I chose to research the website of the department store JCPenney, which has a very strong web presence and an efficient web site.
A few of JCPenney's major competitors are Kohls, Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, Marshall Fields, Carson Pirie Scott, etc. They all follow the Reactive and Partial cyber-marketing business model, which means that they are present physically and they also have an online presence. Partial cyber marketing is a reactive response of existing companies who have done business through the physical distribution channels.' (text, pg 44) Even though these stores have an electronic presence, their main business is generated through physical stores.
The market segment at which the products/services are aimed are the demographic and also psychosocial market. The targeted customers are "Modern Spenders" and "Starting Outs", who shop for apparel, accessories, and home furnishings; people from day to day lives, needing items like clothes, (which can be for men, women and children); furniture, shoes, house wares, etc. These are people who are willing to shop at either physical stores where JCPenney is located or thorough catalogs or also through the convenience of the Internet. By focusing on the age, gender, etc. the company can cater or better focus on age, for e.g. the company can make more choices available for the children in terms of clothes, Gender the company can invest in some more products which attract people who need items for either a man -, young or old, a woman young or old, a child- infant or toddler girl or boy, and so on. These are just a couple of examples of how demographic market segmentation can help a company. On the other hand, by focusing on the psychosocial segmentation, a company can get an idea of the kind of day to day customers it receives. The customers can be from any walk of life they can either hold a very high status in society, or in the middle, or not high at all. Different people prefer different kinds of items. So psychosocial segmentation can help companies decide a customer's lifestyle, personality and social class based on the customers' shopping habits.
A typical structure of the supply chain is upstream activities, which include material and service inputs from suppliers; internal activities involving the manufacturing and packaging of goods and downstream activities involving the distribution and sale of product to distributors and customers. (text, pg 201) The basic structure of JCPenney's supply chain can be written as: - I.
The Upstream activity Wherein different suppliers and manufacturers bring their goods and commodities and pass on to the main supplier for JCPenney. Also, boxes from the paperboard company and labels from the label company are sent. II.
The Internal activity Where the goods and items are first inspected, then either approved or rejected and then sent for assembly and packaging. III.
The Downstream activity- Where the approved and packaged items are sent to the distributors and who in turn send the items as needed to the physical stores plus the online outlets and through it, go to the final customer.
Buyers play an upper hand in the overall buying; because if no buyers, then no shops and no sales for big or small vendors and suppliers. In an electronic market, buyers play a major role because of the choices and competitions available over the net. With the internet, customers have the privilege of visiting all the major competitors by just a click of the button. It is not needed for them to go store to store searching for choices and deals. Buyers also have another added advantage online auction sites, (like e-bay for instance, for the case in question JCPenney). Buyers can not only get choices, but can also bid for the same and get a particular item at a price that is comfortable to their wallet. Therefore, companies are to an extent dependent on the buyer in an electronic market.
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