Generalities and Research Concepts
Online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a company’s brand, products, or services to its potential customers. The methods and techniques used for online marketing include email, social media, display advertising, search engine optimization, and more. The goal of marketing is to reach potential customers through the channels where they spend time reading, searching, shopping, or socializing online (Tucker, 2014).
Online Marketing is the process of creating, delivering & communicating the value of a product or service and making it relevant to customers so that they are obliged to consider buying a product or a service when they encounter your brand online (Bell & Davison, 2013).
On the other hand, more companies have realized that the consumer behavior transformation is unavoidable trend, and thus change their marketing strategy. As the recent researches have that, the internet shopping particularly in business to consumer (B2C) has increased and online shopping become more popular too many people. There are many reasons for such a rapid developing of internet shopping, which mainly due to the benefits that internet provides. First of all, the internet offers different kind of convenience to consumers (Kemp, 2016).
Furthermore, the internet can raise consumer use product more efficiently and effectively than other channels to satisfy their needs. Through the different search engines, consumers save time to availability to the consumption related information, and which information with mixture of images, sound, and very detailed text description to help consumer learning and choosing the most suitable product (Moon, 2014).
Online shopping is, however, a different experience from shopping in a physical retail store. One major point of difference deals with store atmospherics. As flow experience occurs during network navigation, an issue Online-marketers must consider is whether consumers’ skills are competent to meet the challenges of the virtual environment.Information technology provides online consumers with tremendous access to information about products and services from anywhere in the world and from different sources other than solely from the product seller. The composition of less time available for shopping, limited information-processing capability and the explosive amount of information on the web has, however, led customers to request more control, less attempt and greater efficiency during shopping (Jenyo Gabriel k, as cited in Belch et al, 2012).
Today, in the area of marketing, changes happen at a staggering rate. Continuing marketing strategies that today’s organizations use in the marketplace is no longer a hazardous and challenging application. Companies, in addition to updating their marketing plans, have to improve their executive practices and marketing practices in order to tackle with major environmental changes (such as globalization, the elimination of many regulations in various industries, the advancement of communication systems and Computers and ripping markets) get the right response with little or no budget (Kemp, 2016).
Today, in various business markets, there is a lot of focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing processes. Many organizations and companies face many budget limitations in business and should be able to find it with the least amount of resources and investment to maximize benefit for their long-term survival and stability (Eicher, 2011).
Online marketing is essentially any marketing activity that is conducted online through the use of internet technologies (Spree, 2016). Online marketing is any tool, strategy or method of getting the company name out to the public. The advertisements can take many different forms and some strategies focus on subtle messages rather than clear-cut advertisements. Online marketing is a set of powerful tools and methodologies used for promoting products and services through the internet (Willson, 2016).
Online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a company’s brand, products, or services to its potential customers. The methods and techniques used for online marketing include email, social media, display advertising, search engine optimization, and more. The objective of marketing is to reach potential customers through the channels where they spend time reading, searching, shopping, or socializing online (Goldfarb & Tucker, 2011).
The consumers buying behavior has been always a popular marketing topic, extensively studied and debated over the last decades. A difference is frequently made between high and low involvement purchasing, implying that in practice the actual buying activity can be less or more stable with this model, depending on the buyer’s perceived purchasing risks. High or low degree of involvement is also a question of buyer experience; products purchased for the ?rst time, in general, require more involvement than frequently purchased products (Boyd et al., 2012).
Consumer behavior includes the knowledge and feelings that people experience and what they do in their consumption process. It also consists of elements of the environment that affect this knowledge, emotions and behavior. Consumer behavior is dynamic, because, knowledge, thoughts, emotions and consumer behavior are distinctly changing, target groups and society as a whole are constantly changing (Parsons & Conroy, 2006).
Consumer behavior is not just about buying goods, it also includes goods, services, activities, and ideas, and marketing attempts are called to realize the needs of individuals. Although buying is very significant for marketers, but consumer behavior does not just cover purchases. Consumer behavior includes three acquisition, consumption and disposal activities. Consumer behavior does not necessarily reflect the behavior of a particular person. Deciding whether to buy a car, going to a particular restaurant, renting a home are behaviors that. Having an understanding of consumers and the buying process has many benefits. These benefits include helping decision makers, providing a cognitive basis through consumer analysis, helping legislators, and legislating on the purchase and sale of goods and services, and ultimately helping consumers make better decisions (Forman, 2014).
