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    Relationship Management and E-Commerce

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    Relationship Management and E-Commerce


    Strategies of Customer Relationship Management and E-Commerce

     
    Strategies of Customer Relationship Management and E-Commerce
    n a world of over six billion souls, the key principle for all kinds of businesses is customer loyalty, without which the establishments would not be in a position to effectively sustain their operations. Today, retaining customers is even more important than it was in the 70’s and before, when the world’s perception of marketing strategies was rather rigid. Nowadays, the client-base is more learned, more influenced by global trends as well as cultures, under an increased amount of duress due to life related struggles of a modern lifestyle, and more specialized in their consumption of products . Added on to the rise of e-commerce, this has led to organizations focusing more on customer retention by means of implementing customer relation management strategies. This paper attempts to analyze the customer relationship management and effective e-commerce strategies, strategies and applications applied by both Walt Disney and Time Warner on their web portals
    Looking at both websites, Walt Disney and Time Warner have managed to come up with superior means of digital marketing given the high quality imagery used on the portals. As part of their CRM strategy, this is aimed at increasing the company’s visibility amongst the already existing set of clients as well as towards any potential clients. The homepages are full of eye catching movie and series posters with detailed descriptions right below each advertisement. Moreover, they are arranged in a manner intended to grasp the viewer’s attention, which is key to marketing their products. Nonetheless, there is much more to CRM when it comes to e-commerce than meets the eye. In the back lies a whole new concept of data conversion which forms the basis for effective CRM strategies.

    Single View
    Top of the list and the most conspicuous element of CRM incorporated into the website is the one single view setup. Generally, this refers to the methodical arrangement of products, services, and all other necessary features of a website into a single page for easier access . In both the Walt Disney and Time Warner portals, the single view strategy has been utilized to perfection with the homepage containing all that the clients might deem to be necessary. Moreover, the “Menu” button gives a more detailed selection of options from which the clients can easily access other parts of the website.
    Such accessibility is crucial to CRM as it helps create a friendly interface for the two companies. E-commerce, with specific regards to CRM, is partly about making the client’s experience more beneficial in a way that will make them come back for more. Thus, a user friendly e-commerce website is one of the key tenets of effective CRM. As such, these websites have also made some minor differential changes to their interfaces for the purpose of creating a friendlier customer experience including faster web age downloading, very colorful designing, and the use of easy lingual terms. By and large, the idea here is to create a friendly B2C Business to Customer) ecommerce web portal. 
     
    Loyalty Programs
    Loyalty programs tend to vary in different websites. For some, there is a specific “VIP” button which gives the visitor privileges to various preferential aspects of the portal. In some, a highly complex point calculation model is used for the same purpose. Such strategies are aimed at building a higher sense of customer loyalty amongst the visiting clients. For Time Warner and Warner Bros however, they tend to cultivate loyalty by means of interacting with customers in more than just the in-store portal. Both websites include highly visual Twitter feeds which also serve as Twitter redirecting apps. This shows that for the entertainment giants, retrieving clients is more about keeping iv touch with them on all possible platforms than it is about loyalty programs. As a matter of fact, Warner Bros goes ahead to include a YouTube link which adds on another layer of possible interactions between the business and client. Such deep engagement between a business and its clients is key to the management of customer relations.  
    Also, these two brands do more than just interacting with clients via their Twitter apps. So as to strengthen their retention program, Warner Bros and Time Warner incentivize on their Twitter communications by tracking customer comments and utilizing all the data collected from this platform to better their products. 
     
    Segmentation
    This is another key element utilized by both websites in the pursuit of an ideal CRM strategy. Just as the name suggests, segmentation refers to the manner iv which data is categorically subdivided into related groups so as to allow clients to view a more collective set of data when perusing through the web pages. In the case of Warner Bros and Time Warner, segmentation is done by means of recent films. In both cases, a huge chunk of the homepage is dedicated to advertising new releases. Obviously, this is the case since entertainment is the main selling point. For both organizations, vigorous marketing of films and series is the key driver of sales, ultimately profits, for their system. Consequently, this takes the bigger percentage of the website’s segmentation efforts. For Walt Disney, segmentation is done more methodically since there are distance categories on the homepage apart from the “Recent Films” segment. These include “Philanthropy”, “Environment”, “Investor Relations”, and lastly, “Careers”. By doing this, Walt Disney makes the website more user-friendly in that visitors can easily access whatever segment they want to without necessarily going through the hustle and bustle of perusing the entire website.
    On the other hand, segmentation also aids in lead nurturing which is another key component of managing customer relations . It is a key driving force for any successful operation of an ecommerce nature. Basically, this is the process of providing guiding leads during the act of purchasing . For a CRM system, this is necessary since it aids in patching up leaks in the company’s sales system as well as facilitates a higher amount of sales. Segmentation comes in whereby it helps nurture catalog decisions in the customer. By categorizing the films, making recent films more visible, these two entertainment houses aim at boosting sales they achieve more by attracting clients towards their latest products. Essentially, this nurtures as lead amongst clients whereby the company guides them in what to watch, albeit indirectly. Additionally, it gives the companies a sense of control over its marketing strategies which is also very essential in managing customer relations. 
     
    Time Based Sales
    Currently, on its website, Time Warner promotes films such as Silicon Valley and Tomb Raider. Similarly, Warner Bros places more emphasis on films such as Dark Panther and Star Wars. The logic behind this is that these films are trending the most. Therefore, this makes it the opportune time for the companies to concentrate all their marketing efforts towards them. Usually, such companies tend to base their sales on trends and times of the year. For instance, Christmas period is notably popular for Christmas themed films. This shows the extent to which both companies know about the client’s’ habits and shopping trends. For example, during the festive season, more GE rated films are produced since it is a time families to spend time together. Such knowledge is crucial to customer management as it helps boost site conversions to sales . 
     
    Multi-Chanel Customer Messaging
    In addition to social media, both establishments have devised a means of collecting user data so as to create a specialized mailing system. In the “Contact Us” page, the clients are required to leave their query and email address so as to allow the companies to contact them later. It is necessary that this be done since most clients prefer dealing with companies as being a single entity. Getting personified emails creates a sense of belonging amongst them which is crucial to CRM. Moreover, the mailing system also gives the companies another means of connecting with their clients. As discussed earlier in this paper, this goes a long way in boosting client retention.
    Considering all these strategies utilized by both companies, it is evident that CRM in e-business aims at improving communication between the company and the right set f clients, providing perfectly timed offers for each client, marketing the right product for different sets of customers, and doing all these through the perfect channel. By doing this, companies expect to reap benefits such as creating value for their client-base, increasing revenue through increased sales, offering the right product iv a timely nature so as to achieve high client profitability, and lastly, increasing customer retention rates . In this case, the CRM strategies implemented by both companies help them incorporate IT in achieving these benefits. 
     

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