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Wgu Qrt Task 1 Outline

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eBusiness - Task 1 Overview

Business: Luke’s Liquidation Warehouse is a new startup discount home products business that buys large qualities of liquidated items at wholesale to resale from a warehouse facility as individual items. Other local businesses in the same sector operate irregular hours and have poor inventory controls. Others are not yet competing effectively online.

Task 1: Develop an online business expansion proposal.

1. Viability of product or service
a. Business is a new startup and does not currently have a website
b. Business does not have a visible store front, only warehouse space. Without an online presence, it will be invisible
c. There will be startup as well as ongoing expenses. Attracting attention to an unknown new business can be difficult. Products change frequently, so constant site changes will be necessary.

2. Current Online Competitor Assessment
a. No one is currently selling online in this market, only offering an online option for previewing products. Online sales that involve shipping would likely negate the cost savings of the product.
i. Current trends involve having only a Facebook page instead of a website, having a basic website updated weekly with new products, or having a basic website without any products listed at all. ii. Other businesses appear to view their online presence as a sideline not worth putting money or effort into
b. Competitor’s websites include:
A. Liquidation Outlet Columbia
1. Social media efforts consist only of occasionally updated Facebook page
2. No ability to pay for products online
3. Store does reply to some, but not all customer questions and comments posted on their Facebook page. Much can be improved upon in this area
4. International shipping is not available; cost of shipping likely exceeds savings
B. Liquidators AZ 1. Social media efforts include only a blog that has not been updated since 2012 2. No ability to pay for products online
3. No reply to posts made to their blog. They do post regularly on their Facebook page
4. International shipping is not available; cost of shipping likely exceeds savings
C. Xtreem Deals
1. No visible social media used. Website updated weekly, but difficult to navigate
2. No ability to pay for products online
3. Only option to contact store is phone number. No email, no Facebook page listed
4. International shipping is not available; cost of shipping likely exceeds savings
3. Online Marketing Suggestions & Strategies
a. Talk about your market. i. The customer base is lower to middle income families or college students looking for low cost alternatives for furniture, children’s toys and other household items. ii. College students are appealing as a current and future customer base, families because of their changing household situations that require new furniture or items as their families grow.
b. Identify competitive advantages, target audience and online branding for client.
i. Target audience is always online, always connected. They are drawn to frequently updated websites, communication through messaging via Facebook or texting and flash sales with short windows of opportunities to buy at super discounts ii. Other businesses are lacking in an option to buy now and pickup later. iii. Improvements can be made in having a current listing online of actual products available, not just images of a warehouse of shelves of potential products iv. Online branding includes introducing the business as hip, current and in touch. Business should be frequently online offering replies to customer comments, questions or complaints.
v. Competitive advantages include offering an ability to pay online for pickup later, ability to contact store via phone text, email and Facebook or Twitter messaging.
c. Online Strategies to let customers see site updates/changes i. Updating Facebook page when new products are added a. Allows customers who use Facebook primarily to contact friends, ‘Like’, and repost the messages from the company. This spreads free advertisement across their social networks, increasing visibility for the company. Customers can contact the company to purchase or reserve products as soon as they are listed. Instant feedback allows the company to know what products the customer base is most interested in. This feedback can provide a great benefit for decisions the business makes for future product stock. b. Provides customers with early sneak peeks of new products. Customers connected via social media can see immediately when new products have arrived. This connectivity makes customers feel as part of a club/group with inside information and access. ii. Keeping a running date or flashing signpost on the website to show when products were most recently added c. Allows the business to show off new inventory easily and permits customers to quickly see what products are newly available without having to scroll through the previous existing products. This can help move new products out the door more quickly, tempting people to buy products they may have not immediately considered. d. Customers do not have to scroll through lengthy website pages to see what’s new. They can easily skip straight to the newest products posted saving them shopping time. iii. Sending out emails weekly with links to a few of the new products e. Provides the business a way to directly advertise to customers who have previously shopped the store or who have provided their email address to the website. The business can track which types of products customers are most likely to click through to view or purchase. This providing better product data to assist the business with ordering future warehouse stock. f. Allows customers who do not use Facebook (there are still many people that are just not interested) a quick view of the company’s newest products, with links directly to the online store where they can read more about each product. Customers can link directly to Buy pages to purchase items for later pickup. iv. Posting to Twitter when flash sales occur g. Allows the business to quickly, easily broadcast brief burst messages to draw customers in during short sales. This increases sales of old or standing stock by slightly lowering the liquidation prices even further for products that have been in the warehouse too long. Clearing shelf space of old stock at slightly discounted, yet still marginally profitable items allows for room for new products. h. Allows customers an opportunity to pick up items at an even greater discount that they may have previously been considering, but haven’t yet purchased. Provides customers with a chance to buy products at or very near wholesale cost.
4. Social Media Integration
a. It is very important to quickly respond to social media posts made by customers or potential customers. This feedback allows customers to feel connected to the business as if they are a part of it. Everyone using social media is essentially looking to connect with someone or something. People who frequently access social media are looking to be a part of something larger than themselves, to feel included in and connected to the group or event.
b. Business plans to use Facebook to post updates for new shipment arrivals and Twitter to announce new arrivals and occasional flash sales i. The demographic for this business is very socially connected. The typical customer is active in social network groups, frequently reposting interesting ideas or topics. Engaging this customer requires the business also connect in the same formats. ii. These options are an ideal fit for this customer base. Suggestions may also include connecting via Instagram or Pinterest in the future if the business sees the benefits of social media. iii. Connecting via social media can potentially increase sales for not only new, just arrived products, but also of older products that need to be moved off the warehouse shelves. This benefits the customer providing them with the best prices on discounted products and benefits the store by providing advertising to the target audience at nominal costs.

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