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Using STP and 4Ps of Marketing to Explore E-bay Operations

E-bay is a renowned global e-commerce platform that is operating across the globe in which the platform is not only offering customers products and services but it is also offering individual business units an opportunity to post their goods and services in the platform and get to sell in the global market as well as consumer to consumer retailing platform. E-bay uses its marketing mix and wide capital base as a source of its competitive advantage an act that has enabled the company to earn its reputation in the market as a renowned company that is dealing with customers on a wider market offering an opportunity for each stakeholder in the market to capitalize and satisfy their utility in the market (Sadq et al. 2018). E-bay reaches out to its target online market through its marketing mix through use of price and quality products which has made it possible for the company to grow and dominate its operations in the market compared to other competitors that are offering similar services in the market. have engaged with E-bay in one of my ordering experience whereby have been able to get to understand various ordering challenges that has come with the issue of delivery challenges.

The STP and the 4Ps of marketing will be used to provide an insight on the service operations that are conducted by E-bay. These two concepts provides an insight into how the company operates, challenges associated with ordering and delivery at the company and how best the company is able to achieve and enhance its competitive advantage in the market. To better understand how E-bay is operating, we are going to draw insight from the 4P’s of marketing as well as the STP model of marketing. The 4ps of marketing provides an opportunity through which a business can market its services in the market while capitalizing on the benefits that are needed hence improving on service delivery by the organization. E-bay dominance in the online retail market is associated with the ability of the company to offer a blend of services and products which are able to satisfy the company demand requirements hence enabling the company to increase its dominance in the market. In terms of the products that are offered by the company, E-bay is offering variety of products which include published products, prime pantry, retail services, retail goods, consumer electronics and also they have a digital content distribution service center which is providing the company with an opportunity to capitalize and grow their market size by attracting large customer segment in the market (Bag et al. 2019).

In regards to the place concept of E-bay services, the company has focused much on offering its products and services through a diversified platform which include the official e commerce website where all services are integrated, the e-bay books retail units and other distribution centers which act as retail centers as well. All these units provide an opportunity for E-bay to capitalize on service delivery by reaching out to a large customer segment in the market hence providing an opportunity through which E-bay can be able to capitalize and increase their reach in the market. The company official website is regarded as the company’s most valuable asset as it reaches out to a large market segment hence offering an opportunity for capitalization of the company services and increasing the market reach. Their strong online presence has provided an opportunity through which the company has been able to grow and capitalize on its operations in the market.

Products Offered by E-bay

On the other hand, promotion concept can be used to analyze how the company is operating. In order for the company to increase its dominance in the market, they have managed to adopt various approaches such as digital marketing programs whereby they have increased and intensified their online marketing efforts in an attempt to increase their operations and dominance in the digital platforms where they are targeting customers more. On the other hand, they are also using conventionally marketing means such as direct marketing, public relations and use of sales promotion strategies that are providing an opportunity through which the company can capitalize on the market dominance (Singh et al. 2020).

Price is another concept of marketing mix that can be analyzed to determine how the company is operating. In regards to the price charged for the products sold, E-bay uses three key pricing strategies namely market-oriented pricing strategy, price discrimination strategy and value based pricing strategy. Market orientation is a primary pricing strategy reached after analyzing what competitors are offering in the market. This strategy is effective as it makes pricing and selling to be more competitive in the market. On the other hand, value-based pricing strategy is used which involves price levels based on product value, considering consumers’ perception of value. 

Segmentation

The company adopts geographical segmentation in which they have established global outreach of more than 100 countries across the globe.

In terms of demographic, the company is offering a blend of services to all customers irrespective of their age as they have stocked all products that are consumed by all customers.

The company also targets customers from all works of life provided they have a need for goods and services to satisfy their needs (Tarabasz 2022).

Targeting

E-bay target customers uniformly without conducting any preferential treatment or consideration of the type of customer that they should give much attention at the expense of the other customers in the market.

All advertisement and sells made by E-bay are conducted in a feasible manner that enable the company to reach out to all potential targets in the market without focusing on a narrow market scope as such an attempt will result into reducing the company profit margins due to claims of discriminatory marketing operations (Tarabasz 2022).

Positioning

E-bay uses multi-segment positioning by offering products and services that exploit more than one segment in the market at the same time to avoid reducing the profit margin of the company.

The company also uses adaptive positioning which involves closely monitoring changes in external marketplace and then addressing these changes by periodically repositioning of products and services according to changes in the segment (Tarabasz 2022).

To better understand the ordering and delivery challenges that E-bay is facing, the operations of the company especially the ordering and delivery, I conducted an online survey among the customers who have used E-bay as well as I interviewed staff who deliver orders to customers in order to understand how the company operates and the challenges that the company is facing in its quest to satisfy customer needs and preferences. The information that will be collected by survey makes it possible for the research to understand the challenges that are facing customers who order their supplies from E-bay and how to effectively enhance operations of the company to be able to generate positive customer experiences with the company.

In my experience of ordering and processing information at the company, I have come to discover that the company experiences huge orders and returns that require the company to work towards fulfilling the orders in time an act that has led to increased complains which involves customer complains being too much that the returns that customers return and as a result, the company has been unable to process returns on time hence making customers to develop dissatisfaction regarding the way in which the company is operating.

