Guideline for Online Retailing Comparison
1) Choose two competing retailers.
2) Visit the websites and smartphone apps of your chosen and approved retailers.
3) Analyze your observations in the areas below.
4) Write a report using the following format:
1. Overview of the Retailers
Provide an overview of the retailers in the following areas:
· industry type (e.g., grocery business, department stores, apparel business, consumer electronics business),
· retailer type (Ch. 2), key
· merchandise categories, the website addresses.]
· Provide the following information for each retailer: location of the headquarters, names of CEO, CMO, and Chief Merchandising Officer, and annual sales in 2017 and 2018.
2. Comparison of Key Target Consumer Segments
* Demographic segmentation variables – Identify each retailer’s target consumer segments in terms of age, gender, income, and/or education.
* Psychographic segmentation variables – Identify each retailer’s target consumer segments in terms of social class, lifestyle, and/or personality.
* Behavioral segmentation variables – Identify each retailer’s target consumer segments in terms of occasions, benefits sought, use status, usage rate, and/or loyalty status.
3. Comparison of Ease of Navigation
* Website experience – Describe and compare your experiences of visiting the retailers’ websites using a computer.
* Describe and compare your experiences of visiting the retailers’ websites
using a smartphone or mobile device. Please include which type of mobile device was used and which browser was used.
(In both above tasks, it is important to notate website structure and layout, graphics used, colors used and availability/location of navigational tabs.)
· App experience – download apps and explore them. Describe and compare user experiences. (Notate ease of use, navigational ability, use or color and graphics.)
4. Comparison of Merchandise
* Compare the retailers in the following areas: types of product categories available on the websites, variety, and assortment levels.
5. Comparison of Product Presentation
* Describe how each retailer presents its products on its website. Be sure to include how the website presentation differs from the app presentation. What type of information is available? Note use of videos, product reviews and information.
6. Comparison of Prices
* Describe the pricing strategies and tactics that the retailers use on their websites. Use specific examples. Does pricing differ from website to app to retail store?
7. Comparison of Checkout Process
* Choose the same or similar products and go through checkout process until the last step (i.e., hitting the “BUY” button).]
* Describe the checkout processes in terms of number of checkout steps, information asked, account setup for first-time buyers, any suggested or recommended products, shipping and handling charges, and taxes.
8. Comparison of Customer Service
* Describe and compare customer service provided on the websites in terms of where and how to return products bought online, phone numbers to call, and email addresses for questions.
9. Recommendations for the Retailers
* Based on your analysis and the retailers’ target segments, provide
three recommendations for each of the retailers regarding in what areas their websites or apps need to improve and how.
Report & Format Guidelines:
· Choose retailers that you are genuinely interested in or that you want to know more about. You should only select product retailers (no restaurants).
· Although significant similarities should be mentioned in the report, the focus of this assignment should be on the differences of the two retailers in their online operations. Meaningful differences must be presented in each of Section 2 – 8.
· Do not include summaries from articles, reports, or research papers available on the Internet. Your report should include your personal subjective observations, analysis, and opinions regarding the retailers’ online operations.
· This is an individual assignment, not a group assignment.
· All parts of your report should be in one file. A multiple-file submission will not be accepted.
· The page limit for this assignment is 8-15 pages.
· Font size should not exceed 12pt.
· All pages should be double-spaced and numbered with one-inch margins on all sides.
· Writing style should be “business.” In business writing, clarity and brevity are very important. DO NOTwrite a memo-style report with lots of bullet points and incomplete sentences.
· Sloppy work will lower your grade. Correct any grammatical and syntax errors, typos, and inappropriate punctuations by proofreading multiple times.
· Do not afraid of using the service offered by the Writing Center on campus. I encourage every student to plan to use the service from the Writing Center for this assignment.
Areas for Point Deduction
A report that does not follow the above format will lose 70 points. In other words, an “essay” report without headings and subheadings will lose 70 points.
A report without specific examples in Section 3 – 8 will lose 10 points
A report with no or few applications of retailing concepts and terms will lose up to 50 points.
A report with more than five (5) typos or grammatical errors will lose 30 points.
A report without page numbers will lose 5 points.
A report submitted after the deadline will lose 50 points