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Marketing and Technology Interplay INTRODUCTION Marketing has changed since the onset of Technology and dot com syndrome and the whole concept has been revised. The conventional methods of marketing though existent now occupy a much less importance in relative terms and are continuously losing out to the new concepts and Information Technology related campaigns. And hence the role of an effective Marketing Officer is now in the phase of redefinition. A balance needs to be maintained between using the conventional tools and to look for new upcoming technologies; some of which are defined as heavens for the marketing campaigns; since these now provide access to a wide consumer base with a very low costs.
Since the dot com boom and internet revolution, medium to large sized businesses have given much importance to online marketing and advertising solutions and most of this comes in the form of the company’s own website although there are alternative ways including online banners, link exchange programmes, mail lists etc. And hence the internet marketing race started. With more and more companies coming with websites and creative ones. The idea is not only to create one but to attract customers and strengthen your consumers’ base. This sometimes can be daunting compared with other forms of marketing since the users use internet are usually well informed and savvy and are hard to attract out of the blue. Most of them are rational consumers and hence their decision to use (buy) a product is dependent on many factors. Websites recently have employed various attention gauging techniques, including flash introductions, large colorful main page displays, fancy recent promotion pages and much more. All of them originate from one basic idea, to attract consumers and to wide the consumer base of their product.
aspx This page includes history about the website 2 http://www.wikiepedia/wiki/harrods The first topic about history. The store located in Knightsbridge London. where each website is judged on various bases. covers area well over 4. HARRODS Harrods started operations back in 1834 in East End.26. . The navigation bar is at the top of page and places the products 1 http://10. Are these websites fulfilling the need for which they were created? What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of these websites? This paper would try to attempt to answer these questions. The website of each company is analyzed firstly independently based on several points. Websites of Harrods and Comet are compared in this paper from a marketing point of view. Over the century it was purchased over and over again by several parties and as of now remains a property of Al-Fayed Family1.2 The Website of Harrods has a classical outlook theme employing black and olive as the main navigation colors. followed in the end by a conclusion.2 Experts on Marketing in general and IT related Marketing in particular on various occasions have expressed some key aspects that are fundamental to a good website. The store gradually grew in size and in number of customers and during the second decade of 20th century purchased several departmental stores and set up operations in them.12/HarrodsStore/GlobalPages/HarrodsHistory.5 acres remains one of the most popular stores of luxurious items in the capital. A summary is included in the form of points. London as grocery store with tea as its specialty. Harrods now is a magnificent departmental store that specializes in the luxurious goods and services goods.54.
the cheapest tee shirt on the website is around 30 pounds per piece.3 into various categories. It is demonstrated by the range of their prime products.harrods. Apart from that the discounts offered by Harrods on its products start when the shopping price exceeds 250 pounds (10% being offered). And towards the bottom of page. The target market of the Harrods website and its products are the high income middle aged men and women.2 This is truly a personal shopping and one can request all he/she needs at a place at one time. 2.harrods. The products which are enlisted on Harrods website are usually the ones used by young adults to middle aged men and women.e.com/HarrodsStore/default. http://www. All these services and many others clearly relate to middle to high income middle aged men and women. all of the products are characterized by brands with specific details and have hefty tags on them. There are main photo banners on the homepage of various promotions and products. Most of the products on the website are branded products and hence expensive ones than unbranded ones i. The store also offers services such as Personal Shopping by appointment.aspx This relates to the banner on the main homepage at the top right.com/HarrodsStore/GlobalPages/ServiceDetails. From Household products to women wear.aspx?Id=5c1cb34f-aacd-4be0-bfefa615021f187c&Type=ContentNode The personal shopping experience! . which is quite high compared to one available in ordinary retail stores. http://www.1 The products which are listed on Harrods. various links about services and other information about Harrods are given. And one of the range in which Harrods specializes is the children’s toys and baby wear. 1. most of them are luxurious ones with minute intricate details about them and hence are for the high end income consumers.
