The internet has revolutionized a lot of things in our lives, including one of our favorite hobbies, shopping. Shopping has gone to a new level in the new millennium. Online shopping has hit the market with consumers and advertisers trying to buy and sell products. Customers now have the opportunity to search for their required products online, with a price that they want and with a price that fits their wallets. On the other hand, advertisers can now easily market their products online without even renting a shop!
So many websites like Buy. com, Amazon. com, NewEgg. com and many others have come with their websites to feature various advertisers and suppliers to market their products on their websites where online consumers from across the globe can purchase these products and services. So who has more control over digital products and services? In my opinion, advertisers have more control over consumers. First of all, advertisers have the opportunity to market their products to an international market without even having a shop.
All they have to do is to search a product that is wanted by the market, and take some pictures of this product and put in on websites like e-bay or even create an own site for free! Potential consumers from all over the world will be able to see this product, and if it is a wanted product, business will start booming. According to recent research, it was estimated that there was around 1 billion internet users in 2008 and this number is expected to grow annually (Bischof et.
al 2000). It could be assumed that the internet market would keep growing and that would give internet advertisers a vast opportunity to advertise and market their products online. Therefore, this mainly benefits advertisers over consumers. Apart from that, advertisers will also have the opportunity to position themselves to cater to selected market segments due to the wide variety of consumers from different countries and expectations (Bischof et. al 2000).
To do this, an advertiser must first study the market segment so that the advertiser can then study the behavior of the consumer and understand the consumers’ expectations and therefore capture this market segment (Rodgers & Thorson 2000). The size of this market share may increase or decrease according to population growth and other social, economic and environmental factors. Even if advertisers get 1% out of the 1 billion internet market, they will be making a lot of money due to the volume of business online.
Apart from that, if advertisers could find their ideal positioning in the market, the advertiser’s brand or business name would be easily spread thru the internet as there are many third party websites that allow consumers to share their views and opinions on certain products or services. As a matter of fact, from the above, advertisers are actually choosing who they want to sell their products or services too, again a benefit towards advertisers rather than consumers. There is also a competitive environment online which would keep the company growing and not stagnant like a brick and mortar store.
Advertisers can now track the number of customers that are visiting their websites (Wind & Mahajan 2001). This will give them an indication as to the number of customers that they get every month and the number of purchases made. With this information, these advertisers could get an idea of how well or how poor their business is doing; and by using this information, companies can then decide on their next course of action. Consumers can compare price, product brand, quality and other features online while sharing notes with other fellow consumers.
As mentioned above, there are also third party websites who function as an intermediary between sellers and consumers who provide full details of price and product quality rating that makes it easy for consumers to choose from. Competition is good for advertisers as it allows the company to grow and make more profit and therefore once again, benefits advertisers over consumers. Keeping this in mind, advertisers also have the opportunity to check out competition online and provide competitive products to their customers.
According to Wang et. al (2001), customers who are happy with their purchases are less likely to have complaints and are therefore more prone to become return customers. Return customers could mean loyal customers that allow advertisers to sell their products and services without the worry of finding new online customers. Apart from that, if the advertisers’ product or service is compatible or better than the competitors’ products, there will be free publicity of the product by third party reviews.
Although most research actually argue that consumers have more benefits than advertisers, based on the argument above, advertisers manipulate consumers into thinking that they have more benefits when they actually do not. Websites who promote themselves as catering to customer needs are actually advertisers themselves, and therefore this creates an illusion to the customer that they are controlling what and how the shop online. As a conclusion, digital marketing benefits the advertisers more than the consumers.
To summarize, one of the reasons for this is that advertisers have the opportunity to market their products to an international market without even having a shop. Furthermore, advertisers will also have the opportunity to position themselves to cater to selected market segments due to the wide variety of consumers from different countries and expectations. Apart from that, there is also a competitive environment online which would keep the company growing and not stagnant like a brick and mortar store. Advertisers also have the opportunity to check out competition online and provide competitive products to their customers.