Evolution of Marketing Mix – The Impact of eCommerce

8 September 2022 - 10:37, by , in Best practices in price monitoring, Comments off
Reading Time: 7 minutes

    In the last decade especially, technology and the internet’s impact on business has become huge, while adaptation is inevitable. Business professionals were forced to modify or even completely give up on some of the traditional methods and strategies of business management to adapt to changes and stay competitive.

    With the rise of eCommerce, traditional marketing methodologies were developing intuitively and unsystematically. Marketing professionals had difficulty revising and adjusting traditional strategies and marketing tools to the eCommerce field. In this article, we will further discuss key areas of transformation of the marketing mix.

    evolution of marketing mix and the impact of eCommerce

    What is Marketing Mix?

    The definition of marketing mix evolved over the decades, it has been updated multiple times depending on the professionals and scholars who defined it and depending on the level of technology development and market development at the time.

    Summarized, a marketing mix represents the mixture of the most significant elements that a business should focus on to convince customers to make a purchase. One of the definitions explained that marketing mix refers to marketing activities utilized by a business to satisfy customer needs and position itself clearly on the market, while another one states that the marketing mix is a set of marketing tools that a business uses to pursue marketing objectives in the target market.

    Overall, we can conclude that the marketing mix represents a set of tools a business can define and control to achieve its business goals. Foundations of a marketing mix are based on the concept of the 4 Ps, which dates back to the 1940s. Marketing professor Culliton at Harvard University first mentioned “mixers of ingredients” that were widely used among professionals for years until the elements were fully defined in the 1960s as the 4 Ps by McCarthy. The 4 Ps concept became a foundation of a marketing mix until it evolved to 7 Ps and 8 Ps.

    4 Ps of Marketing Mix

    As explained above, the first definition of the concept of “mixers of ingredients” provided a framework for marketing decision-making. The four core elements of the marketing mix are product, price, place, and promotion. Business management must wisely establish key elements as those are the base of the business’s marketing strategy. 

    Product

    What is a product/service you market? The starting point for creating a marketing strategy is understanding who needs what you have to offer and why, which means understanding the core of a product itself. What could make it different on the market? Marketers have to make decisions regarding the design of a product, packaging and labeling, branding and product assortment (product range, product mix, product lines), guarantees, warranties, and returns, and the strategy of managing a product through the life-cycle.

    eCommerce Product

    With the rise of eCommerce and the ability to sell online, products and services got divided roughly into several groups: information products (audio and video), products requiring research and time (cars, computers, and household appliances), products and services delivered via the Internet (software, hotel and rent-a-car reservations, and travel services), consulting services, products whose purchase is determined mainly by price (clothing, groceries, and toys), unique products sold at electronic auctions, etc. The eCommerce industry introduced new products and services, and today, you can basically sell anything.

    Customers benefit from eCommerce’s impact on the marketing mix in a way that they can download digital products and services and immediately use them after the payment. Also, product information and reviews can be researched and shared easily and in terms of seconds. In the eCommerce environment, companies are selecting the right product for their customer base instead of searching the target market for their product. Many offer a high level of product customization for their clients, such as customized shoes or eyewear.

    Price

    Price is the only element of the marketing mix that represents the revenue for a business, while all others are costs. The price of a product refers to the amount a customer is willing to pay. Businesses have to incorporate the real and perceived value of a product while considering costs. Marketing decisions regarding this element are price strategy, tactics, allowances, discounts, and payment terms. Price is the most competitive element among the rivals on the market, especially because, per research, the vast majority of customers make purchasing decisions based on price.

    eCommerce Price

    The key to success in the eCommerce business is the best price. Prices constantly fluctuate, therefore pricing strategy will determine the business’s positioning in the market. The best price drives the most customers, ensures profitability, and protects market position. As the e-commerce industry is extremely fast-paced, it is crucial to adapt to market changes. Price competitiveness is decisive for the success of a business. 

    4 Ps of eCommerce marketing mix

    From the customer’s perspective, eCommerce marketing enabled everyone to transparently and easily access and compare the prices of a product across competitors.  From the business perspective, monitoring prices and managing to reprice in real-time could seem impossible, especially for sellers of many different product categories. Setting up pricing is a complex process in the eCommerce world when the price of a certain product can change several times a day. Starting from choosing the right pricing strategy out of many available, then being able to adapt and reprice, it derives resources. Luckily, in the digital world, different eCommerce software and repricing tools can reliably and precisely take over some of the business processes.

    Place

    The place refers to customer convenience to get the product or service. When forming the place element, marketers are deciding on the areas of distribution, franchising, market coverage, location, assortment, inventory, and logistics. Their goal is to make their products and services available for their customers, therefore sell where the consumers are, whether that is an online store or a physical store. As the primary point of contact with the target audience, whether they enter the store or visit the website, it also performs promotional functions.

    eCommerce Place

    When considering eCommerce, the place of sale could be a website, marketplace, or social network. The crucial features of the place as an element are maximum availability and convenience for both parties. From the company’s perspective, overall business costs should be reduced, especially the business expansion costs, since there are no costs of moving operations to new countries. Besides, eCommerce offers a much wider geographical reach. 