One aspect of the significance of examining the impact of online marketing on customer behavior is the importance of identifying customer online behaviors for marketers, especially online marketers.understanding consumer behavior is important for any company before launching a product. If the organization failed to analyze how a customer will respond to a particular product, the company will face losses. Consumer behavior is very complicated because each consumer has different mind and attitude towards purchase, consumption and disposal of product (Solomon, 2009).
Understanding the theories and concepts of consumer behavior helps to market the product or services successfully. Moreover, studying consumer behavior helps in many aspects. As there is constant change in the living standards, trend, fashion and change in technology; consumer’s attitude towards the purchase of product varies (Kumar, 2014).
Understanding these factors is of utmost importance because the marketing of product is largely dependent on these factors. Thus, consumer behavior serves as a successful tool for marketers in meeting their sales targets. Consumer Behavior or the Buyer Behavior is referred to the behavior that is displayed by the individual while they are buying, consuming or disposing any particular product or services. These behaviors can be modified by multiple factors. Moreover, it also involves search for a product, evaluation of product where the consumer evaluates different features, purchase and consumption of product. Later the post purchase behavior of product is studied which shows the consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction where it involves disposal of product (Solomon, 2009).
It is important for online marketers to know consumer behavior. It is necessary for them to know consumers as individual or groups opt for, purchase, consumer or dispose products and services and how they share their experience to satisfy their wants or needs (Solomon, 2009).
The significance of identifying customer online behaviors for online marketers, helps online marketers to investigate and understand the way in which consumers behave so that they can position their products to specific group of people or targeted individuals. In regard to the marketer’s view point, they assume that the basic purpose of marketing is to sell goods and services to more people so that more profit could be made. This element of making profits is heavily applied by almost all marketers. Earlier, the marketers were successful in accomplishing their goals. However, today, as the consumers are more aware about the use of product and other information of the product, it is not easy to sell or attract customer to buy the product (Kumar, 2014).
The buying-in decision-making process begins before buying, and after that, it continues. Therefore, the marketer should pay attention to the entire process of customer behavior instead of focusing only on factors that make buying decisions. In addition, customers may never go through the decision-making process in stages. Instead, they can fallow the process with different behaviors and even ignore some of them (Lasner, Sugarbett & Woolf, 2007).
The following are some of the points discussed that explains the value to marketers of understanding and applying consumer behavior concepts and theories.
ü To understand Buying Behavior of consumers
ü To create and retain customers though online stores
ü To Understand the factors influencing Consumer’s buying Behavior
ü To understand the consumer’s decision to dispose a product or services
ü To increase the knowledge of sales person influence consumer to buy product
ü To help marketers to sale of product and create focused marketing strategies
Online marketers can have some direction on the outcome of the buying process by engaging different marketing tools, the most outstanding being the 4Ps – product, price, place and promotion – also known as the marketing mix. Understanding the mechanisms of virtual shopping and the behavior of the online consumer is a priority issue for practitioners competing in the fast expanding virtual marketplace. This subject is also increasingly drawing the attention of researchers. Indicative of this is the fact that more than 120 relevant academic papers were published in 2001 alone (Cheung et al., 2013).
As in the case of traditional marketing in the past, most of the recent research and debate is focused on the identification and analysis of factors that one way or another can influence or even shape the online consumer’s behavior; a good deal of research effort is focused on modeling the online buying and Decision-making process (Miles et al, 2016).
Online marketing can also be crowded and competitive. Although the opportunities to provide goods and services in both local and far-reaching markets is empowering, the competition can be significant. Companies investing in online marketing may find visitors’ attention is difficult to capture due to the number of business also marketing their products and services online. Marketers must develop a balance of building a unique value proposition and brand voice as they test and build marketing campaigns on various channels (Zentner, 2012).
Online marketing has several advantages for customers, including:
ü Low costs: Large audiences are available at a fraction of traditional advertising budgets, allowing businesses to create appealing consumer ads.
ü Flexibility and convenience: Consumers may research and purchase products and services at their leisure.
ü Analytics: Efficient statistical results are facilitated without extra costs.
ü Multiple options: Advertising tools include pay-per-click advertising, email marketing and local search integration (like Google Maps).
ü Demographic targeting: Consumers can be demographically targeted much more effectively in an online rather than an offline process (Kim & Han, 2011).
The theory of online marketing and consumer behavior in online markets has been intensively observed over the years. However, a large number of researches do not comprehensively study the view of the aspects of an effective and successful website. Each year the number of organizations that use the Internet for marketing purposes increases. Correspondingly, an increasing number of consumers use the internet not only for gathering information but also for buying goods. A website is the front page, the first picture for organizations that operate online and it is better to be developed in a way that brings customers close to the online market and form good impressions. The online marketing had become a vital marketing medium for businesses all over the world (Bridges & Florsheim, 2015).
