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Background

Discuss about the Development of Customer value in the retail Business.

Customers are a matter of omnipotence in every business organisation. No matter how big or small an organisation is, but it can only advance if it values its customers. Simultaneously it also has to be remembered that gaining trust of customers, creating a brand image and earning publicity all directly correlates to the marketing stature of the company. Every single customer has his or her own preferences, suggestions, views which need to be taken into consideration while making a marketing plan (Payne & Frow 2014; Nguyen & Mutum 2012). Thus, it can be said that marketing influence development of an organisation to a great extent. This marketing can be strategically improved to earn a good base of customers and for maintain their trust towards the organisation.

There are various renowned global retail organizations that have made successful business all-round the world and one of them is Amazon that has a large number of customers all round the world and the customers go blindfolded to purchase from Amazon when it comes for online shopping. They are available to a wide variety of customers and their online stores are accessible in almost every single country in the world (Lindgreen et al 2012; Chen 2012). One of the main attractions of their store is that they sell original products and make it easier for customers to buy with their own currency in online platform. They keep on developing their marketing stature by valuing their customers and taking their feedbacks from time to time (Dagger & David 2012). Most of the customers are happy with the online shopping experience from amazon but they also hold some negative aspects in marketing which also withdraws some customers’ attention and this creates a bad image and drowns the reputation of this retail store.

There is lack of marketing importance on some areas of this retail business which needs to be improved strategically to regain the trust of unhappy customers like, Amazon sometimes sells a product priced too high than it should be. This often deters attention of the customers as the same original product is available from other retail store with a correct price tag which makes it easier for the customers to afford (Mustak et al 2013; Hibbert et al 2012). There are many things like this on Amazon which includes cosmetic products, grooming products and other accessories which often are tagged with excessively high price which denotes it has to be imported from another country but in reality it is not so, it is a major drawback for Amazon.

Research Problem


In essence, the objective of this research is to establish the significance of strategic marketing in ensuring enhanced customer value and consequent satisfaction of the retail customers.

Strategic marketing as defined by Vivek et al (2012) and Yi et al (2013), is an intellectual way to develop marketing platform of a business winning competitive advantage over other relevant organisation in order to create an uninterrupted brand image. It is a wonderful technique which is intended to consistently better value to the customers than its competitors. Strategic marketing establishes a clear direction along with a unified aim for all marketing efforts. Theodosiou et al (2012) pointed out that to have a strategic marketing program, a company needs to focus on five important aspects and these are

  • Mission- it means the company must know what it is planning for and what does it want or what it is opting for. The moment it gets cleared, it can advance further.
  • Situation analysis- after knowing and determining the mission, the marketing director has to manage all the internal and external aspects of marketing areas so that it doesn’t create any hindrance during the process. The management as per Yi et al (2013) can be achieved by SWOT analysis which is an acronym for strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weakness are internal aspects of a company and opportunities and threats are external parts of an organisation.
  • Objectives- after determining the positive and negative aspects of the marketing, the marketing director and managers can set the marketing objectives in a realistic manner which will increase sales, revenue and profit (Vivek et al 2012; Yi et al 2013).
  • Strategy and evaluation- it includes identification of a group of customers and selecting a target market for increasing customer value. Marketing mix tools like price, promotion, product and distribution must be used and implemented while making a marketing planning. After the final plan is made, it has to evaluated and monitored over time before it gets finally implemented for a successful result (Vivek et al 2012; Yi et al 2013).

Thus a well effective marketing planning can increase production and profitability of an organisation in a successful manner

This section of the research involves tools and techniques that the researcher shall use to pursue the outcomes in an appropriate way. The research methodology includes data collection, sampling techniques, data analysis, ethical consideration and research limitation (Taylor et al 2015; Bryman & Bell 2015).

The main focus of this research is determining ways for development of customer value so, for conducting this research efficiently, random sampling procedures shall be used by the researcher. The benefit of random sampling is that it becomes easier to assemble the sample and this process is also considered as a fair way of collecting information from the respondents (Taylor et al 2015; Bryman & Bell 2015). For conducting this research, 50 participants with marketing background academically and at a practice level (hereinafter referred as “Industry Experts”) and 5 managers at Amazon Inc. shall be used as samples and their views will collected for final analysis.

Both primary and secondary data are to be used in this research. Primary data will give accurate and relevant information of the situation and secondary data will be available from websites, journals and newspapers (Taylor et al 2015; Bryman & Bell 2015). For gathering this information, both qualitative and survey based data will be used. The advantages of secondary data are that it is less time taking and cost effective that helps the researcher to complete his research within a speculated time (Taylor et al 2015; Bryman & Bell 2015). For gathering primary information, survey procedures and questionnaires are to be conducted.


