Marketing Theory Pt. 2
Question 1: What benefits can be realized through the use of web technology in retail businesses like Sears?
Sears can benefit in three ways through the use of web technology:
- internally through
- B2E functions
- externally through
- B2B supply chain management
- B2C customer interaction / customer relationship management
All benefits come through enterprise resource planning (ERP) which utilizes both web-based and its underlying web technology.
Most of the following benefits were highlighted in the case:
- Human Resources:
- E-learning offers more efficient and standardized employee training.
- E-recruiting opens the labor pool and provides potential employees with more knowledge of opportunities with Sears.
- Overall web technology breaks down the barrier between the employee and upper management. Specifically through intranets and web chats.
- Marketing, Sales, & CRM:
- In-store handhelds improve service through price checks.
- Customer intimacy through e-tailing data.
- Business Intelligence (BI) customer behavior data gathering. Similar to the Amazon.com experience.
- Eased the shopping experience with side-by-side comparison.
- Instant access to products and services.
- Convenience of placing an order (24/7)
- Speed and control of online ordering.
- Customers come to the store more informed spending the sales process (this is a similar function to the Yellow Pages).
- New forms of advertising with a global reach.
- Mass customization – hundreds of thousands of styles and sizes (breadth and depth).
- Supply Chain Management:
- In-store handhelds track stock supply and automated P.O.s
- In-store handhelds
Summary: Web technology was crucial for the implementation of Sears’ goal of changing its relationship within the organization and the individuals through which it does business. This goal involved the improvement of: collaboration, communication, customer service, and cost efficiency. Its mission statement, “to make it easy for our customers to do business with us regardless of how they do it,” was the mandate for such changes through which the mentioned benefits derived.