to get an insight about the customer rating of Debenhams in comparison to other companies offer same products. The data collected from this question will be used to analyse whether customer like shopping at Debenhams or they have other retailers to whom they gave priority. From the table 5.3.1 (12) below it is clear that out of 101 Debenhams‟ customer 11 rate Debenhams much higher than other retailers, 38 somewhat higher, 52 same and none of the respondents rate Debenhams lower than other competitors such as Next, John Lewis etc. Customer Rating Respondents Much higher 11 Somewhat higher 38 Same 52 Somewhat lower 0 Very lower 0 Source: Survey Table 5.3.1 (12): Customer Rating of Debenhams The bar graph shown below in the figure 5.3.1 (12) clearly shows that 49 respondents out of 101 rate Debenhams higher than other retailers that is 48.5% and 52 which is 51.4% rate Debenhams same. The study also reveals that none of the respondents rate Debenhams lowers than its competitors.

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Respondents

40 20 0 Customer Rating of Debenhams

Much higher Somewhat higher Same Somewhat lower Very lower

Figure 5.3.1 (12): Customer Rating of Debenhams 13. Additional comments and Suggestions:

Out of 129 respondents only 23 managed to fill the comments and suggestions box which is 17.8% response. There were majority of the respondents who liked Debenhams products and their quality. The comments in this question were mainly on Designers at Debenhams. Respondents also liked the quality of customer service and mentioned their positive in-store experiences. There were few respondents which shown interest in Debenhams.com. They were also happy with the Debenhams recent application on iphone that make it possible for the customers to browse and buy Debenhams‟ products while they are on the move. Some respondents recommended that Debenhams should be doing more towards m-commerce sector to promote their products. 5.3.2 Evaluations and Key Takeaways of Customer Survey The study reveals that Debenhams have happy and loyal customers who love to buy from Debenhams because of the quality of its products and more importantly the presence if Designer clothes and others products by the Designers. Debenhams have products for all age groups with research into new styles and fashion. The study will now highlights the key takeaways from the data collected through survey research.  The data collected through survey reveals that 86% of the respondents have taken part in the research and out of 129 respondents 101 have at least bought once from Debenhams which is about 78.3% of the total respondents.  Internet use for online shopping was 21% as out of 129 respondents 27 were using internet for online shopping. Debenhams have lot of opportunities to explore that section of the market.

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The study also reveals that 48.5% Debenhams customers are using multi-channel that are Debenhams.com, mobile phone, and social networking sites for their shopping. So Debenhams have to work towards rest of the 41.5% customers so they can shop online which is economical for Debenhams.

In question no.9 customers‟ level of satisfaction reveals that 29 (average) customers out of 101 were satisfied with Debenhams multi-channel modes of shopping that is 28.7%, 13 (average) customers remained neutral with 12.8%, and 6.5 (average) customers were dissatisfied that is only 6.5%.

The data also explains that 53 out of 101 customers will continue to shop at Debenhams (52.4%), 45 remained neutral (44.5%) and it is unlikely that only 3 of the customers will buy from Debenhams in future (2.9%).

When we look at customer recommendation of Debenhams the data reveals that 55 out of 101 customers (54.5%) have recommended Debenhams products at least once or twice to others.

In the study 49 out of 101 (48.5%) customers rate Debenhams products higher over its competitors‟ products, 52 customers‟ rate as same (51.5%) and none rate as lower.

When plotted the entire key takeaways discussed above on the bar chart in the figure 5.4 it is clear that the customers‟ level of satisfaction is an average of about 50%. Only satisfied customers can continue shopping at Debenhams and recommend to others the features of Debenhams products.

Use of Internet 60 50 Multi-channel Usage Loyal Customers Customer Recommendation Satisfied Customers Dissatisfied Customers Customer Rating of Debenhams