Ethical consideration plays an important role in an academic reassert. It shall be ensured that privacy will be maintained with respect to the collected information and the same shall be used for the intended purposes only. The research will be undertaken without forcing any of the respondents to give the information and that the respondents will always be sought prior permissions before conducting the survey study (Sekaran & Bougie 2016; Fowler Jr 2013). It shall be ensured that the appointment from the managers is obtained at early intervals so that the managers don’t feel disturbed. The research being an academic one, it needs a great deal of coordination and cooperation both from the part of industry experts and managers (Sekaran & Bougie 2016; Fowler Jr 2013). Hence, there will be due focus over accountability, trust and mutual respect which will ensure that the research is undertaken by implementing right code and practice of ethical considerations in the research.

Objectives

In specific, in alignment to the research objective and research scope, the specific questions that shall be addressed are as follows,

  1. What is the significance of customer value in ensuring customer satisfaction within the retail business context?
  2. Does strategic marketing help in developing customer value?

Various set of information shall be collected while conducting this research and the information shall be collected with the help of questionnaire and surveys. All these information will help the research in drawing valid conclusion of the topic (Sekaran & Bougie 2016; Fowler Jr 2013). The quantitative form of questions shall be asked to the industry experts while qualitative questions shall be asked to the mangers of Amazon

Do you consider that customer value plays an important role on the purchasing decisions of customer at Amazon?

Customer value play an important role on the purchasing decision from Amazon

Customer value doesn’t play an important role on the purchasing decision from Amazon

A

B

Does customer value has a significant impact on the price of the product?

Significant impact

No significant impact

A

B

Does customer value play an important role to the product of the company?

Play an important role

Don’t play an important role

A

B

How much Amazon is reluctant on customer value?

Reluctant on customer value

Takes customer opinions seriously

A

B

How efficient Amazon is on its customer value?

Efficiency of Amazon on customer value

Inefficiency of Amazon on customer value

A

B

  1. Does strategic marketing help Amazon in its growth?
  2. Does strategic marketing draw customer more efficiently?

How strategic marketing is planned?

This stage is crucial for any academic research. Statistical tools and techniques shall be utilized by the researcher for analysing data in an appropriate manner.

The researcher shall undertake the project alone is a single person project and shall involve the consented participants to undertake the survey study as well as the interview study.

This research is an academic one so, the time is of prime concern and the same is very much inappropriate for completion of a successful research. On account of the same, it will only give a general overview of the topic and also funding is limited for any academic research.

No outside services shall be used for undertaking this research. All of the materials, research design and research implementation shall be undertaken by the researcher on a personal capacity.

As described earlier, the research is of academic nature and hence the research scope is limited by cost as well a time. In this context, the costs of the project will not be of any significance with the various resources that are required for the project shall be met through by way of accessible university resources as well as limited personal resources.

The overall scheduling of the project is presented as follows,

  • Research Scope Development: 1 week
  • Research Proposal Preparation: 1 week
  • Literature Identification: 1 week
  • Literature Review: 2 weeks
  • Research Planning for Survey/ Interview: 1 week
  • Survey Study / Interview Study: 1 week
  • Data Analysis: 1 week
  • Report Drafting: 1 week
  • Report Finalization & Submission: 3 days

References

Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Chen, S.C., 2012. The customer satisfaction–loyalty relation in an interactive e-service setting: The mediators. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 19, no. 2, pp.202-210.

Dagger, T.S. and David, M.E., 2012. Uncovering the real effect of switching costs on the satisfaction-loyalty association: The critical role of involvement and relationship benefits. European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46, no.3/4, pp.447-468.

Fowler Jr, F.J., 2013. Survey research methods. Sage publications.

Hibbert, S., Winklhofer, H. and Temerak, M.S., 2012. Customers as resource integrators: toward a model of customer learning. Journal of Service Research, vol. 15, no. 3, pp.247-261.

Lindgreen, A., Hingley, M.K., Grant, D.B. and Morgan, R.E., 2012. Value in business and industrial marketing: Past, present, and future. Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 41, no. 1, pp.207-214.

Mustak, M., Jaakkola, E. and Halinen, A., 2013. Customer participation and value creation: a systematic review and research implications. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23, no. 4, pp.341-359.

Nguyen, B. and Mutum, D.S., 2012. A review of customer relationship management: successes, advances, pitfalls and futures. Business Process Management Journal, vol. 18, no. 3, pp.400-419

Payne, A. and Frow, P., 2014. Developing superior value propositions: a strategic marketing imperative. Journal of Service Management, vol. 25, no. 2, pp.213-227.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R. and DeVault, M., 2015. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Theodosiou, M., Kehagias, J. and Katsikea, E., 2012. Strategic orientations, marketing capabilities and firm performance: An empirical investigation in the context of frontline managers in service organizations. Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 41, no. 7, pp.1058-1070.

Vivek, S.D., Beatty, S.E. and Morgan, R.M., 2012. Customer engagement: Exploring customer relationships beyond purchase. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 20, no. 2,  pp.122-146.

Yi, Y. and Gong, T., 2013. Customer value co-creation behavior: Scale development and validation. Journal of Business Research, vol. 66, no. 9, pp.1279-1284

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