Opportunities to pool customer experiences collectively via chat rooms
This enables consumers to give and leave reviews and ratings for specific services/products as well as talking to people through chat rooms where they can ask questions.
This benefits consumers as new people that visit that website can read the reviews that are left online and then decide whether they want to buy from there or not and they can also get help on which products to buy via chat rooms.
Before this people would’ve had to go in store and actually ask about products which is more time consuming compared to just going online.
An example of a businesses that does this is Tesco as they have online reviews in which there consumers can access for both products and services and Currys use chat rooms for help and support.
Increased bargaining power
This is when businesses have the ability to persuade people to shop at their businesses over other businesses by having cheaper prices/ higher quality products.
This benefits their consumers as its easier to go on line and see what businesses have cheaper prices etc.
An example is if one business was selling a product for a cheaper price than another business but both had the same quality it is more likely that the person is going to opt for the business selling it at a cheaper price.
This also benefits consumers as it means they can save money by buying the same product for a cheaper price at different businesses.
Availability of more comprehensive and up-to-date product information
The main benefit of this is it allows consumers to know exactly what it is they are purchasing before they actually buy the product.
Before this it meant that consumers could’ve brought a product that they didn’t know much about as they didn’t have the information about the product/ service they where buying which then meant that they where disappointed when they received the product.
An example of businesses that use this are clothes stores such as Topshop as they have a description of the products such as the sizing , measurements and fabrics so consumers know exactly what they are going to receive.
Opportunities for lower costs via ‘dynamic pricing’
An example of a businesses that uses this is Ebay as it allows consumers to get products for cheaper than they are actually worth as people can bid for a product and this is an example of internet auctions.
Some businesses may change their pricing due to the time of year and weather plays a big factor within this such as different seasons especially within clothes stores as they have seasonal sales. Eg. In summer the winter clothes will be on sale as they get rid of there stock as they have summer clothes out.
Consumers will benefit from this as they know the times in which the prices will decrease and will more than often wait for the price to decline to then purchase the product at the time in which its cheaper so that they save money.
Greater supply convenience through availability of responsive transaction facilities
The main benefits for consumers for this is that it allows consumers to save time and keeps them interactive as the transactions are fast which means people are happier as it is more convenient.
They also often have a sign up system that enables businesses to send their consumers emails about new goods and promotions.
An example is airline companies can now send airline tickets through email straight to their consumers where as before people either had to go to travel agents to get them which was time consuming or had them sent via the post which could’ve been a problem as they could’ve got lost in the post.
Availability of digital complaints services
This benefits consumers as it allows them to complain online and therefore it doesn’t cause any disruptions in the store and it means that the business can look online and see all the highlighted concerns and if there are regular ones that are similar they can work on that problem and make it better.
They can also look at the problems and queries from the consumers better by either talking to them and replying to them and also fix the problem.
For an example Asda, has an online complaints page in which they will reply within 14days in order to help resolve any issues there may be.
Better prices with ‘middle man’ removed
The middle man goes to the supplier shop then to the consumer but now due to the online presence the middle man is the shop and has been removed as they’re shopping online and not in the store.
An example of this is every shop that has an online presence.
This makes it cheaper as the product can go straight from the supplier to consumer as it comes from the warehouse where as before they had to take it from the supplier to the shop then from the shop to the consumer which meant more transportation.
By doing this less money is spent on distribution and has been made cheaper and benefits customers as its cheaper for them and can be delivered straight to them.
No sales pressure
This is when employees go up to consumers in store and ask whether they want help or not and tell them about special offers etc. and try to convince the person to buy the product.
Online companies will not use this and it benefits consumers as they can browse freely online without people coming up to them and they can look at what they want in there own time and they can order what ever they want and can then also cancel the transaction after they’ve done the order.
An example is car shops they have a large sales pressure as the car sells man will try to convince the person to buy the car but by going online to look at cars the consumer can look in their own time without the sales pressure.
Opportunities to compare and select providers
This allows consumers to look through the internet and websites and compare in order to find the best products/ companies that they are looking for.
This benefits customers as they can research and find the best item they’re looking for at a suitable price.
Before going online people would’ve had to go to each individual store in order to compare different products and this would’ve been very time consuming.
An example would be phones as people can compare phone prices and get the best deals from different providers.
Before going online people didn’t have easy access to comparing products and this was bad as it meant people may have brought the first item they seen as they couldn’t be bothered to go to loads of different shops to compare meaning they may not get there moneys worth and may be buying the most expensive.
Immediate online sales and customer service without travel or unsatisfying sales experiences
This means customers can go online and look at the FAQ pages and businesses can also use this to maintain and improve their customer service. Tesco’s FAQ page ;
These pages means customers can leave reviews and complaints, this is good as it allows customers to leave reviews at any time online and they will often receive a reply within a few hours or even straight away.
This improves their customer service as they can chat to their consumers and before this people would’ve has to go in store and this may cause delays in other operations as staff would’ve had to deal with that customer who had a query or complaints, where as now online they have teams that’ll deal with them it also benefits customers as they can do it anytime and anywhere.
Easier to cancel as no person-to-person issues
Online consumers can order items and within a specific time they can then cancel there order in which they have made.
This benefits consumers as they may have a change in mind after ordering there item and decide they want to cancel it in which they can.
They can cancel it and then be refunded without having to even go to the store and have to speak to people in order in cancel it.
An example is within a lot of clothing retailers online you can cancel your order before they dispatch it.
More leisure time and flexibility
This is the time in which it takes to order the product and then receive the product through online shopping compared to going to the actual store to buy the product.
For example buying jeans on Topshop website takes 10minutes and you can receive the product almost next day where as buying it from the store it would take longer as it’ll take maybe 30minutes to actually travel to the store and to get back.
Flexibility is how long it takes the product to get to the consumer. As consumers can see how long it will take for the product to get to them and they have the option for how long it’ll take via the delivery options such as next day or standard delivery which is usually 3-5 days.
This benefits consumers as it takes them less time and online shopping is open to them 24hours where as a store isn’t open 24hours where as before they could only shop during store opening hours and they may not of been able to get there at those times.