Percentage

40 30 20 10 0

Figure 5.3.2: Key Takeaways of Customer Survey

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5.3.3 Target Group: Company A questionnaire was designed to get data about the Debenhams‟ e-commerce platform and its multi-channel approach. The data is mainly collected through the internet as it was not company‟s policy to take part any type of survey. The researcher also analysed the statements given by the company chairman, chief executives and directors of relevant departments to answer some parts of the survey questionnaire. The data collected through the questionnaire gives us the following results. Question No. 1: How would you rate your e-commerce site? Debenhams claims that their biggest area of growth is their online store that provides a stable, up-to-the-minute, easy-to-use website. Our technical team from developers to web image and web product assistants is using their skills to provide a fast-paced, accurate and great-looking online service for customers. Source: Debenhams Annual Report Question No. 2: To what extent has your business benefited in the following process as a result of using the Internet or e-commerce? Sillitoe, B (2011) stated that online, in-store and mobile sales in first 43 weeks of the financial year we up 77 per cent year-on-year, excluding VAT. The interim management statement is also indicating that Debenhams‟ iPhone app has recently passed 500,000 downloads and has already recorded its first £1 million in sales. Source: Retailgazette.co.uk Question No. 3: To what extent did you experience any of the following problems with the Internet or e-commerce since you started using it? The recent development of technology was a huge challenge for Debenhams. The group has to develop and revise its e-commerce strategy to cater the customer demands through the use of social media sites like Face book, Twitter and You Tube etc. Source: Internet Survey
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Question No. 4: What is the approximate annual turnover of your company? Debenhams total revenue for year ending 28 August 2010 was £2119.9 million that was £204.3 million higher than last financial with a total increase if 9.64%. Source: Annual Report 2010 Question No. 5: How do you rate Debenhams e-commerce services in comparison to other companies that offer the same services? Debenhams e-commerce services through its multi-channel strategy and presence on social media sites are very competitive as compared with other online retailers specially fashion retailers like Next, John Lewis etc. Source: Internet Survey Question No. 6: How would you rate the impact of social media on e-commerce? Debenhams has recently announced that it has reached almost 1.5 million consumers that have used its social media channels like Face book and Twitter which very competitive with other online retailers like Next, and John Lewis etc. Source: Realtechnology.co.uk Question No. 7: General Information 7a: About how many daily hits does the Dabenhams.com have? Debenhams has 384, 853 daily page views and 101, 745 visitors with ranking of 228 in the United Kingdom and 4,111 worldwide. Source: Bizinformation.com.my 7b: About what percent of total revenue comes from e-commerce sales? E-commerce sales made up of 2.86% of total Debenhams revenue with a rapid growth. It has already boosted to £55.1 million as compared with the previous financial year that was £42.1 million with about 24% increase. Source: Computing.co.uk

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7c: Does the company have social media presence on Face book, Twitter, and You Tube etc.? Ruth Leach, PR manager of social media, Debenhams said that we have designed an in-house practice for social media to increase the engagement with customers. The customers are using Face book link to share and recommend their favorite products with family and friends. Source: Nma.co.uk 7d: How many social media user does Debenhams have? The retail store Debenhams, has reached almost 1.5 million consumers through social media channels like Face book, Twitter, and You Tube etc. Source: Realtechnology.co.uk 7e: About what percent m-commerce is contributing towards e-commerce? Ruth Leach, PR manager of social media, Debenhams stated that the organisation doing very well in m-commerce platform as our mobile applications have gone passed 500,000 downloads and contributed a handsome amount of sales of over £1 million in the first four months of the launch. Source: Nma.co.uk 5.3.4 Evaluation and Key Takeaways of Company’s Survey It is clear from above analysis that retail store Debenhams have boosted its growth with the use of e-commerce platform. The m-commerce is becoming very popular source of getting more sales with the launch of smart phones application like iphone and android market. Its multi-channel strategy and social media presence has contribute a lot to achieve its objective of profit maximization and customer satisfaction.

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Chapter 6
Conclusions and Recommendations

6.1

Conclusion of the Study

This section will conclude the whole Analysis that how E-commerce issues due to the advancement in technology can be dealt with and what measure and strategies an organisation has to develop in order to profit maximisation and customer satisfaction. The researcher will discuss some of the possible solutions to the research problems. The study was aimed to achieve following objectives:      To find out the relationship between e-commerce success model and customer satisfaction. To find out how organisations are coping with huge demands of the products in the form of its processing capabilities and availability of the right products. To find out how organisations can comply with E-commerce regulations to achieve their goals. To identify the impact of social media sites Face book and Twitter in boosting E-commerce transactions. To identify the role of mobile commerce in achieving organisation ultimate objectives. The study has concluded that all the objectives have been achieved through detailed literature review and from the results and findings of the data analysis. Literature review explained that there was not much secondary resources available in the field of e-commerce, however, the researcher get an insight of the background of the e-commerce. objective of the research achieved. The study explains that Debenhams products quality is much higher than its other competitors because of the Designer’s presence at Debenhams. The level of satisfaction among Debenhams’ customers also remained higher with very few unhappy customers. Debenhams is also investing in its multi-channel strategy to cover all the modes of communication such as online shopping (Debenhams.com), m-commerce (iphone and android applications), Internet TV (Debenhams TV channel), Social media sites (Face book, Twitter, You Tube) to
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get competitive advantage over its competitors. Debenhams multi-channel strategy is successful with excellent results. Many of Debenhams customers now gradually started using these channels to for their purchases. The data analysis have also explained that due to the Debenhams successful ecommerce strategy model, many of its customer continue to shop with Debenhams and several of them recommended Debenhams products to others. This shows customer loyalty over Debenhams products and services.