E-bay has excellently developed their ordering unit that involves prompt response to customer complains within a reasonable time whereby the company sells agents are often ready to handle customer queries by giving them a platform whenever they want to make an order. For instance, the live chat session on the E-bay website platform is always active with an agent ready at hand to handle customer complaints and queries. Once a customer makes an order, they are followed with prompt response of the time period when such an order will be consolidated for delivery and even after such alerts, regular alerts will be sent to notify customers of the progress of order shipment made.

E-bay's Presence in the Market

On contrary, there is a challenge associated with how E-bay manage and handle customer complain, returns and dissatisfaction claims when the customer is unable to get quality product or quality services as expected. Limitations of such provisions is that the piling of customer complaints are making it difficult for E-bay to respond on time and give directions on what should be done or what action the company has taken to address claims that have been filed by customers. Unlike ordering session where customers are regularly updated on the progress of their shipment, on the other hand the complaint section makes follow-up of the complains at a relatively slow model an act that makes customers to lose trust with the way the company is operating and handling customer complains. There is a need to streamline ordering and customer complain handling units so as to ensure services are equally provided and that there is prompt response and making follow-up as well as clearing the complains made by customers on time to be able to satisfy customer complains.

In my experience at the company, after ordering a microwave unit the service provision was satisfactory but on contrary, when the product was delivered and I discovered a defect, an attempt to return and raise a complaint was slow in that the response rate for complains and return was slow to a point that I was disappointed with the level of services that were offered by the company resulting to me starting to contemplate changing in future not to engage with the company whenever I would like to make an order online.

Good customer care encounter in the e-commerce platforms such as eBay and E-bay is that have been able to identify improved service whereby these platforms handle new customer with an urgency in which they provide an opportunity of serving these customers on time hence on time satisfaction of customer complains has made it possible for the companies to improve and enhance their performance in the market. On the other hand, however, there is a challenge on these platforms on the way in which they are handling customer complains. Despite establishing an online reach in the market, these units have not been able to effectively handle on time and solve customer dissatisfaction complains as most customers have gone up to a week and even a month to get a refund or an exchange of the product if they are not satsfied with the product offered hence this has caused a challenge in regards to how the company is handling complains made by clients.

The company needs to work on its policies of ordering and handling customer complaints by improving it supply chain design system whereby in the course of improving time and costs involved in bringing goods to market, the company should equally work on improving their operations by reducing any potential challenge that they are facing in handling customer complains. In addressing the issues and coming up with a better method of solving and handling customer complains, the company will be able to improve on its service delivery such as in the context of handling complaints from customers.

Having decided to work on a global scale, E-bay should focus on improving service delivery not only through conducting shipping to these markets, but also they should consider establishing fulfilling centers across these markets by having central locations from where complains and any matter arising can be addressed and solved by the company hence increasing the likelihood of the company reducing complaints from customers in particular delayed service delivery which affect the reputation of the company. There is a need therefore to establish independent fulfilling centers that will be used to fulfil customer complains on time so as to eliminate complains and quarrels from customers.

The same way the company has established a live chat session for placing an order, they should capitalize and also establish another live chat session that will be used to raise company from customers. These avenues will provide an opportunity though which the company can reduce complaints from customers and also offer an opportunity through which the company can be able to deal with customer complaints and generate positive feedback, enhance customer loyalty and increase the company customer base.

Conclusion

Issues facing expansion and success of E-bay are inherent and to a large extent, they are caused by inability of the company to establish a team that is ready to handle customer complains on time and ensure that they are able to deliver best performance in terms of handling customer complains. E-bay has built its name brand as a renowned company in the market offering. To be able to dominate and enhance more its competitive advantage, E-bay should work on improving customer complain unit section and consider establishing more fulfilling centers to be used to serve customer complains hence enabling on time performance of the company objectives. 

Reference List (Journals)

Bag, S., Tiwari, M.K. and Chan, F.T., 2019. Predicting the consumer's purchase intention of durable goods: An attribute-level analysis. Journal of Business Research, 94, pp.408-419.

Tarabasz, A., 2022. Be Like E-bay: Achieving a Competitive Advantage Based on Digital Footprint Analysis. In Cases on Digital Strategies and Management Issues in Modern Organizations (pp. 23-50). IGI Global.

Teylo, L., Brum, R.C., Arantes, L., Sens, P. and Drummond, L.M.D.A., 2020, August. Developing checkpointing and recovery procedures with the storage services of e-bay web services. In 49th International Conference on Parallel Processing-ICPP: Workshops (pp. 1-8).

Sadq, Z.M., Sabir, H.N. and Saeed, V.S.H., 2018. Analyzing the E-bay success strategies. Journal of process management and new technologies, 6(4).

Singh, B., Kumar, P., Sharma, N. and Sharma, K.P., 2020, January. Sales forecast for e-bay sales with time series modeling. In 2020 First International Conference on Power, Control and Computing Technologies (ICPC2T) (pp. 38-43). IEEE. 

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