Critical Thinking Questions
Showrooming is the practice of examining products from a store or an offline shop, then buying the same product at a relatively low price in an online market (Turban, Pollard & Wood, 2018). Showrooming majorly benefits online retailers. This is because they sell at low prices than the brick and mortars retailers for the same products due to their low price overhead; they also do not collect sales taxes as compared to offline retailers. The abundance of devices such as smartphones, laptops have scaled showrooming to greater heights within a short period, with smartphones, consumers are in a position to compare virtual prices of their desired products at the comfort of their homes, if they find the prices to be lower online compared to a brick and mortar store, then they purchase it (Turban et al., 2018). Showrooming has indeed made marketing unbearable; it has enabled most brick and mortars retailers to upgrade their marketing strategy by opening online marketing to remedy unfair competition from other online stores (In Dixit et al., 2016).
Showrooming is a trend that is primarily supported by the advancement of technology since many customers can shop online using their hand devices (Turban et al., 2018). Therefore, it has few advantages to customers, for instance, they do their shopping at a reasonable discount, online shopping saves on time for those customers that find it hard to make it to the brick and mortar stores. However, showrooming though legal, it is not ethical. Showrooming is an unfair marketing strategy that aims at sabotaging brick and mortar retailers. All markets should be fair, and competition should be at equal levels; showrooming denies and mortar retailers the opportunity and the freedom of negotiation with their customers on the price of products (Turban et al., 2018). Showrooming is also unethical because sooner or later, it will do away with the offline stores, thus, denying the customers the opportunity to choose quality products that satisfy them.
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Business to business (B2B) marketing, just as the name suggests, refers to the marketing of products or services to other companies (Turban et al., 2018). It sells to other retailers, companies, organizations; business to business marketing involves selling simple products like office furniture to sophisticated products like computer equipment. However, B2B marketing faces challenges since many organizations and business of different stakeholders and suppliers that serve them. It also faces challenges from B2C marketing. Business to consumer marketing refers to the strategy a company uses to sell its products and services directly to individual customers (In Dixit et al., 2016). In most cases, customers seek goods depending on the urgency of the particular product, hence, purchase the product more quickly, and probably with less research on the specific product they purchased. This is the reason why business to the consumer has a smaller influence on their customers, considering that products cannot be forced on customers to buy (Turban et al., 2018).
According to In Dixit, one of the reasons why online B2B marketing is more extensive than B2C online marketing is because the B2B buying cycle is longer than that one of B2B marketing; this is because B2B maintains a longer relationship with their clients. B2B is focused on building brands; hence, the reason they keep their business relationship with clients more intact. B2C is based on satisfying the customers’ individual needs; as such, a business relationship is not created. B2B business is larger than the B2C marketing because of the scale of their operation (Turban et al., 2018). This is because, B2B sells its products to different and many companies or other large scale enterprises as compared to B2C marketing, which its main aim is to sell to individual customers, at the end of the day, business to business marketing strategy would have made profits earlier than the company to customer marketing strategy (Turban et al., 2018).
E-procurement or electronic procurement is the purchase of goods and services through an electric method, specifically the internet. It is the opposite of regular procurement since it is based on an electronic way. Most companies and organizations nowadays prefer using e-procurement; this reduces human resource costs since it reduces paperwork. However, the two primary objectives or goals most companies look forward to by using e-procurement is to achieve efficiency and transparency in purchases; the second goal is to enable the management of supply chain processes such as tendering, auctioning, sourcing and bidding among other reasons (Turban et al., 2018). In most cases, companies find themselves especially the procurement department unable to answer to irregularities they are facing in their day to day activities; thus, cases of inefficiency and lack of transparency is a significant problem. However, the electronic procurement helps since records are kept electronically, hence, gives room to openness.
Planning for an adequate resource requirement is a strategy that a company can use in improving supply chain management (In Dixit et al., 2016); this allows the company to avoid waste of resources, thus avoiding complex and confusing records in procurement. Engaging all the staff involved in procurement and management is another strategy that works in improving the supply chain management, staff in each section of the procurement office has observations and functions that might help towards making services better (Turban et al., 2018). Looking into the Enterprise Resource Planning system is another strategy in ensuring supply chain management is achieved when choosing EPR system, companies should ensure that the EPR system does not replace the functionality of the supply chain management (Turban et al., 2018).
Establishing core values is a strategy the companies can use to ensure efficiency and transparency. This helps in instilling discipline and integrity among stakeholders or staff involved in a company. Giving employees access to information is a strategy that can also be used to ensure transparency and efficiency in companies (Turban et al., 2018). It is essential to talk about the company’s growth collectively as staff; it involves every employee in every decision making the management has made; hence, every team understands the need to be responsible for their actions.
Apply IT Concepts to Business Decisions
Most businesses today live in a data-filled and data-driven working environment; hence, it is inevitable to incorporate technology into their operations, businesses, therefore, needs to understand data flows within their operations, what it means and the impact the data technology has on their future as a business (IBM, 2015). For this reason, it is, therefore, essential to understanding what data virtualization is. Hence, data virtualization is a data access platform that aggregates different data sources, thereby creating a single version of data to be consumed (Turban et al., 2018). In simple terms, data virtualization brings together various data and organizes them as one unit, thus, making it easier for data to be accessed when needed.
Data virtualization is very vital since it solves the data movement challenge by ensuring that data is maintained and kept at one source (Turban et al., 2018). At the same time, available to its consumers when they need it, use is, therefore, in an able position to access data without going through all the technical hurdles to get the information they need. Data virtualization involves incorporating data from different sources, locations, and formats (IBM, 2015). A single data layer is created in a process that ensures unification of data services to support multiple users, while at the same time providing faster access to data, hence solving lagging—ensuring data availability and less data redundancy (Turban et al., 2018). Therefore, businesses have to embrace the data vitalization project since it is crucial in making data readily available to its customers and its employees who might need it.
Ibm, R. (2015). IBM spectrum virtualizes and san volume controller enhanced stretched cluster with vmware. Vervante.
In Dixit, S., & In Sinha, A. K. (2016). E-retailing challenges and opportunities in the global marketplace.
Turban, E., Pollard, C., & Wood, G. (2018). Information Technology for Management: On-demand Strategies for Performance, Growth, and Sustainability. John Wiley & Sons.