6.2

Recommendations to the Debenhams Plc.

6.2.1 Introduction The recommendations to Debenhams are based on the extensive literature review and results and findings of the data analysis. These recommendations are not final as Debenhams have its own Research and Development (R&D) department who have experts in this profession. However, Debenhams can use these recommendations to update or improve its e-commerce strategy to achieve its ultimate goal of profit maximisation and customer satisfaction. In the next section before going into detailed recommendations the researcher is going to give an e-commerce success model that can be employed by Debenhams to achieve its ultimate objectives.

6.2.2

E-commerce Success Model

From the literature review, case analysis of Debenhams and data analysis of the survey results the study gives an e-commerce success model as shown in the Figure 6.3.2 that Debenhams can employ to improve its e-commerce strategy to get more multi-channel customers. The model explains that to get customer satisfaction, customer retention and customer recommendations the e-commerce strategy should be based on three vital determinants that are system quality, information quality and service quality. These determinants are also very important to get customer trust through the provision of improving website design, interactivity, informativeness, security, responsiveness, and empathy. The model is also explaining the relationship

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of the customer satisfaction and system strategy that quality of system, information and service can only bring about success to achieve e-commerce success.

Customer Retention

Website design Interactivity

System Quality

Informativeness Customer Satisfaction

Information Quality
Security

E-commerce Strategy

Responsiveness Trust

Service Quality

Customer Recommend -ations

Empathy

Figure 6.2.2: E-commerce Success Model

6.2.3

Recommendations

The study explains that retail store Debenhams has an excellent growth rate in comparison with previous years; however, the following recommendations have been gathered from the research study:  Customer satisfaction is the key to success and Debenhams can achieve that with the more research into customer needs and demands and should also have products that can cater the needs of customers those cannot afford to buy Debenhams‟ products due to the price levels.

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Debenhams to improve website experience has recently contracted with an ecommerce specialist company Fredhopper. Debenhams to achieve an economical and efficient e-commerce platform has to develop its in-house ecommerce research and development department.

Debenhams has done the right thing to use DHL for the fast and efficient delivery of its stock to the right customer at the right time. The Debenhams can now add a link to its website so customers can track their items status online.

Debenhams can reach to the international market where the group does not have its franchises through the use of its website by offering international delivery using DHL.

 

Debenhams can start an international level campaign start using their online stores and reach to the customers through revising its e-marketing strategy. Debenhams has its online TV channel; however, Debenhams can launch TV Channel on the satellite network to get more popularity and to increase its sales.

Debenhams needs more research to improve its e-commerce platform especially its social media presence with having a YouTube channel like many other organisations.

Debenhams have recently launched mobile application for iphone for its mcommerce platform. Debenhams can now offer application for other smart phones and networks to increase its spectrum.

6.3

Ethical Considerations

Ethics have always been main area of concern when doing research. In this Analysis the researcher is going to follow the guidelines of Coventry University to avoid any ethical issues in the research. The sample was selected on random basis and respondents consent was taken before giving them out the questionnaire. The language in the questionnaire was simple and easy to understand because of the use of plain English. The data gathered through the interviews and survey will be kept confidential for safety reasons. The researcher will be published by the researcher only and data and information contained can be verified with the help of references given in the last section of the study.
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6.4

Future Research

Considering the topic and research objectives the study has focused on the important aspects in e-commerce. However, there are many areas in e-commerce that needs to be explored to achieve profit maximization and customer satisfaction. The future research can be done in the following areas:  What m-commerce strategies can be implemented to achieve customer satisfaction?   The role of social media sites in the growth of an organisation? How to achieve an ultimate e-commerce success model that could help to achieve customer trust?