Harrods. It images its products as personally designed for its customers and offer quality and excellence. the visitor really has to navigate them hard. It emphasizes on quality and being superior. The main page apart from marketing the products should also market the store as well. Also another page for the products which are being offered on discount should be included in the website. http://www. It categorizes products not only by type but also by designers. The theme could also be improved in terms of representing more class and style and could be rotated on regular basis. The site could have been made more sophisticated to attract more people.com is the only official website of the store and represents it fully. . The in fashion famous models could also be used to market the products and use them in the flash intro. It catches immediate attention and products which the company is specifically targeting for its e-customers through a season should be advertised there. It needs to highlight its product even more. It has used a classic theme. Why Harrods? What is special about Harrods? Although the website mentions these details. The prices of the goods available in the store and those available for sale on website are identical. Side bar navigation should be included in the website. This concept can be really presented in a form of small flash banner to attract immediate attention.aspx the online customer support. On the other hand this all seems quite simple enough.harrods.4 The Harrods website has done remarkably well to market itself to its target market. 1 The promotions available on the website are also available on the store though not all store 1.com/HarrodsStore/CustomerServices/CustomerServices. However there could be a third party website which may offer Harrods products indirectly. There are no other official websites that offer Harrods products directly to the customers.
harrods.2 It includes possibly all type of services that can be demanded by a customer including placing. Harrods have four different income streams and the store remains the largest contributor of the overall income of the group. Within the store the income streams can be broken down into two main categories.com/HarrodsStore/CustomerServices/CustomerServices. canceling and tracking orders. Secondly the products offered to the customers through the website. One is the through more than 300 departments that the store has and the other one through the foods outlets and restaurants located within the store. The Harrods Store website includes customer services page. Frequently Asked Questions and a Contact us page.harrods.com/HarrodsStore/GlobalPages/Businesses. 2.aspx?Id=c0cb87e0-a6ff-42ef-9047b2dfb5fa1fec http://www. 1. are limited than those available for sale on shelves at the store. delivery returns and cancellations.aspx Customer Services at: . 1 All these other businesses have their own websites and treated as separate entities. Most of the queries that a customer is likely to have is answered well and precisely in the FAQ’s page. The list and further details about the other businesses can be found http://www. and different types of payment methods. The customer service page is an excellent one in terms of customer satisfaction. Aircraft Sales and Maintenances and VIP helicopter charter services. feedback forum. Therefore as Group. understandably. The Group also operates three other different businesses including Real Estate.5 promotions are available for e-customers. Harrods is not only a luxurious massive departmental store but also part of Harrods Business Group. FAQ and feedback forum is self explanatory.
cancellation and others.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fHarrodsStore%2fProduct %2fProductList.harrods.harrods. For example in “men”. products are further sub divided into tee shirts. However it takes too much time to navigate the results. formal suits. Once the customer logs into these services are very easily accessible and hence this website is very user friendly in terms of navigation. Apart from that in . The website also contains a store guide which would be helpful to the first time visitors since this is a huge store and people can have numerous sorts of problems. Further if one selects a category then there are sub-categories in it. The website on the overall is fairly user friendly. 1.com/HarrodsStore/User/Login. The timings are well mentioned and website also carries detail about the cark park availability and its details. It is very easy to locate a product by name. https://www. The Harrods website also allows its customer to sign up for an individual account and make its purchases through the account 2. The website also gives its visitor the option to search by the name or the brand of the product. etc. From category to sub category and then to products. It not only gives the complete details of the store in terms of address. shirts.aspx%3fBreadcrumb%3dmen%252fmenknit%252fknitgant The user account at Harrods The site provides adequate information about the products and about the services of Harrods. This sometimes can frustrate a customer. The sub-categories also divide the products by the brands or by any other appropriate division for that product1. It allows the vistor to navigate by the type of the products or by brand. The products themselves are well presented and real time pictures are used for them apart than a description that can be viewed.com/HarrodsStore/Product/ProductList. This system needs to be improved and this time relay needs to be decreased. And the results can be summarized in several of ways including from high to low price and vice versa.6 The contact us page is very comprehensive. This will help the customer it will include all of this history of the customer and also provide other customer services such as ordering tracking. It also has a separate page for new products and promotions for the category as well. price of product. 2.aspx?Breadcrumb=men/menknit/knitgant On the left hand side you can see the division between products. phone and email but also includes a store locating map. http://www.
