Figure 2: Using the BCG Growth/Share Matrix To Evaluate Eleftria Market Opportunities
Source: (Anantachart, 2004)
The e-retailing objectives for Eleftria Athletic shoes and their plans for attaining them are defined here. The first objective is to create an e-retailing strategy that capitalizes on multi-channel management, meaning that e-retailing site will be accessible over the Web, through specialized interfaces on Blackberries and PDAs, and also will have telephone ordering as well. The second objective is to create a completely integrated e-retailing system that connects to pricing, catalogs of shoe components, suppliers to validate the shoes being designed can be built, and shoe costs to ensure when compared to pricing the can be produced at a profit. This back-end system integration needs to be real-time as it allows for greater levels of responsiveness to the customer has a result. The third objective is to create a comprehensive dashboard of metrics to measure performance of the e-retailing plan over time.
The strategies for promoting and keeping the e-retailing plan in front of customers include the use of Google AdWords Advertising, Yahoo Overture and additional online search-based advertising strategies. In addition, there will be blogs created specifically to promote Eleftria Athletic Shoes, a Facebook and MySpace page created, and Twitter accounts also set up to promote the shoes and their customization.
Metrics used to evaluate these strategies will include click-throughs and Cost Per Click as defined through the Google AdWords programs, the level of repeat vs. new users to the e-retailing site, percentage of visitors who complete and save a configuration of their shoes, and percentage of visitors that complete the purchase of shoes online. The metrics will align with the sales funnel for these products.
Using the BCG Matrix it is clear that despite the consolidating nature of the footwear market, there are still opportunities for growth. Considering the higher growth market areas and defining unique and highly differentiated e-retailing strategies will yield more positive results than competing on price or availability alone. There is also the need for Eleftria to concentrate on how to create strategies that align to each phase of the sales funnel and then measure their progress through the sales process online. All of these efforts must also be evaluated by the extent to which they provide positive experiences for customers as well (Pine, 2004).
Eleftria's e-marketing strategy has three foundational elements and these include attracting new customers, selling them customized shoes, and providing automated service through the Web. The e-marketing strategies will concentrate on the use of social networking to generate awareness including the use of a Facebook application, MySpace page, Twitter accounts and lots of blogging to drive up Search Engine Optimization scores. The e-marketing campaigns will also concentrate on events aligned with extreme sports, as this market segment is growing. Sponsoring independent bands and events that appeal to extreme sports fans and tying these together with microsites that will lead prospects to the online configurator are all part of the e-retailing strategy of the company.
The dominant e-retailing stream for Eleftria is pure-play casual footwear, as this is the Cash Cow of the entire industry. Allowing personalization of these types of shoes, in addition to women's fitness, tennis and extreme shoes will create a new market segment, all in the high growth/high market share area of the BCG Matrix. All of these segments taken together will be the foundation of the unique market Eleftria hopes to create as well,
Market opportunity analysis
Beginning with the unmet customer needs, Eleftria will concentrate on how best to deliver build-to-order athletic wear that corresponds with the highest growth market areas of the industry as shown in Figure 2. These needs can be met, even though complex can be met through the use of e-retailing strategies combined with an online configurator. The use of product configurators online specifically in these markets has been pioneered by Nike and their development of NikeID. This has validated that the combining of e-retailing strategies and product configuration to deliver build-to-order flexibility to shoe purchasers is a valid and growing market. In addition, using an e-retailing strategy to create entirely new markets in the high growth areas of this industry is possible as well.
Segmentation & Target
The target market is men and women who want to have customized casual footwear (62.5%) of the market.
Men's (includes athletic & casual) footwear
Rubber and plastic footwear
Women's footwear (includes athletic & casual)
Source: (IBIS Research, 2009)
Eleftria will seek to create brand differentiation through the unique product customization offered through their e-retailing strategy. Aligning with extreme sports events, getting customer testimonials on their website, and creating a social networking strategy will all contribute to brand differentiation. Eleftria in Greek means freedom, and much will be made of the concept of freedom to get the shoes you design for yourself.
Market positioning strategy
Eleftria will seek a higher end market positioning strategy, yet at 50% of the cost for a typical pair of shoes custom-designed on the NikeID website. This e-retailing strategy will stress the concept of value delivered being exceptional compared to the many other competitive channels for purchasing shoes.
Market/partner distribution strategies
Distribution strategies are primarily Web-based with partnerships for link sharing and also cross-banner advertising sharing programs. There is also a commitment to create more distribution outlets with the use of kiosks in malls and shopping centers, connected to the main configurator through WiFi.
As this is an entirely online business, there is no actual distribution outlet. Partners who also have websites and provide cross-linking may lease a kiosk for use in their stores and get a percentage of all business sold on the kiosk every month. The positioning of this concept centers on providing retail customers with the opportunity to get higher-end, customized shoes while not having the retailer need to stock a completely separate product line as a result.
Te communication plan will focus on the use of social networking to attract customers online in Australia, throughout the UK and the United States. The unique positioning of Eleftria as being a company that gives you the freedom of self-expression will also be portrayed throughout all online promotions and programs. Heavy use of social networking including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter will be used as the primary means of communication.
What is evident from analyzing this market using the BCG matrix is that there is significant revenue potential for a build-to-order show provider online that relies on e-retailing strategies in conjunction with a product configurator. The strategy concentrates on clearly and empathically communicating the freedom that Eleftria's shoe buying experience providers to men and women in Australia, the UK and the U.S. As this is an entirely Web-based business, partnerships will be used to drive traffic to the site, and e-retailing will focus on event-based marketing to gain awareness and eventually customers in the extreme sports market.
The intent of this section is to define the e-retailing mix, product and service offer, pricing strategies, distribution and supply chain considerations and Integrated Marketing Communications strategies as well. In addition, relationship management and organizational structure is also defined.
e-retailing mix (7C's)
Eleftria plans to provide customers with strong value across the 7Cs of e-retailing. Beginning with convenience, the reliance on an entirely Web-based experience makes it possible for them to order shoes of whatever type on a 24/7 basis. Second, the customer value of this unique approach to selling shoes gives Eleftria customers a unique statement as to who they are. Third, the costs associated with the program allow for Eleftria customers to get a price break on their shoes relative to having them entirely hand made. Fourth, by its nature build-to-order e-retailing is collaborative and invites the customer into the process. This ensures a higher degree of customer loyalty as a result (Wang, Head, 2007). Fifth, the need for very tight integration of supply chain, pricing, order management and front-end product configurator systems with the e-retailing system is critical for customers' expectations to be met and exceed. This is the essence of successful computer and category management and for Eleftria to excel this must be completed prior to launch of the company. Sixth the customer franchise of Eleftria is highly unique and concentrates on creating a shopping experience where the customer is completely in charge. This shift to customers driving the purchasing cycle often leads to higher levels of trust and loyalty over time as companies execute on the commitments they make (Dholakia, Uusitalo, 2002). Seventh, what is most critical is the need for customer care and service online to match the experiences…