Marketing Theory Pt. 3
Question 2: Considering Sears’ plans for Internet technology, have they achieved their desired results so far?
Considering the data in this case, Sears’ implementation of Internet technology was text-book. The plan was carried out but if “desired results” is defined by the mission statement, “to make it easy for our customers…,” then I don’t believe the plan was a success. Returning to my metrics for a successful e-business strategy, I will now analyze Sears’ Internet performance.
The following chart illustrates the growth of the Internet, respective net incomes, and Internet Reach (as a percentage of total traffic) of Wal-Mart, Sears, and Target.
Figure 1. Three-way Comparison of I-net Income, Internet Traffic, and Internet Growth
Figure 1, which is an enlargement of the green area and shows the percentage of Internet traffic that each company draws, highlights Sears’ struggle with Internet technology. Observing Wal-Mart, and to a lesser extent Target, without performing any calculations we see two companies either surpassing the Internets growth (Wal-Mart) or at least keeping up with it (Target). The near opposite can be said for Sears. As Internet technology grows, as does its population, Sears is losing both retail market market share and the their share of Internet traffic. The only possible rational for defining this graph a success for Sears is to consider the scenario that if they had not implemented the Internet technology upgrade then their performance would have been even worse. Sears has many problems: from being heavily mall based, the purchase of K-Mart, competition from Wal-Mart and Target (at one time Sears was was bigger than both retailers combined), and global competition in the form of e-commerce. Other than the benefits of web technology that are listed in question one, I have found no evidence of success through the implementation of Internet technology.