It’s extremely relevant and for a real time customer its usefulness would allow him to come back again and to place the order within minutes. types etc. one can access that easily and find through the links given at the bottom of the homepage.com/HarrodsStore/default. This website is to the point and hence the bracket of customers it targets.7 terms of information about the store. The website also tries to extend the same wow factor and has a series of pages about .5 acres which makes over one million square feet of selling space. events. It has a huge magnificent building and truly a piece of art in terms of its size and decoration. The links are at the bottom and have been grouped accordingly. http://www. The information about the store should rather be given at one side in form a bar rather than at the bottom of the page. one of the hidden aspects of it. 1. It categorizes the products very simply while at the same times uses many options to do some including price. The olive color scheme although gives the website classy look however it can be improved to a more vibrant classy color scheme. The wow factor of Harrods is associated to the real store located at Knightsbridge in London. Therefore one can easily find the information. the website is created exactly according to them. It is over more than 4. The pages have been grouped together in terms of their usage. The basic idea of the creators and designers of the website is to give a classic outlook for its customers to show them the products of the company as exclusive and personalized and hence gives its clients a feel of superiority. The website is simple and yet sophisticated at the same time. brands. That will be more friendly and easier for the users to go through.harrods.aspx Harrods Homepage. history. The store has over 330 departments in which products are placed according to category1. and Press releases together1. The Fonts used by the website are very carefully chosen and hence give an appropriate overall view of the page.
comet. The chain is owned by KESA Electricals public limited company.uk/default. The target market of this website is quite clear right from the homepage. And the current Comet plc is stated as the second largest chain of electrical retails stores in the United Kingdom. COMET Comet is a chain of retail stores throughout United Kingdom. 2. Comet group focuses more on competitive prices for its customers other than anything else. The management strives hard to update its prices on regular bases and keep ahead of the competition.com/wiki/harrods This contains information about the details of the store http://press. It was formed way back in 1933 by George Hollingberry as a battery charging store2. This chain of stores specializes in different types of electrical products and gadgets. One of the things for which Comet is known for is its competitive prices therefore it not only attracts customers who have high end incomes but also people who are middle income cast. Throughout the website. The store offers full comprehensive after sales service including installation of the purchased equipment. The website is made for them.aspx?m=6&mi=72&ms=0&title=About+Comet About Comet usual lives in one way or another. routinely service visits and on spot repairing etc. The Comet group specifically targets young to middle aged men and women who are keen to use electronic devices and gadgets in their everyday lives. prices are the one thing which got the most amount of emphasizes rather than . people who make sure of electronic products in the 1.wikipedia. http://www.8 Harrods and its history. The company like Harrods is quite an old one. Examples are high tech students. The company has over 250 stores in the area. business managers and executives. And it tries to strengthen its claim that the company provides exclusive services for its consumers.co.
the first information that is given boldly is the price range from where these types of products start from: at Comet. Off course the website caters to the needs of the high end customers as well. The website can be improved in terms of attraction more attention by giving more “wow” information about the latest products apart from concentrating on the prices of the products alone. for the economy users. This website remains the only direct e-selling point of the store however there may be other websites that deal .comet. Also technical information about the products in the Knowledge Section Apart from that. The comet. Therefore the niche market of the website are consumers who need and like to use electronic gadgets in their real life and want to find these at cheap prices and hence give priority to pricing while making a purchase. it would be best to include the products which are being offered by highest percentage of the discount.co. No matter which product the customers select. It allows offers detailed information about the product which is not only related to the general information but also gives the visitor. but this can be improved and the technical information about the products can be included in a much more intriguing manner.uk is the only official website of the Comets plc. http://www.9 anything else.do?zone_id=13 The homepage emphasizes about the price details of products.uk/shopcomet/homePage. Although the website has done this to some extent. The website promotes its products by offering the latest competitive prices on its products and also by placing its products in a broad well defined range of categorizes.co. a blend of technical information1. The site first of all emphasizes on the products and therefore would attract the attention of a person who is interested in a particular type or range of products. by mentioning the products by the popular brand names. 1.
The website has an interesting feature for those who want to buy directly from the retail stores.e. Small contributions are made by the services that it offers to its customers. However one critical point that should be mentioned here is . However the company might be able to improve its sales of software and related products if it offers a discount on stores.co. since it can save on the delivery costs.10 directly with Comet and offer products on their selling websites. Some deals might be local to a particular area and may not be included on the website. i. what the reputation about the products and how well is their compatibility? Although the website does not include a forum for its users but nonetheless it has the information to get in contact with a technician through phone and get your queries or immediate problems resolved by him. The newsletter not only contains the information about the latest products and their information but also news about the products. on the products on which it offers free delivery. profit margin on the products that it sells. However comet. Further more most of the prices of the products are same for the customers regardless of whether customers buy from the store or from website. The company can extend the same savings as reduced price for its customers who prefer to buy through the retail stores. Most of the income that the store earns is through the retail operations i.uk is the only website that does it directly with the store as in with itself.e. Relating strictly to Comet plc and not to its parent group the company has only one stream on income that is through its retail operations of electronic and electrical products through its website and retail stores. Comet’s website includes a newsletter for its customers and users as well. The operations include sale and after sale service including maintenance and repairs. one can easily locate a store near him using the store locator tool.
