本文是工商管理專業的留學生Essay范例，題目是“Retail Marketing Theories in E-Commerce（電子商務零售營銷理論）”，David Gilbert(2002)指出:“在零售業中唯一不變的就是變化，而且零售業的發展速度確實在加快?！绷闶蹣I中“純粹參與者”的增長證明了這一點?；ヂ摼W“推動了零售格局的劇變，其范圍是革命性的，本質上也是前所未有的”(Sorescu等人，2011年)。
David Gilbert (2002) stated that “the only thing that is constant in retailing is change and it is certainly true that the pace of development within retailing is accelerating.” The growth of ‘pure-players’ within retailing is testament to this. The internet has “powered upheavals in the retail landscape that are revolutionary in scope, and unprecedented in nature” (Sorescu et al., 2011).
The chosen article: “ASOS ‘upweights’ digital spend as it puts focus on acquisition” published in Marketing Week (appendix 1) provides the opportunity to explore a range of retail marketing theories through practical application. The article focuses on how the online apparel giant envisages overcoming a “slow down in customer acquisition and customer traffic” within the dynamic fast fashion sector. The aim of this essay is to explore the application of retail marketing theories, discussed in academic literature, to a solely online environment, as interestingly, Ashworth et al. (2006) noted “a meagre seven percent of published internet-marketing research papers cover retail”. The focus is to identify how well these theories, translate to e-commerce, as the emergence of the online retail channel has significantly changed the industry over the last decade (Gartner Industry Research 2012; Verhoef et al. 2015). The article details Nick Beighton’s (ASOS CEO) plans to ‘upweight’ digital marketing and double investment in influencer activity to improve customer acquisition, increase their US footprint and to meet consumer expectations through increased focus on sustainability within the business.
在《營銷周刊》(附錄1)上發表的文章《ASOS’upweights’digital spend as it puts focus on acquisition》(附錄1)提供了通過實際應用探索一系列零售營銷理論的機會。這篇文章的重點是這家在線服裝巨頭如何在充滿活力的快時尚行業中克服“客戶獲取和客戶流量放緩”的問題。這篇文章的目的是探索在學術文獻中討論的零售營銷理論的應用，以一個純粹的在線環境，正如有趣的，Ashworth等人(2006)指出“只有百分之七的已發表的網絡營銷研究論文涵蓋零售”。重點是確定這些理論如何轉化為電子商務，因為在線零售渠道的出現在過去十年中顯著改變了行業(Gartner industry Research 2012;Verhoef等，2015)。這篇文章詳細介紹了Nick Beighton (ASOS首席執行官)的計劃:“加大”數字營銷力度，加倍投資于影響者活動，以改善客戶獲取，增加他們在美國的足跡，并通過增加業務內對可持續性的關注來滿足消費者的期望。
Development in technology and the internet has “opened up new opportunities to influence shopper attitudes and behaviour” (Shankar and Balasubramanian, 2009). ASOS aim to increase the “velocity of conversations with consumers” by focusing on digital marketing and influencer activity. The emergence of online retailing has in fact allowed for marketing communications and retail activity to be in one place, thus facilitating ‘conversations’ between the retailer and consumer (Varley and Rafiq, 2004). The investment in digital marketing will increase the amount of ASOS related content online, with which their target consumers can engage. However, the content being uploaded on to social media and created by influencers must be optimised for search engines to ensure it reaches new audiences. Shankar et al. (2011) explain the importance of retailers using social media to engage in dialogue with consumers. Beighton explained that Instagram is a key player in the bid to increase conversation with their customers. With ASOS’s target segment comprising 63% percent of Instagram users worldwide (Statista, 2019), this would appear to be an appropriate strategy.
Influencer marketing originates from a 1940s study which concluded that consumers are influenced by “secondhand information and opinion leaders” (Davies, 2019). In the past brands have used experts or celebrities. However, the rise of social media has created a world where everyone can be a potential influencer (Brown and Fiorella, 2013). Kadekova and Holiencinova (2018) state that “influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing tools in terms of getting new customers online”, going on to explain that the correct use of this tool facilitates cost-effective marketing to promote goods through the use of creative content that is produced for the company and can reach the relevant consumers in a natural way (Kadekova & Holiencinova, 2018). Doubling the investment in influencer activity should therefore enable ASOS to meet their target of “growing new customers”. ASOS’ plan to double their investment in this marketing strategy “year on year” which is in line with their competitors. Another leading fashion e-retailer Boohoo.com relies heavily on influencers as part of their marketing strategy and in 2017 it was reported that it had increased influencer marketing budgets by 59% (Gilliand, 2017). Influencer marketing is a valuable tool for ‘pure-players’ as is compensates for the lack of “tangible indications about the quality of a product” (Emad Y, 2013) which is inherent in online retailing. If the consumer is able to see the clothes on a ‘real person’ not only does it draw them to the website but increases the likelihood of them purchasing online.