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References and Bibliography:
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Dholakia, R (2006) m-commerce: global experiences and perspectives. London: Idea Group Publishing.

Goddard, W and Melville,S (2001) Research Methodology: An Introduction. 2nd edition. Lansdown, Juta & Co. Ltd.

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Goffin, K and Lemke, F (2010) Identifying Hidden Needs: Creating Breakthrough Products. Hampshire: Palgrave McMillan. Haig, M (2001) The B2B e-commerce handbook: how to transform your business-to-business global marketing strategy. London: Kogan Page Limited. Harris, L and Dennis, C (2002) Marketing the e-business. Ney York: Rutledge.

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Hill, N et al. (2007) Customer Satisfaction: The Customer Experience through the Customer's Eyes. London: Cogent Publishing Limited. Jackson, P et al. (2003) E-business fundamentals. Oxon: Rutledge. Janda, S. et al. (2002) Consumer perceptions of Internet retail service quality, International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol.13, pp. 412–431.

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Joppe, M. (2000) The Research Process, Available at <http://www.ryerson.ca/~mjoppe/rp.htm> [Accessed on 1st May 2011, 17.00 ] Joppe, M. (2000). The Research Process,
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http://www.ryerson.ca/~mjoppe/rp.htm> [Accessed on 1 May 2011, 17.00] Korper, S and Ellis, J (2001) The E-commerce book: building the E-empire. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.  Kuballa, J (2006) Key Factors of Successful E-commerce: what HP can learn from Dell. Norderstedt: Grin Verlag.  Kumar, R (2008) Research Methodology. New Delhi: S.B. Nangia for APH Publishing Corporation.  Li, F (2007) What is e-business? How the Internet transforms organizations. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

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Lin, H (2007) The Impact of website quality dimensions on customer satisfaction in the B2C e-commerce context. Total Quality Management. Vol. 18 (4), p. 363-378.

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Lindlof, T & Taylor, B (2011) Qualitative Communication Research Methods. California: Sage Publications, Inc. Liu, C. & Arnett, K. P. (2000) Exploring the factors associated with Web site success in the context of electronic commerce, Information and Management, Vol.38, pp. 23–33.

Mari, A 2009 (online) E-commerce boosts profit at Debenhams. Available at < www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/1833318/e-commerce-boosts-profitdebenhams#ixzz1Td2Od936> Accessed 2nd August 2011.

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McCormack, B & Hill, E (1997) Conducting a survey: the SPSS workbook. London: International Thomas Business Press. Palmer, J. W. (2002) Website usability, design, and performance metrics, Information Systems Research, Vol.13, pp. 151–167.

Palmer, Maija (2008), “Shoppers Find Goods Well Recommended,” Financial Times, (January 20), [available at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/349ca1bac7c311dca0b4 0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1]. (accessed 6th 2011). August

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Rabiee, F (2004) Focus-group interview and data analysis. School of Health and Policy Studies. Vol. 63, 655-660. Rigby, C 2010 (online), Debenhams half-year e-sales top £50 million, Available at < http://www.internetretailing.net/2010/04/debenhams-half-yeare-sales-top-50-million/> (Accessed 2nd May 2011).

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Sapsford, R and Jupp, V (eds.) (2006) Data collection and analysis. 2nd edition. London, SAGE Publications Ltd.

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Westbrook, R. A. (1980) Intrapersonal affective influences on consumer satisfaction with products, Journal of Consumer Research, 7, pp. 49–54. Whiteaker, J 2011 (Online) DHL to run Debenhams‟ e-commerce logistics. Available at < http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/articles/04133-dhl-to-rundebenhams-ecommerce-logistics> Accessed 2nd August 2011.

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Appendices Appendix (A) Copy of Questionnaire:
How E-Commerce platform can help an organisation to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction: A critical analysis of Debenhams, London, UK. Target Group: Company As part fulfillment of the requirements of the Master in Business Administration (MBA) at British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce (BITE), I am conducting a research on the „Marketing How E-Commerce platform can help an organisation to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction: A critical analysis of Debenhams, London, UK‟. Could you please spare some of your precious moments to answer the following questions? Your support and co-operation are crucial for the quality of research. There is no right or wrong answer, please make your own judgments. The information provided will be kept confidential and only used for academic purpose. The researcher is grateful for your co-operation. 1. How would you rate your e-commerce site?
Strongly Disagree 1 Enhanced ability to customise sales Facilitated order entry processing Facilitated shipment tracing Improved operational effectiveness and efficiency Increased customer awareness of products and services Permitted better interaction with customers 2 3 4 Strongly Agree 5

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Permitted better understanding of customers Better information for decision making Reduced costs Increased profitability

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2.