The influences on consumer behavior are often made between external and internal factors. External factors are come from the environmental conditions, and internal factors are usually from the consumer’s mind. There are many factors could in consumer’s behaviors. According to Warner, the external influences could divide into five parts: Demographics, socio-economics, technology and public policy; culture; sub-culture; reference groups; and marketing. The internal influences are variety of psychological processes, which comprise to attitudes, learning, perception, motivation, self- image, and semiotics (Malcolm, 2013).
Regarding the state of e-commerce in Iran, it should be said that Iran’s online market is dramatically expanding over the last three years, creating market opportunities that have global leading Fintech and e-commerce players encourage to enter the country. There are two factors influencing Iran’s e-commerce growth potential; the first being Iran’s market liberation following easing of sanctions in January 2016 and externally-induced circumstances that somewhat mitigate the risk of investing in the industry (Asghari, 2015).
Though still at its infancy stage, Iran’s e-commerce industry is picking up great growth in the Middle East. The strong local banking system and the high amount of debit card access have improved the basis for growth in online transactions. The current online payment and transaction at this stage indicates a great opening for banks, startups and financial institutes to take advantage of this market and invest in online payment solutions (Farahani, 2015).
With over 60 percent of Iranians under the age of 30 years old, the young, internet savvy population will play an important role in enhancing the industry’s success. According to a white paper titled The Ultimate Guide to Iran”, the internet retailing market value in Iran was USD 1.2 million in 2014, a growth of 173% over 2009. Media products take up the largest share of the market (50%), followed by beauty and personal care products (33%), and consumer healthcare (8.5%) (Moradi et al, 2015).
Pioneer Internet & E-Commerce Business with the brands of DigiKala, ZoodFood, Ponisha, Webyad & many other great ones are working in Iran so the road is paved for newcomers. For example, Digikala was founded in 2007 and now it is thought to be worth around $100 million. Digikala says their business has growth at an average annual rate of 200%. Although International Sanctions restrict access to ecommerce software, exclude the country from online money transfer systems, stop advertising on global social media and, most considerably blocked almost all foreign investment. After sanctions & new atmosphere, all shows that Iran has a very high potential for investment and still is the world’s biggest untapped market (Gerami, 2017).
Some companies from all over the world has already established their business in Iran from two years ago. Many other European & Non-European firms are doing market research to enter Iran Market but speed is an important issue because the ones who come sooner & with plans has the most power of choice (Zare & Mohammadi, 2016).
Considering the importance of reviewing and identifying customer behavior in the field of online marketing, the aim of this study is also, the impact of online marketing on consumer behavior in the Iranian retail market.
Importance and necessity of research:
According to huge benefit of online marketing for organization such as low cost, availability to a big market target, using online tools for communication with consumers and maximize revenue , and significant influence of consumer behavior especially consumer experience after online shopping and consumer’s feedback can spread very fast on social media platform so it can effect consumers purchasing decision when they expose of this kind of massages on social media or other channels, finally it is so essential for organization when adjust marketing strategy, advertising plan ,designing their website and promotional activity considerate the process of consumer buying decision and post purchase behavior of consumers to achieve maximum goal on their target and retain consumer for future buying and convert visitors of website to real buyer and benefit from the potential of these channel to expand their plan to reach their targets.
Research objective and research questions:
The main objective:
ü How does online marketing affect on consumers behavior?
The sub objective:
1- What are the components and factors of online marketing that affect customer behavior?
2- Online marketers can focus on what approaches can positively influence customer behavior?
3- Online marketers focus on which customer attributes to deliver on-demand products improve their online shopping behavior?
4- Does online marketing have unique features compared to other marketing methods to influence customer behavior?
Definitions of variables (Conceptual and Operational definition):
Online marketing: Online marketing is a set of powerful tools and methodologies used for promoting products and services through the internet. Online marketing includes a wider range of marketing elements than traditional business marketing due to the extra channels and marketing mechanisms available on the internet. In fact, online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a company’s brand, products, or services to its potential customers. (Roberts & Zahay, 2017).
Consumer behavior: Consumer behavior is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and all the activities associated with the purchase, use and disposal of goods and services, including the consumer’s emotional, mental and behavioral responses that precede or follow these activities (Kemp, 2016).
Online marketing: Activities related to customer purchasing and marketing of companies online with using the Internet are considered as an operational indicator of online marketing in the current research.
Consumer behavior: The performance of the research sample statisticians in the researcher-made questionnaire on customer online behaviors, is considered as an indicator of the behavior of consumers in this study.