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Online Business Strategy

It is need of every business to follow a particular strategic plan for getting the desirable outcome for which the business set-up has established. This is the need of every business whether a business is still just starting out or has already founded a strong foundation, it always needs some form of guidelines to be followed as how it should be conducted in order to further strengthen its performance. The need to follow a strategic plan becomes more important for the companies who are promoting their business using Online mode of advertising. Online business in other words can be termed as E-commerce.

E-commerce: Electronic commerce is the paperless exchange of business information using electronic data interchange (EDI), e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, fax transmissions, and electronic funds transfer. It refers to Internet shopping, online stock and bond transactions, the downloading and selling of “soft merchandise” (software, documents, graphics, music, etc.), and business-to-business transactions.

The Internet is a reasonable alternative to all of those means of communication. Any place and any way that your business communicates with its customers, you should think about how you could have done it online. That is the power of e-commerce.

Strategy: A course of action, including the specification of resources required, to achieve a specific objective. The term was originally used in the context of warfare to describe the overall planning of a campaign as opposed to tactics, which enable the achievement of specific short-term objectives. The overall strategy of an organization is known as corporate strategy.

Online Business Strategy: Internet marketing, also referred to as online marketing or Emarketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet. Internet marketing is the process of growing and promoting an organization using online media. An Internet marketing strategy includes all aspects of online advertising online activity that promotes a company online, including websites, blog sites, article and press releases, online market research, email marketing, and advertising (ppc / banners etc.)

A long-term approach to implementing a firm’s business plans to achieve its business objectives using internet as media is called as online business strategy. A business strategy is an  overall longer-term policy for a firm that coordinates the separate functional areas of a business. It defines the business objectives, analyses the internal and external environments, and determines the direction of the firm. Each firm operates in a competitive environment and seeks to formulate a strategy that will provide it with an advantage over its rivals: design, quality, innovation, and branding are examples of ways in which it can make itself above from its competitors in the same field.

Following are some of the Decisions one has to make while opting for Online Marketing Strategy
1 Target Market Strategies: The very first decision in online business is the evaluation and selection of appropriate segment of market where the company wants to sell its products and services. In an Internet context, organisations typically target those customer groupings with the highest propensity to access, choose and buy online. Segments for targeting online are selected which are most attractive in terms of growth and profitability. This may mean finding ways to further penetrate your current markets and gaining additional market share from competitors. You may need to look to other geographical areas that need your products or services, or perhaps you need to tap into a new demographic.
2Positioning & Differentiation Strategies: In an online context, retailers can position their products relative to competitor offerings according to four main variables: product quality, service quality, price and fulfillment time. They suggest it is useful to review these as an equation of how they combine to influence customer perceptions of value or brand. More focus put on these factors should result in more sales of the products and hence more are the profits.

3 Market & Product Development Strategies: E-commerce also offers opportunities to expand the scope of a business into new markets and products. The Ansoff matrix is still useful as a means for marketers to discuss market and product development using electronic technologies. It highlights these options.

(a) Market Penetration: Digital channels can be used to sell more existing products into existing markets. This is a relatively conservative use of the Internet.

(b) Market Development: Here online channels are used to sell into new markets, taking advantage of the low cost of advertising internationally without the necessity for a supporting sales infrastructure.

(c) Product Development: New digital products or services can be developed that can be delivered by the Internet. The new products can also be developed on the basis of feedback of the consumers so as to formulate the product as per the specifications demanded by the consumer. Growth strategies in business often are a result of new products and services. If you find that your current offerings have reached a plateau of sales, look into developing new products or expand your service offerings. Consider products or services that complement your current ones, allowing you to generate more sales from your existing customer base.

4 Organizational Restructuring: Organisational structure decisions form two main questions. First, is how should internal structures be changed to deliver e-marketing and second how should the structure of links with other organisations be changed to achieve e-marketing objectives? Such decisions should balance the benefits of the changes against the disruption to business operations caused by the changes.

5 Enhance Productivity: It may be time to acquire additional financial capital and expand your productivity to meet your small business growth strategies. Look for small business loans, grants, and other investors who can contribute capital to help you acquire additional equipment, space, and even staff to help your productivity soar. Be sure you have a solid marketing plan as part of your small business growth strategy to sell your additional products.

Tips for Using Online Business Strategy Effectively

In an online business the firm owners have to follow some tips, using these tips they can be able to generate more sales online, using internet. The virtual entrepreneur must be able to relate to customers and potential customers without ever meeting them face to face. This means the website must emanate a degree of trust and reliability all on its own.

Providing a valid e-mail address so that the consumers and potential consumers can post their queries at any time to get appropriate answers for their queries. This may enhance more reliability.

Providing the photograph of the site owner may also enhance the reliability. It provides a sense of belongingness between consumers and the owner of the website.
If anyone is  running an online business website adding a blog alongside the site can be a great idea. Not only will your website benefit from better SEO due to the regular updating and indexing of the content on the blog but your writing can help to bring you closer to your target audience. You can blog about issues related to your business and use the blog as a means to answer queries or speak about popular topics that affect your industry.

Customer testimonials can help to generate the trust of others who are considering buying your product or service, but they can also be overdone to look like a hard sell spamming technique. If they are used sparingly and chosen wisely though they can create a great effect.