Fundamentals of e-Business
Menards e-Business Plan
Menards is a chain of home improvement stores in the Midwestern United States. Menards sells building materials, hardware, electrical, wall coverings, plumbing, housewares, floor coverings, cabinets, appliances and much more. Menards is a privately held franchise headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; the company has 252 stores in 12 states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming. While the company does not release sales figures, it is believed to be the third largest home center chain in the United States behind The Home Depot and Lowe's. The trade publication Home Channel News estimated 2007 sales at $8 billion. (www.wikipedia.org)
Menards will use a e-business model as B2C and B2B e-tailer. Revenue will primarily be generated by using the sales revenue model by selling goods and services to our customers. We will also be adding the advertising model to our website charging fees to advertisers. We will also advertise on other sites such as Yahoo, HGTV and Facebook in order to bring more traffic to our site.
Target audience analysis
Since the slogan “save big money at Menards” has not changed. The target audience has been lower to mid income home owners and contractors. People who like to do home improvement jobs themselves. Their ages ranges from about 35-50+ and are both men and women. (http://www.quantcast.com/menards.com/demographics) Menards targets both the business and consumer sectors. While many contractor businesses use us because of our low prices we still have local customers that have been loyal to us from the start. (Carlo,2005)
Customers like our current brands and we should keep adding new brands as our customers ask for them. To attract customers to our products and services we will maintain a great customer relationship by being there for our customers whenever they need us. We will always offer the lowest price and keep up on that by checking prices of competitors daily.
Other home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes are competing for our customer’s loyalty and have had success both online and in store. Menards' quest to get younger and bigger is in large part a response to increased competition from Home Depot's and Lowe's push in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market. Home Depot maintains nine stores there; Lowe's opened its first store in this region at Coon Rapids, with plans to open as many as 20 stores in the area over the next five years. With these store openings brings more traffic to their website. Menards, with 18 units in the Twin Cities area, intends to defend its market share. "We might be No. 3 as far as store counts go, but we are a regional player and we are innovative," said Menards spokeswoman Dawn Sands. "We are out front." (Carlo, 2005)
Menards main strength is it guarantees everyday competitive prices. If a customer finds the same goods at a lower price in competitor’s stores, then the company offers to beat the competitor’s price by 11%. The low price guarantee policy reassures customers that they get the best prices at Menards. The low price guarantee will also draw customers in. Another strength Menards has is brand awareness, our customers like our private brands and our lumber, also the large selection we carry. Such brand awareness is fortunate for Menards since recent studies show that 80% shoppers have a positive attitude about private brand labels and some even perceive their quality as being superior. Menards main weakness includes customer service compared to its competitors. Recently, visitors to Menards have encountered employees who did not have a thorough understanding of store inventory or product utility. This apparent lack of training has contributed to a rise in customer complaints. According to the J.D. Power and...
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