技術和互聯網的發展“為影響購物者的態度和行為開辟了新的機會”(Shankar和Balasubramanian, 2009)。ASOS的目標是通過關注數字營銷和影響者活動，提高“與消費者對話的速度”。網絡零售的出現實際上使得營銷溝通和零售活動在一個地方，從而促進了零售商和消費者之間的“對話”(Varley和Rafiq, 2004)。在數字營銷方面的投資將增加ASOS在線相關內容的數量，他們的目標消費者可以參與其中。然而，網紅上傳到社交媒體上的內容和他們創作的內容必須經過搜索引擎的優化，以確保能夠接觸到新的受眾。Shankar等人(2011)解釋了零售商使用社交媒體與消費者進行對話的重要性。比頓解釋說，Instagram在增加與客戶的對話方面發揮了關鍵作用。ASOS的目標細分市場包括全球63%的Instagram用戶(Statista, 2019)，這似乎是一個合適的策略。
As part of ASOS’ bid to “double investment in influencer activity”, is the “summer of festivals programme” which involves top influencers attending a range of US music festivals and subsequently creating content to promote the brands offering. This is a key element of ASOS’ strategy to “increase its US footprint”, Akehurst and Alexander (1996) stated that for retailers internationalising is no longer merely an option but a necessity to avoid marginalisation. Evans et al. (2008) discussed the factors that drive retailers to internationalise, they concluded that profit growth was the most dominant factor, ASOS is no exception to this rule. Beighton in fact, admitted that it was a huge opportunity for ASOS to ‘tap into’ the $400 billion apparel market in the US. Academic literature highlights the that “the use of the online channel seems to reduce the traditional risk factors associated with international company development” (Pezderka & Sinkovics, 2011). E-retailers such as ASOS therefore, find it much easier to break into international markets. However, it is important that retailers remain aware of the risks inherent in internationalisation. Mir-Bernal, Guercini and Sadaba (2017) warn retailers that: “the fact the internet is available beyond national borders does not eliminate all the distances or liabilities associated with the internationalization process”. ASOS through self-admission explained that their success was limited due to their lack of due diligence in clustering their target audience adequately. Sparks and Findlay (2001) maintain that insufficient knowledge of foreign markets can hinder retailers success when internationalising.
網紅營銷起源于20世紀40年代的一項研究，該研究得出結論，消費者受到“二手信息和意見領袖”的影響(Davies, 2019)。在過去，品牌使用專家或名人。然而，社交媒體的興起創造了一個每個人都可以成為潛在影響者的世界(Brown和Fiorella, 2013)。Kadekova和Holiencinova(2018)表示，“網紅營銷是在網上獲得新客戶方面增長最快的工具之一”，并繼續解釋，正確使用該工具有助于通過使用為公司制作的創造性內容，以一種自然的方式接觸到相關消費者，從而實現具有成本效益的營銷活動(Kadekova & Holiencinova, 2018)。因此，增加一倍在網紅活動上的投資將使ASOS能夠滿足他們“增長新客戶”的目標。ASOS計劃在這一營銷策略上的投資“年復一年”翻倍，與競爭對手保持一致。另一家領先的時尚電子零售商Boohoo.com的營銷策略很大程度上依賴于網紅，據報道，2017年該公司將網紅營銷預算增加了59% (Gilliand, 2017)。網紅營銷對于“純玩家”來說是一種有價值的工具，因為它彌補了在線零售固有的“關于產品質量的有形指標”的缺乏。如果消費者能夠看到“真人”身上的衣服，不僅會吸引他們訪問網站，還會增加他們在網上購買的可能性。
Lockshin, Spawton and Macintosh (1997) argue that the continued fragmentation of markets is indisputable. Kalish et al. (1993) explain that a marketer’s ability to cater to diversifying market segments is a measure of success. Beighton admits that until now the brand had treated the US as “one country” disregarding the difference in cultures, interests and expectations of US consumers. Whilst they are not performing poorly, Beighton does explain that “in the US we are probably a 6 out of 10 in comparison to the UK” (Green, 2019). Thus, the article explains that ASOS is “investing in clustering tech” to segment the US audience according to “time zone, climate and region”, which will allow them to deliver relevant content to its US consumers. This relevant content will create brand awareness and preferences with consumers, that will ultimately translate into consumer spending (Tellis, 2005).
