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Situational Analysis SWOT Analysis The following analysis provides an overview of Lifetime Gift Registry’s positive assets and any known or perceived threats. STRENGTHS Highly motivated, well- trained staff Known customer need and desire for trouble- free shopping methods Easy and convenient service for consumers WEAKNESSES Lack of brand awareness Uncontrollable limitations, not all stores offer a gift registry option Consumer skepticism regarding complete online purchasing OPPORTUNITIES Ability to service any consumer or merchant anywhere in the world at any time of the day Entering the growing and expanding e-commerce marketplace THREATS Copy cat websites Refusal of key merchants to participate in registry services Company Brief Lifetime Gift Registry, a web- based company, is embarking on its inaugural launch this summer. Registry members will enjoy the ease and convenience of shopping directly from their home computer. Countless well- known, high quality, businesses from all over the world will be participating. Industry/ Environment Analysis TECHNOLOGY Social networking sites and well- designed web based services are crucial to the success of any ecommerce business. Lifetime Gift Registry will maintain a highly innovative and easy to navigate website; consumers demand convenience and high quality. Consumer’s privacy and security are paramount this day in age. Lifetime Gift Registry will employ the leading software security systems. Computer users will only choose to shop on known, secure sites; the contamination of a virus is currently a large cyberspace concern. ECONOMIC Approximately 85% of all internet users shop on-line. Internet shopping makes up over 20% of all retail sales. Approximately 29% of internet shoppers age 54 and younger reported they would shop on-line. CULTURAL Lifetime Gift Registry will provide customer support services in a variety of languages to accommodate our diverse customer population. The varying “gift giving” holiday’s throughout the world will be recognized by increased advertising/ and marketing efforts during those times. KNOWLEDGE Highly skilled and well- trained staff are essential to relate to and appropriately service a well informed customer market. Consumers are extremely knowledgeable about computers and have easy access to competing retailer information. Marketing Program Strategy and Tactics Product Lifetime Gift Registry offers gift giving services from one convenient centralized registry. Consumers no longer need to feel limited or pressured to choose the traditional one store registry. Customers are able to maintain their own gift registry and/ or purchase gifts for others from a wide variety of high quality stores from anywhere in the world. Promotion Customers are kept connected via multiple social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. Members are electronically notified and kept updated on all of the big sales and or discounts being offered from the various merchants. Place Lifetime Gift Registry can be accessed via the internet and can be followed regularly via Twitter or you can become a friend on Facebook. This global gift registry is open to members from anywhere in the world. Pricing Membership for opening or viewing a registry is completely free. Participating merchants will be charged a yearly fee of $1,525 and have the option to purchase advertising space on the Lifetime Gift Registry website. The Competition Addressing the competition will require that the Lifetime Gift Registry provides greater customer value than its competitors. The Lifetime Gift Registry will develop a strong competitive positioning strategy by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors and using this information to prioritize their goals. Three levels of competition exist. Direct competitors (other “generic” registries ) http://www.thethingsiwant.com Universal Wishlist and Gift Registry Service for use as Birthday, Christmas Gift List or Wedding, Baby Registry http://www.wishbin.com Universal Wishlist and Gift Registry Service www.myregistry.com MyRegistry.com is a leading service for online gift registries for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, holidays and any other gift-giving occasions Competition exists between products that can be substituted for one another (store or product specific) http://www.alternativegiftregistry.org Offers a number of “green” suggestions as well as the ability of the consumer to fill in their own ideas and link to products outside this site to offer a wider and unique gift selection; encouraging non-material, second-hand, homemade, and environmentally friendly gifts http://www.honeyfund.com Honeyfund.com is the free honeymoon registry; free for both couples and guests with no travel purchase required. Competition exists among all organizations that compete for the consumer's purchasing power (the overall industry - retail) www.kohls.com Specific to this retailer Market Needs Lifetime Gift Registry is a “one stop shopping” experience by providing a vast selection of goods and services offered by independent retailers. Lifetime Gift Registry offers the following benefits to its customers: Selection: Through contractual agreements with hundreds of retailers, the “Registry” can meet the various needs of each customer all under one “roof”. Quality: Lifetime Gift Registry will only contract with retailers offering good quality for a reasonable price. Customer Service: Lifetime Gift Registry recognizes that customers will return if the “experience” meets their need. They will model their customer service policies and processes after those of South-West Industries, a known