از فروشگاه تا وب سایت : استراتژی بازاریابی چند کاناله B2B
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 44–49
The literature on catalog buying is heavily skewed to the business to consumer (B2C) area and increasingly is orientated to the multi-channel world of shopping choice, including online, catalog and store options. Previous studies have primarily been single equation explanations of catalog decisions, whereas the current study takes a hierarchical or systems approach to decision making in B2B marketing. A two-equation structural equation model (SEM) has been designed and a large sample (n = 1809) of business customers used to test the model. Price and catalog layout were seen to play a particularly important role in explaining buyer behavior. Additional multiple regression analysis was carried out to understand why purchasing agents who currently use one channel (catalog), would make use of a second, new channel (Web) in the future. The study identifies five key motivating factors for consumers in adopting a new (Web) channel for purchasing purposes. The study also identifies the switching costs that act as a barrier to adopting a Web channel.
Although it is tempting to focus on Web-enabled buying because of the interest in this new channel, it seems important to clarify firstly our knowledge of an older format of direct purchasing, namely catalog buying. Especially in North America, but also in Australia, catalog greatly exceeds (in dollar volume of sales) online as a buying medium. The initial focus of the current paper is on business-to-business buying of office product supplies through catalogs. The study is a means of ascertaining which factors are critical in determining satisfaction and loyalty in this channel market. A quantitative research design has been chosen. A structural equation model (SEM) method has been used, which is appropriate for a large sample. A sample of n = 1809 was used, relatively large in the marketing context. Then, multiple regression analysis was used to model the take up of the Web channel for future purchasing. We now introduce the literature review, and then discuss the research design, sample frame, research results and the implications for suppliers.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The lessons derived from this study are based on studying one catalog (mail order) supplier and so this limitation must be kept in mind. However the results have face validity in that they are broadly compatible with much of the collective literature and makes sense at first impression. Notwithstanding, the details of the results do provide a fresh perspective on the multi-channel choice. In particular, not all of the eight determinants of the use of a second (Web) channel have been previously considered and certainly the ranking of the determinants has not been presented so comprehensively before. Further, the advantage of the chosen case study is that we have been able to obtain a sizable sub-sample of customers who have actually used the Web to make (online) purchases. Thus we are able to meaningfully explore the determinants of online purchasing. Catalog users have been regarded as a prime basis for online purchasing, with the two channels seen as highly substitutable. While there clearly is a high level of substitution between the two channels, they are not perfect substitutes. We found that about 60% of our sample of catalog customers had no intention of using the Web to make a future purchase from their existing mail order supplier. For this segment, switching costs based on familiarity of use, speed in that channel, security and a desire for some inter-personal contact, were good reasons to stay focused on the catalog channel. In light of our findings, we see that a multi-channel strategy is an optimal strategy. Switching costs in particular mean that a B2B catalog retailer would lose a lot of customers if they went exclusively to a Web channel. Equally, incorporation of a Web channel is a positive strategy because a segment of users find it to be a superior channel. This segment thrives on instantaneous or at least fast access, efficient search engines and ordering capability. Their own past Web purchasing experience and trust of the chosen supplier were dominant influences in future purchasing from the retailer's Web site. Having established that both channels are needed for the considered supplier, we can turn to the optimal management of the mix of the multiple channels. The mix issue is more complex, but lessons can be extracted from the research results. In particular, what are the lessons for assisting the supplier to switch customers from one channel (catalog) to another channel (Web) or at least to increase the proportion of purchases for each customer coming from the Web? The supplier may wish to do this to reduce costs (production and distribution costs of the catalog) or to lock in the customer by a closer interface of the buyer's (IT) system with the supplier's system (Web site). Some aspects, like the customer's previous Web experience, are out of the control of the supplier. However the supplier could ask for this information in one of their monthly catalogs and use that information as a targeted direct marketing campaign to invite the customer to use the Web for a future purchase. Some form of incentive (such as an initial 10% discount) might be used in this selective way. Trust is also very important to encourage switching to the Web channel. In part, trust can be built through the provision of the catalog channel and has been shown here to ultimately depend on good business practices, including service. Internet trust is likely to require interactivity to build a close relationship between the e-supplier and the customer (Merrilees & Fry, 2003). Well-designed e-commerce sites will be needed to implement this sort of strategy. A company considering re-designing either their channel mix marketing strategy or the management of their channel mix would of course need to involve the relevant “channel captain”, particularly high-level, but also intermediate and low-level sales managers (Mehta, Dubinsky and Anderson, 2002). The results of our research reflect the “ground-level” perceptions of purchasing staff that are likely to be at the low end of the sales manager hierarchy. Higher-level sales managers who were responsible for changing the channel management strategy would be advised to take into account the feelings of the purchasing staff, but in some cases may need (where warranted) to eventually override them. As we have shown, purchasing agents may be resisting the new Web channel because they are familiar and comfortable with existing channels, even if there are benefits of switching. Channel captains need to take a more corporate view, implemented with appropriate training, resources and performance evaluation. Additional research is required to understand whether this framework applies in other markets and in other countries. Frequently purchased low unit-value, commodity type, business products seem an ideal context for a B2B multi-channel marketing strategy. Replication research nonetheless is needed. Research could ascertain how much adaptation of the model is needed if the context were high unit-value products, such as computers, vehicles or plant and equipment. Further, the study has primarily, though not exclusively, focused on multi-channel strategies purely from a purchasing decision perspective. Future research could extend the scope of multi-channel parameters in our model to include both information search and purchasing.