To what extent has your business benefited in the following process as a result of using the Internet or e-commerce?

Considerable Benefit Raising/improving company profile Increased sales/enquires Extending customer base Improving customer relationships Improving supplier relationship Speed up process e.g. transactions, recruitment, marketing Reduced costs e.g., transactions, marketing Internal processes/ communications Keeping up to date with products or services Keeping ahead of / up to date with competition Flexibility/ convenience

Some Benefit

No Benefit

Don’t Know

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3.

To what extent did you experience any of the following problems with the Internet or e-commerce since you started using it?

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Ecommerce platform to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction.
Considerable Problem Customer services Security Breach Reliability of service Technology Lack of direct contact with the customers Expansive

Some Problem

No Problem

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4.

What is the approximate annual turnover of your company?  up to 100,000  500,000 to 750,000  101,000 to 300,000  751,000 to 1,000,000  301,000 to 500,000  over 1,000,000

5.

How do you rate Debenhams e-commerce services in comparison to other companies that offer the same services?  Much higher  somewhat higher  Same  Somewhat lower  Very lower

6.

How would you rate the impact of social media on e-commerce?  Much higher  somewhat higher  Same  Somewhat lower  Very lower

7.

General Information: a. About how many daily hits does the Dabenhams.com have? b. About what percent of total revenue comes from e-commerce sales? c. Does the company have Face book and /or Twitter account? d. How many social media users Debenhmas.com have? e. About what percent m-commerce is contributing towards ecommerce?

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Appendix (B) Copy of Questionnaire:
How E-Commerce platform can help an organisation to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction: A critical analysis of Debenhams, London, UK. Target Group: Customers As part fulfillment of the requirements of the Master in Business Administration (MBA) at British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce (BITE), I am conducting a research on the „Marketing How E-Commerce platform can help an organisation to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction: A critical analysis of Debenhams, London, UK‟. Could you please spare some of your precious moments to answer the following questions? Your support and co-operation are crucial for the quality of research. There is no right or wrong answer, please make your own judgments. The information provided will be kept confidential and only used for academic purpose. The researcher is grateful for your co-operation. 1. Which of the following categories describes your Age?  Less than 20  20-30 2. What is your Gender?  Male 3.  Female  Prefer not to say  30-40  40-50  More than 50

Please circle the highest year of school completed:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23+

(primary) (high school) (college/university) (graduat e school) 4. Annual Income of the family (Approx.):  Less than £10k  £10k-£20k  £20k-£30k  More than £30k 5.
Which of the following applies to you in relation to Internet usage?

 Every day  Do not remember

 Once a week

 Once a month

 Never used internet

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6.

Which of the following you use internet for?  Email  Social Networking  Online shopping  Marketing/Advertising  other (please specify):

7. How long you have purchased from Debenhams?  Have not yet purchased  Less than 1 month  2- 3 months  3- 4 months  Do not know about Debenhams 8. How do you usually purchase Debenhams products?  In-Store physical  Telephone  Online (Debenhams.com)  Mobile

Phone  Social Networking Sites 9. Please select the option which accurately reflects how much satisfied or dissatisfied you are with Debenhams multi-channel strategy:
Very Satisfied Usability Interactivity Choice of products Real time stock information Personal data security Availability of special offers on products Social Networking Sites Very Dissatisfied

Satisfied

Neutral

Dissatisfied

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10. How likely you continue using Debenhams products?  Very likely  Somewhat likely  Neutral  Somewhat unlikely  Very unlikely 11. Have you ever recommended Debenhams to others?  Never  Once or twice  Several times
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 Do not Remember

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Ecommerce platform to achieve business objectives through customer satisfaction.

12. How do you rate Debenhams products in comparison to other companies that offer the same products?  Much higher  Somewhat higher  Same  Somewhat lower  Very lower 13. Additional comments / Suggestions:

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Muhammad Javed MBA (Innovative Management) Coventry University

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