Complementary E-Value Elements for “Place”
- Connectivity: Create visits between your website and the physical store. Provide Internet access in your stores to discuss other price/quality options in the markets in order to be able to control the negative effects of free-riding (e.g., Sear’s real-time online in-store price comparison strategy in the USA). Support consumers at post-purchase stages with your expertise (e.g., BestBuy’s Geek-Squad post-purchase tech-support services in
- - Content: Provide clear information about the value of retail services, expertise, and product availability on your website so that consumers gain a better appreciation of your prices.
- - Community: Be involved with consumer discussions and provide information about the services and products you provide to consumers.
- - Commitment: Teach consumers about possible future risks if they buy products from free-riders. Provide product delivery information with tracking systems on your website so consumers feel that they are in control of the progress of their order through the distribution channel. This may reduce possible dissatisfaction caused by late deliveries.
Promotion: Capturing consumer attention with traditional promotion and communication tools is in sharp decline in today’s digital markets. Traditional media advertisements have started to lose out to new digital communication tools such as social networking, blogging, and viral videos.14 If companies really want to reach consumer minds and hearts, they need to use these tools effectively and be part of the mushrooming consumer social networks. Now, consumers are creating their own messages in their blogs, social networks, or company-supported UGC (usergenerated content) spaces. It is clear that consumers are gaining greater control over media selection for purchase decisions and message dissemination on the Internet.15 This, in turn, means that companies are no longer such active market message generators as they used to be. Today, e-WOM (electronic word of mouth) has better reach and exposure than many other traditional promotion tools.16 Companies need to use the right communication tools and develop the right consumer messages in order to be able to maximize their reach and exposure in today’s markets.