From a customers service point of view it would be best to include email addresses by the type of query e.htm This is one marketing strategy that the analysts believe is quite important since there is quite high probability that the customer will make a purchase of the complement as well. This would help the customers to get even a more prompt response. All the other related information is quite easy to find through the website. However one thing that Comet has made use of it also places the complements of the product that the customer has same page and offers various deals about them. the general product search are all tools that help the customers infinitely. First of start of with: the categorization of products needs improvement. After the type of product is selected it gives options by various options but prime one is the price. warranty related issue1. Both these points are crucial and are reaffirmed: http://www. sales. The website is not very hard to understand and use for a first time visitor however it not entirely easy as well.com/wmta/basic-principles. services. 1 & 2. search by brand. delivery issues. Not only just one number is given. Same is the problem with the phone number given. A visitor can search products in the similar category by different options such as price. power usage.g. The store locator. . There should be multiple numbers available on the website for queries and then to segregated by the nature of query. The website although has included the products into a wide array of products but this system should be precise2. free delivery etc.11 that only general email point of contact is given. efficiency.wilsonweb. instead of more than one line but as well it’s a general vague phone number.
12 The color scheme of the website is quite interesting and really serves as a customer attraction.cfm How colors can make a difference to your website! CONCLUSION Both of the websites cater to different consumers and hence cannot be directly compared but in contrast to their niche market. 1. all of these are marketing techniques. This is in sense with the product and customer range of Comet. by the history and news about Harrods. it makes one to browse through it and see different parts of it and through that. The marketing strategy that Harrods uses . These colors also in a way attract customers. since these colors represent energy and innovation and that is Comet is all about. the different types of products with advanced technologies and options. green and blue colors. one gets to know about different products and different deals on them and hence the probability of a visitor making a purchase is greatly enhanced1.wilsonweb. Harrods is related to its class and excellence and that is reflected throughout its website by the user of color scheme.com/wct3/color-stimulation. by the categorization of its products. The website makes use of general black and yellow scheme for its navigation and product bars while the rest of the page is embedded in bright yellow. The wow factor in Comet is not due to the stores itself but more importantly due to the products that those stores sell. Another point is that it does not only include products but also information about them therefore a person only interested in information could also visit the website and can become interested in a product or so. After all. As a visitor of the website. And this is one of the usefulness of this website that it directly attracts customers. http://www. red. And this is one of the reasons why such importance is given to the website in terms of presentation and theme.
Both the websites are good from information point of view but Harrods emerges as a dominant one. . the person tends to visit it more often due to the reasons mentioned earlier. It does not only include detailed information about its store but about the detailed history and other information about the company. Harrods can improve its style. Once after visiting. As relating to target market in particular and overall as in general the color scheme and navigation style of Comet’s website is better than that of Harrods. It also includes the “technological wow” factor in its products and hence attracts it customer altogether differently. The company contacts given in its website are much more comprehensive and easier to use than Comet’s. Both the websites overall are successful in achieving the marketing goals for their required customer market. color scheme and navigation speed in general whereas Comet needs to concentrate on navigation in itself.13 is to give a sense of superiority and specialty to its customers. However. And it emphasizes on economical prices and hence prices the prime thing mentioned with a product in its website. While on the other hand Comet is a store that deals with technological electronic gadgets.
Category Target Market Appropriate Promotion Pricing Outlook Navigation 8 6 8 7 9 8 Harrods 8 8 9 6 7 8.5 Comet Overall .14 INTERCEPT Websites rated from scale of 0 to 10 (10 being highest) on different points.
24th April 2008. 2008. Comet.com >.wikipedia.wikipedia. 2008. 2008. Harrods Homepage.24th April 2008. Comet Homepage. 2008. <http://www. viewed over 20th April 2008.com/wiki/ Comet_Group_plc >. <http://www. viewed over 22nd April 2008.uk>.24th April 2008.com>. viewed over 20th April 2008.24th April 2008. Wikipedia.co. <http://www. Harrods plc.comet. 2008. .harrods. Homepage and related. Wikipedia. <http://www.com/wiki/harrods>. <http://www. WILSON WEB. Harrods. viewed over 20th April 2008.24th April 2008. viewed over 20th April 2008.wilsonweb.15 BIBLIOGRAPHY Comet plc.