An increase in international operations necessarily results in a larger the environmental footprint for a retailer. Globalisation has increased the importance of environmental concerns which in turn has led to academics and businesses identifying ways to manage the issue of sustainability within retail. Global supply chains have led to the “exploitation of foreign workers and the environment” (Gorg, Hanley and Seric, 2018). Walker and Jones (2012) discuss sustainable supply chain management as a way of managing these issues, which involves retailers being held responsible for environmental performance of their suppliers. Thus, an appropriate form of action that ASOS can take to manage their global footprint, is to practice sustainable supply chain management. The article indicates that ASOS is already addressing some of the issues arising from a global supply chain when they speak of their “modern slavery commitment” which ensures garment workers have fair pay and good working conditions.
國際業務的增加必然導致零售商更大的環境足跡。全球化增加了環境問題的重要性，這反過來又促使學術界和商界尋找方法來管理零售領域的可持續性問題。全球供應鏈導致了“對外國工人和環境的剝削”(Gorg, Hanley和Seric, 2018)。Walker和Jones(2012)討論了可持續供應鏈管理作為管理這些問題的一種方法，其中包括零售商對其供應商的環境績效負責。因此，ASOS可以采取的一種適當的行動形式來管理他們的全球足跡，就是實踐可持續供應鏈管理。文章指出，ASOS在談到他們的“現代奴役承諾”時，已經在解決全球供應鏈中產生的一些問題，該承諾確保服裝工人有公平的薪酬和良好的工作條件。
Sustainability has become an important topic for 21st century consumers (Bernyte, 2018). ASOS is aware of this and in the article Beighton states that “[sustainability] is an area of focus for the business”. Academic literature marks the rise of the buyer-centric revolution (Mitchell, 2004). Ravi et al. (2009) explain that “consumers are empowered by the information that technology makes available”. Something that is mirrored in Beighton’s words as he details “consumers being more connected and aware of things than before”, specifically, consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact that their buying decisions have on the planet and are beginning to expect more sustainable practice from retailers. The better the retailers are able to respond to consumer expectations, the more advocacy that is created for the brand (Kozinets, Handelman, 2004). The article explains that ASOS is mindful that sustainability is an expectation of their consumers, and whilst they are conscious of the fact that it is not dominating demand, they believe that in the future it will become a “defining feature”. Thus, as outlined in the article, they are taking appropriate action within the business, such as investing in packaging, which is now “100% recyclable” and producing more environmental clothing with the launch of jeans made from “100% recycled material”.
可持續性已成為21世紀消費者的一個重要話題(Bernyte, 2018)。ASOS意識到了這一點，Beighton在文章中表示“[可持續性]是業務的一個重點領域”。學術文獻標志著以買方為中心的革命的興起(Mitchell, 2004)。Ravi等人(2009)解釋說，“消費者被技術提供的信息賦予了權力”。這反映在Beighton的話語中，他詳細描述了“消費者的聯系和意識比以前更強”，具體來說，消費者越來越意識到他們的購買決定對地球的影響，并開始期待零售商采取更可持續的做法。零售商對消費者期望的反應越好，為品牌創造的宣傳就越多(Kozinets, Handelman, 2004)。這篇文章解釋說，ASOS意識到可持續性是消費者的期望，雖然他們意識到這不是主要需求，但他們相信在未來它會成為一個“定義特性”。因此，正如文章中所概述的那樣，他們正在業務范圍內采取適當的行動，比如投資于現在“100%可回收”的包裝，并推出“100%可回收材料”的牛仔褲，生產更多的環保服裝。
The e-commerce channel in retail is growing significantly, more so the number of ‘pure-players’ within the retailing environment. Thus, it is important that online retailers are able to use appropriate retail marketing theory within practice to ensure success. ASOS has drawn upon a range of theories, such as marketing communications, internationalisation of retail and segmentation of markets to help them meet the targets outlined in the article, most of which were successful in application to the online retail channel. However, it is important that online retailers remain aware of aspects such as segmentation particularly when venturing into international markets. Although this might seem bypassable due to the dynamic nature of the online environment, it can hinder performance. It is also recommended that they adopt a sustainable supply chain management process to deal with contemporary issues surrounding the environment. ASOS and online retailers must remain aware of customer centric attitudes to retailing today and ensure that they create relevant content using the appropriate digital strategies and media in order to target the correct market segments, they must also comply with changing consumer attitudes to ensure the successful acquisition of new customers and their continued engagement with brand both locally and internationally.
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