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Dollar Tree offers a collection of products, which entail the following: floral and décor, party supplies, teaching and educational material, office supplies, art and crafts, food, cleaning items, storage items, kitchenware, tableware, healthcare products, and personal care items (Dollar Tree Inc, 2012). The company offers flora and décor items such as glass cylinder vases, glass hurricane vases, candle holders, round plastic planters, and impressionist floral planters. Party supplies mainly entail decoration gear that is normally used during celebration events. Cleaning items include detergents, cleaning brushes, and special solutions used to handle specific dirt. Teaching and educational material includes special teaching aids for students and instructors. There is also an assortment of office supplies, which mainly consists of furniture items and other general upholstery used in the work setting. Art and craft items include selected items from different galleries for art enthusiasts. Food items and clothes also form a major component of the products offered by Dollar Tree Inc.
Family Dollar offers a selection of products which entail the following categories: health and beauty items, household items, pet products, home décor, clothing and fashion gear, and mobile phones, among other electronics (Family Dollar Stores Inc, 2012). Health and beauty items consist of lotions, oils, perfumes, and other products targeting both male and female consumers. Pet products consist of a variety of food items meant for pet owners. In addition, Family Dollar also offers its customers mobile phones with data plans, which interested buyers have to activate.
In essence, the products offered by Dollar Tree Inc. and Family Dollar Inc. are similar in many aspects. First, both business entities offer health and beauty products, home décor, and fashion gear, even though the Dollar Tree is less focused on beauty products. Secondly, Dollar Tree offers a wider product portfolio compared to Family Dollar, because it offers more categories; for example, there are art and craft products, office supplies, and educational items. Lastly, the other conspicuous difference between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar is that the latter offers electronic products, specifically mobile phones.
Dollar Tree Inc. has a unique low pricing strategy that is specifically targeted at low and middle class earners. The low prices are mainly implemented on products that are mostly used by customers, for example, personal care, food items, and beverages. The pricing strategy used by Dollar Tree primarily encourages bulk buying such that the more quantities bought the lower the price. Customers also seem to attach more value to the special pricing formula used for items bought for occasions, for example, weddings and party supplies (Dollar Tree Inc, 2012). The fact that a similar pricing strategy has been used across all product portfolios offered by Dollar Tree implies that to some extent, customers are willing to pay the allocated prices. Customers also seem to be sensitive to prices because there are periodic offers given by the Dollar Tree.
Family Dollar also has a low pricing strategy, which is intended to attract customers earning lesser salaries. The concept of low pricing seems to focus more on customers that are family based. For example, there is a special pricing for baby items. Family Dollar customers appear to be willing to pay for the price ranges offered; however, there seems to be relative sensitivity in regard to mobile phone pricing.
Looking at the pricing strategies used by Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, there is a similarity in terms of the low pricing strategy. Both companies also seem to focus on low and middle level earners. Additionally, customers of both entities appear to exhibit sensitivity towards the prices of major items such as clothing and food. However, there are some differences in terms of the price ranges in some categories such as household item and personal care products.
Dollar Tree pursues online advertising on its websites, but it also relies on other offline options, for example, magazines. The company has an elaborate sales promotion program that targets specific seasons; for instance, during the just ended Easter celebrations Dollar Tree has certain products put on offer. Hence, marketing messages reach the target customers through the internet. Dollar Tree also uses affiliate programs to extend its promotion initiatives. The affiliate program is organized with an aim of creating a long term relationship with the customers. For example, the affiliate program offers the following privileges: 5% commission given on sale items; 6% commission for purchases going above $2,501 up to a maximum of $5,000; 7% commission given on all sales that are above $5,001 on a monthly basis; and customer banners (Dollar Tree Inc, 2012). This program has enabled Dollar Tree to gain significant coverage by getting more loyal customers and expanding its network. In terms of spending on advertisement, Dollar Tree tends to minimize its expenditure, given the fact that its website was launched only recently. Additionally, the company uses social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter (Dollar Tree Inc, 2012).
On the other hand, Family Dollar has a special mission statement: “my family, my dollar”, which intended to establish a closer relationship with its customers (Family Dollar, 2012). The company also uses social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which allows users to become fans. Family Dollar has special offers, especially on electronic items. Additionally, Family Dollar has a special mobile alert system, which enables users to get instant information about available promotions and offers (Family Dollar Inc, 2012). In as much as Family Dollar appears to have embraced the concept of e-marketing, the management admits that the program does not entirely suit its promotion strategy because of the low price provision (Family Dollar Tree Inc, 2012). This also further supports the fact that Family Dollar strives as much as possible to explore cheaper alternatives of branding its products and maintaining its market niche.
Hence, looking at the promotion strategies pursued by Dollar Tree and Family Dollar Inc, there are similarities in the application of social networking sites. Both companies also provide their customers with special sales offers to increase customer loyalty. However, there are differences in the utilization of mobile phone technology as a channel to communicate important marketing messages to its customers. In this regard, Family Dollar appears to be having a better promotion strategy and spends more on advertising compared to Dollar Tree. Nevertheless, in terms of effectiveness, the promotion strategy pursued by Dollar Tree has better outcomes, especially with reference to coverage.
Dollar Tree explores online and offline settings to enable its customers to access products easily. In the offline setting, the stores of the company are mostly located in small towns and less populated neighborhoods. Thus, the company targets those customers whom it deems inefficiently covered by other major players in the industry. The offline stores are located in conspicuous areas where customers can easily access them. In addition, Dollar Tree uses its online website to expand their local home delivery system. Customers who visit the website are able to access the products that they have bought at discounted prices from the shops located near them. Additionally, Dollar Tree has an extensive network in many locations. Ever since Dollar Tree launched its website, the company seems to be using the online portal to expand its geographical coverage.
On the other hand, Family Dollar also uses online and offline settings to enhance accessibility of their products. Their shops are located in less populated areas and nontraditional shopping areas, which is a strategy used to decrease the potential of competition. Locating the stores near to neighborhoods also has a positive impact on the total daily and monthly sales. Family Dollar uses its website to enable customers who have less time to access the products that they need at reduced prices. Customers are encouraged to pick their products from nearby stores, probably as a way of reducing the costs of transporting items to the homes. In fact, customers are able to access more quantities of products when they buy goods from their online stores. Additionally, Family Dollar has fewer shop locations compared to Dollar Tree.
Finally, there are major similarities in the way Dollar Tree and Family Dollar avail their products to their esteemed customers. Both companies exploit the online and offline setting to reach out to all types of customers. Dollar Tree and Family Dollar also have similar strategies when it comes to the location of stores near to its users. Since other major stores appear to have taken all the favorite spots, the shift decision to locate smaller stores in unpopulated neighborhoods has the effect of decreasing the amount of time that customers spend going to town. However, Dollar Tree appears to have an extensive network compared to Family Dollar in terms of the number of stores and their locations.