leader in the area of customer service. Market Trends The market trend for online purchases is steadily increasing. This trend is a result of several factors: The “store” never closes. Customers can log on and shop any time of day, 7 days per week. Customers do not have to travel, saving time and money on expenses such as gas and parking. More choices. Competitive prices Information based on results of recent Nielsen survey of US shoppers Market Growth During the 2009 holiday season consumers spent 29 billion dollars through on-line purchase. The dollars spent in the US during 2010 was expected to reach 205 million as online spending in other countries was also growing at a rapid pace. As the younger generation enters as the newest consumers; they have done their share to increase on-line sales. They have significant discretionary income of their own to spend. Online shopping is second nature to this group and by doing so they have influenced household purchases significantly. Mobile online shopping has experienced rapid growth. According to one researching firm; ABI Researcher, believes that mobile online shopping in the US will double again during the year 2011. *Leaders in the online retail community include: Amazon E-Bay Toys R Us *North america B2C E-Commerce Report 2010 ABI Research Evaluation and Controls The following areas will be monitored and action plans will be developed to address challenges as they are identified: Revenue: Monthly and Annual Expenses: Monthly and Annual Repeat (or lack of) customers Customer satisfaction Implementation We will employ several different approaches to launch our marketing program. We will focus on 5 programs; each allocated with an annual budget for which the manager of the program is ultimately responsible for meeting. Type of Program Start Date End Date Budget Manager Advertising Budget (includes print ads, t.v. and 6/1/2011 5/31/2012 $50,000 Trina radio) PR Budget (incentives and 6/1/2011 5/31/2012 $5,000 Elizabeth customer service) Direct Marketing Budget (communication via letter or 6/1/2011 5/31/2012 $25,000 Gissette email to a targeted audience) Web Development Budget (look and feel of the 6/1/2011 5/31/2012 $1,500 Mary website) Social Media Budget 6/1/2011 5/31/2012 $500 Mary (communication via facebook twitter etc.) Contingency Planning Difficulties and Risks Aggressive competition from the already established competitors with enhanced resources providing opportunities that would prove to be difficult for a start-up. Software/hardware issues providing challenges to the consumer when placing and order and to the Registry when processing the order. The perception of hidden costs as a result purchasing from a third party; essentially paying more for the product. Problems with vendors; creating fulfillment issues Challenges generating a brand that distinguishes Lifetime Gift Registry from the competitors Entering the market with a smaller number of vendors creating a challenge of meeting the vast number of consumer preferences as compared to the established competitor. Failure to meet projected sales therefore decreasing cash flow . Worst Case Risks Include Determining that the business cannot support itself on an ongoing basis Problems securing loans as needed Having to liquidate equipment to cover liabilities – I believe some of our equipment could be expensive and similar to other organization whom might liquidate inventory, I think this could be a real possibility…your thoughts? Losing the initial investment of the owners Dealing with the financial, business, and personal implications of failure Market Product Focus Marketing Objectives Review and analyze the words used on and/or related to our web-site to ensure that we are talking the same language as our target audience. For example, if our customers use the term handbag and we use the word purse then it is unlikely they will find what they are looking for when conducting a search. Ensure presence and positive status on the Web. Create profiles and review the feedback. Identify what we are doing well, document and celebrate these actions. Identify the actions that fail to meet the customer’s expectations; develop and implement action plans designed to rectify situations that lead to negative feedback. Create links to alternative pages within the site which communicate in languages other than English to address the traditional language barrier and differentiate our services Build upon current site or create an alternative site designed to meet the needs of the mobile customer. Ensure accessibility, and easy navigation on all smart/mobile devices. Define our social media strategy. Create a plan to meet established goals to increase mailing list, site traffic (clicks), sales and customers. For example: obtain a web domain name, purchase Google advertising and increase visability on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter Target Markets Our initial target market will consist of consumers for whom the internet is an integral part of their life. According to researcher at Discover Digital Life the following describes this consumer: In the online world, they can better express feelings. Life without the internet would be a lot less fun. Internet allows freedom of expression that they do not have in the offline world. Internet enables belonging and acceptance Internet allows them to stand out and be different. **A sub-set of our target market is the mobile user. Analysts believe that based on the most recent growth of mobile users from 2009 to 2010; mobile phones will actually take the place of PCs and become the most common device used to access the web.
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