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Advanced communications and Internet technologies have spawned a new model of the world’s economy - borderless economy. The term refers to the development and practice of trade and commerce across national borders. In the Internet era, companies need to remember that the World Wide Web is inherently global, which means that a company’s website can be accessed by the worldwide audience, thus providing an untapped market in the area.
In addition, rapid development of the Internet in the early 1990s prompted companies to quickly adopt this technology. During the next stage of implementation, educational institutions and government offices also adopt such a technology to provide better services to students and citizens at large. There is no doubt that the Internet helps companies generate greater revenue and serve their customers better. This is due to the fact that customers are able to choose from several kinds of products while browsing the Internet.
The homepage of a website should be attractive as it gives the first impression to customers. An e-commerce website attempts to give customers a good first impression from the first page. Therefore, a homepage should be created in such a way as to make customers feel that they have visited the right place to do their online shopping.
The homepage of Fenwick
So, what should Fenwick website look like? Let us look at an e-commerce website that attracts customers to browse further and make some purchases. Amazon.com is one example of a website that displays sold items, especially those on sale. On the left-hand side, there are departments or product categories that customers can browse through when they are ready to make a purchase.
The shopping department of an e-commerce website is the main attraction of the website. Fenwick’s online store information does not reflect the fact that Fenwick is ready to sell some goods. It is much more like a public service website that concerns itself with providing information to the public. According to what is mentioned in customers’ comments, Fenwick is associated with luxury and personal shopping. This perception makes sense as the retailer does not expand heavily throughout the UK in order to maintain its exclusivity. The number of Fenwick stores in the UK has stood at 11 ever since its establishment in Newcastle in 1882.
Unlike Fenwick, other famous retailer, Tesco, has an attractively designed e-commerce website, featuring goods on sales or promotional goods and providing easy links to specific departments.
In addition, other high street stores in the UK that compete with Fenwick, such as Freemans, Marks and Spencer, and Debenhams, also have a functional homepage that indicates their intention to sell things. Tesco is obviously a good example of an e-commerce website that provides information on sales promotions, discounts and products available at the departments. Customers that visit are likely to make a purchase because of the abundance of useful information.
Just like the above e-commerce websites, Debenhams website also displays similar features. Special displays of Debenhams website include information on ‘Free’ items, such as FREE standard delivery and returns, FREE collect from store, and LOW international delivery rates.
Websites That Make Millions of Dollars
This section of the paper will analyze and evaluate Fenwick’s website, which aims to become a complete virtual store, providing analysis and research sources for business executives and professionals.
The challenge of providing Internet portals lies in addressing all customers’ needs. A company which has its own website and deals with global audiences faces some challenges it should tackle. The challenges include getting a cyber audience to visit their site, letting people know that the company has its own websites and enticing potential customers to spend their dollars online, to name just a few.
Websites that make millions of dollars are geared toward customer behavior. Like other activities, creating websites that attract customers takes more than just an eye-catching look Websites that we often visit attract us due to their simplicity, ease of access and focus on individual customer preferences. Amazon and Tesco are but a few examples of sites that are easy to access and remember. Therefore, easiness is key to creating a successful website.
CRM, also known as relationship marketing and customer management, is used to learn more about customers’ needs and behaviors in order to create stronger relationship with them (Young 2003). It concerns itself with the creation, development and enhancement of individualized customer relationship. This enables to carefully target customers and customer groups and results in maximized customer lifetime value.
Moreover, CRM matches customer needs with product plans and offerings, reminds of customer requirements, and knows what products a customer has purchased. CRM helps enterprises in deploying technologies and human resources aiming at gained insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers (Young 2003).
The last section of the website is its store directory. It is also poorly organized as it displays information without hyperlinks to the website that explains products further, or to a page that sells the chosen products.
Current and Potential Target Audience
In fashion retailing market, Fenwick has their own customers and fan bases, both online and offline. The company’s target market can be summed up as follows:
- Brand of Products: Luxury and personal shopping
- Customers’ Preferences: Those who look for trusted brands come with a great deal of responsibility. In addition, most of the target customers represent upper-middle class. Unlike John Lewis, Debenhams, House of Fraser that target lower-middle class, Fenwick targets customers with a higher income..
- Ages: 15 to 90 years old
Fenwick’s Positioning in the Market Place
Customers visiting any of Fenwick’s are provided with a special experience. The limited number of stores in the UK has increased the positioning of exclusiveness. Fenwick does not design and make fashionable clothes, fabrics, and furniture. In fact, they manage the brands that are suitable to their target market and profile of their stores (Smiles, 2009).
Fenwick's strong image as an upper-middle class department store has influenced them to carry out the differentiation strategy. Unlike their competitors (Debenhams, John Lewis, or Marks and Spencer), Fenwick has a limited number of stores to provide customers with a feeling of exclusivity. In spite of the poorly designed website, Fenwick is clearly capturing consumers who look for special goods in any product category. Fenwick does not promote their website heavily as they do not position www.fenwick.co.uk as an e-commerce website yet. Meanwhile, in offline marketplace, the location of Fenwick in some key markets in the UK, especially in Newcastle, has enabled them to position Fenwick as an exclusive store that sells fashionable goods, house ware and other items.