    Considering customer convenience, they primarily save time and money. Other than that, they expect quick access to the product, price, and shipping information. Also, customers expect a transparent return policy and easy checkout. They have the freedom to shop for goods and services around the world, anytime, from their chair. Businesses must live up to these high expectations.

    Promotion

    Promotion, as the last P, means marketing communication with the audience. Joint marketing campaigns also are called promotional mix.  It includes advertising, PR, direct marketing, and sales promotion of a product or service. This element of a marketing mix aims to capture potential customers’ attention, offer a product, persuade them to further investigate, and eventually make a purchase. When making a strategy around this element, marketers primarily have to decide what is to be communicated, how to reach the target audience, and how often to communicate.

    eCommerce Promotion

    Businesses can send newsletters, track customer behaviors on social media and websites, and advertise online. Social media is a cost-effective way of targeting promotions to specific groups of customers. The promotion element characterizes the greatest variety of tools and features available for the electronic environment. The crucial change in the promotion is that the traditional promotional activities were a one-way communication approach, while today’s prevalent and favorable way of communication is interactive.

    If promotion is successful, a product or service can become viral while a brand image improves and awareness increases worldwide. Nowadays, with the rise of influencers, ordinary social media users consider their personal accounts their media of communication with society and often share marketing ads and brands they respect. 

    7 Ps of Marketing Mix

    As mentioned, the 4 Ps concept has been a core of marketing activities since the ’40s. Three additional Ps expanded the marketing mix in the ’80 after marketing professionals and theorists advocated expanding or modifying the marketing mix for services. Because of the fundamental differences between the business approaches to products and services, there was a demand for different tools and strategies developed for service marketing. Elements added to product, price, place, and promotion are people, process, and physical evidence.

    7 Ps of marketing mix

    People

    When thinking about services before it became possible to sell services online, we think about hairdressers, cashiers, bank clerks, therefore, the humans who participate in service delivery. When developing this element, marketers had to create staff training, uniforms, an employee handbook with all the duties and rights, etc. The most important is to align people’s values and the company’s values and to be sure that employees represent the brand in the right way while interacting with customers.

    eCommerce People

    Even though bots are taking over the eCommerce processes, still the ultimate goal of a business is good customer service. In the eCommerce world, customer support represents the people element. As everything is so fast-paced, customers expect answers in a matter of minutes. Businesses are engaging chatbots to offer generic questions and answers to maintain a good brand image, which is why it is so hard to reach out to a real person nowadays. 

    Process

    To create a friendly customer journey, marketers are committed to the procedures design, creation of blueprints and the key performance indicators, and preparation of manuals to perfect the element of the process. This element refers to all the processes behind the scene and the user experience itself. Businesses aim to create a smooth and efficient process for customers from the moment they recognize brand activities for the first time to the moment when they become loyal to the brand.

    eCommerce Process

    In the eCommerce world, understanding the customer journey is crucial for the purchase process to proceed smoothly. Businesses can positively impact customer experience by providing user-friendly navigation, making sure there is no lagging, and answering questions clearly via either chatbots or reliable website content in order to maintain a continuous process.

    Physical Evidence

    Physical evidence includes everything from the environment of the interaction between a seller and a customer to all tangible commodities related to the purchasing process or the company itself. This element refers to the non-human factors that could influence a customer when encountering service. Regarding physical evidence, marketers must ensure an appealing design, layout, and color scheme of the facility and pleasant ambient conditions.

    eCommerce Physical Evidence

    When creating an eCommerce environment, it is possible to divide physical evidence into two groups: traditional and virtual. There is still traditional physical evidence such as physical shops, and company buildings, as well as all the tangibles such as symbols, brochures, menus, souvenirs, etc. Virtual physical evidence refers to the electronic environment, including a website, community platforms, social media pages, and apps. 

    Impact of E-Commerce on marketing mix – Conclusion

    Business professionals state that marketing is one of the business aspects heavily affected by the digitalization emerging. As time goes by, technology is improving while costs are decreasing which affects the availability and wide use of eCommerce. eCommerce and marketing integration created the digital marketing mix that contains the same elements as the marketing mix but is adapted and created per digital technology requirements.

    An extra tip for businesses: The marketing mix and marketing strategy established requires constant revision as the market constantly evolves and improves, business offerings grow, and the customer base expands.

     

    About Price2Spy

     

    Price2Spy is an online service that provides comprehensive and suitable solutions for eCommerce professionals including; retailers, brands/manufacturers and distributors in order to stay profitable in the current competitive market conditions. If you want to learn more about what Price2Spy can do for your business, please get a personalized free demo or start your 30-day free trial.

    About author:

    Comments are closed here.

    About Price2Spy Blog

    This blog is a place for eCommerce professionals to discuss ideas, methodologies and strategies to compete more effectively in the ever more tightening world of online retail. We explore things like competitive price monitoring, competitor business intelligence, competitive pricing, and counter-intelligence in general.

    Archives

    Categories