Independent web marketers are also known as commercial online marketers. They are basically marketing intermediaries /retailers, more aptly referred to as e-tailers. The only difference is that they operate electronically (over the web), not physically. In contrast to firms, which market their own products on the web, independent web marketers/e-tailers do not have products of their own, they tie up with manufacturers and market their products on the web; and usually they stock to a few select products lines.
Tasks in Establishing Web Marketing:
* Effective targeting and knowing everything about the target audience.
* Setting up the IT infrastructure
* Setting up electronic storefront
* Making the site interesting, and getting high traffic
* Device for securing traffic
* Discounts gifts, sweepstakes, contests and games
* Making the site interactive
* Keeping the site updated
* Making the site user friendly
Specialization – becoming product magnets and customer magnets
* Securing affiliates
* Embracing a large number of search engines/search services
* Brand building
* Developing right messages for online display
* Creating a system for delivering the products.
Rediff-On-the-Net is one major independent marketer/e-tailor India. Rediff- On-the-net has launched a direct to home web service covering a limited range of products such as books, music discs and cassettes. Buyers can log in, order the products and get them delivered at their doors. Rediff-On-the-Net started as a web design company and graduated rapidly into a full fledged web marketing firm.
By early 1999, the site had become the most popular Indian website, with about 50 million. And by late 1999, the number of hits had gone up to 80 million per month.
It claims that its security is among the best in the world, at par with the likes of Amazon.com. It has tied up with IT majors like IBM and Intel for technology.
At rediff, buyers can pay either through credit card or by VPP.
Like all e-tailers do not stock the products it sells instead, it has worked out tie-ups with book publishers and music companies.
On receiving an order on the Web, it gets the credit worthiness of the purchaser verified, procures the product from publishers/music marketers and delivers them to the customer through an express company. It has tied up with FedEx and Blue Dart this purpose.
Rediff has by now built a reasonably loyal brand of surfers. It has stated moving on to the next step to get the surfers to visit its site consistently.
It has found it necessary to offer sometimes to offer something unique to the surfers and make them visit the site frequently. As a starter, it offered to the surfers popular movies such as Godzilla and Taal as an attraction. It plans to tie up with quite a few Indian moviemakers so that it can show a number of popular and latest movies at its site and strengthen its online promotion.
Rediff also offers special discounts to the online buyers and entices them to purchase from its site.
Rediff has gradually expanded the range of its offering on the web. Online booking for movies at Mumbai theaters and an online hotel reservation service are parts of this scheme. Rediff has tied up with 180 hotels in the country for web reservations.
Mahindra & Mahindra Second hand Vehicle Website: Mahindra & Mahindra has created a website for trading of second hand vehicles. The Website with particulars of a large number of used vehicles has evolved into an electronic used vehicle exchange. Besides providing details of used cars available for sale, the website is planning to involve itself in the physical delivery of vehicle, as well as provision of loans, vehicle registration, insurance and warranty.
Establishing a Web marketing Facility:
Establishing a web marketing facility is a collaborative task of marketing and IT men. It is also time consuming. Web marketing also needs sizeable and continued investment.
Web marketing is as much a competitive game as mass marketing. To succeed here, one needs strategies, competitive advantages, resources and execution abilities. It means that Web marketing needs a great deal of preparation. In fact, it needs some additional preparation compared to conventional mass marketing since in web marketing, the playground as well as the game are unique. Just setting up a website does not make marketing. It has to be operated as a viable, productive and profitable venture. Firms that start a website without the needed preparation often fold up after a while.