Proposal for Online Business Expansion
E-Business (QRT2) Task 1
Proposal for Online Business Expansion
A1. Online Product Viability
The Book Rack is one of the largest groups of independently owned book stores in the United States. Each of the stores is connected by a common thread while maintaining sparks of individuality in each of their different locations. The Book Rack located in Oak Harbor, Washington, also known as The Book & Comic Rack, is one of these individually owned stores and its best selling products are their collection of new and used soft-cover books and comic books. At present the Book Rack namesake does not have an online strategy with the exception of a single, basic website that loosely connects their collection of more than 100 stores. The website refers customers to a search engine that allows them to find a particular store closest to them and applicable contact information for each of the respective stores. All of the current sales for The Book & Comic Rack are local and they maintain a reputation of excellence within the community of Oak Harbor.
Despite the general decline in sales and interest in traditional books due to the ease and access of digital books and the internet, The Book & Comic Rack maintains a loyal customer base of frequent locals in the area. The Book & Comic Rack distinguishes itself from other book stores in the city of Oak Harbor in its distribution of, and large collection of, comic books. Due to the limited geographical scope of sales in the Whidbey Island area, expansion is limited and would best be ameliorated with an online business strategy.
The virtual nature of the internet could allow The Book & Comic Rack to integrate e-commerce capabilities into their current business model and distribution network. Since most of today's customers have come to expect and rely upon the internet, not only to purchase products online but also make purchasing decisions based on information found on the internet, it would be in the best interest of The Book & Comic Rack to explore their options to join the market in internet sales and promotion. Incorporating an e-commerce strategy will increase market shares, customer satisfaction, profitability, and sustainability.
E-commerce and an online environment would provide multiple advantages and compliment The Book & Comic Racks current business model. E-commerce allows for increasing profitability and sustainability in the following ways::
Developing an online marketing strategy, The Book & Comic Rack would be able to reach a wider geographic range of customers while also increasing the movement of otherwise stagnant product.
An online environment allows customers to shop 24/7 and continue sales even when their traditional store hours are limited or if they are closed for business.
Due to their current bulk of product, increasing financial sustainability will only be augmented by establishing themselves with an online store that is relatively low-cost and easy to manage without diverting too much focus from their current base of customers in their brick and mortar store.
By expanding into the internet The Book & Comic Rack can increase profit shares using specific marketing strategies that target current and prospective customers. It is often easy and effective to sell more to existing customers by promotional incentives and ad campaigns. Understanding why some customers used to purchase from their store and addressing issues that will help former customers to return can be effectively done with social media interaction. Expanding customer base and sales through effective marketing will even expand into international markets and will be discussed in further detail in section two [QRT2 Task 2].
With customer interaction via blogs and social networking, The Book & Comic Rack can greatly increase customer satisfaction. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff would be able to augment their reputation as new