Issues on marketing technique adopted by catalogue show room retailer Argos ltd.
In this project I am set to be evidence for the main advantages and disadvantages that an entrepreneur has to face and how these issues can be prevailed over. The main aim is to show the diverse problems or concern that works in a marketing management and how it could be explained. It also give you an idea about how well-built the competitors are recognizing about their availability of resources and annual growth of capital. My project is intended to go ahead with the UK retail company named Argos. The motivating force in me for selecting the Argos retail company for my research is that it is following a different marketing strategy mainly catalogue distribution. It will help me in realising the problems and needs in marketing strategy like advertising, internet marketing promotions and public relations.
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In the competitive world, the key player for the success of the business is considered to be the consumers. Therefore perception and consumer satisfaction has been the inevitable challenge faced by the company. Argos is entirely different when compared to other retailers in the way of doing their business. As the Argos slogan says "Don't shop for it, Argos it" describing the shopping capabilities of the Argos. The method of shopping differs in Argos from the traditional UK High street retailers. Most of the stock in Argos is held in the stock room where access is limited to staff only. As the way they Argos operates it requires only less shop floor space but require minimum two staff member to serve each customer one member at the till and one acquiring goods and dispatching. Most of the goods are available tightly packed over the counter, but larger items might be delivered straight to the customer's home in a few days after the order is placed. They also have got small items stacked o the tills area for customer purchase at tills. Argos also makes it available for the customers to browse through the catalogue at home or in store or can view the commodities through internet from the company's website. Although Argos ltd has got all these services it is following a kind of traditional retailing practices. Argos ltd is having a variable position in the retail marketing sector, and is considered to be one of the low cost retailers operating at a broadest market place. Catalogue distribution does not seem to be modern technique for retailing as the distribution of catalogues does not have a strong future. On having a glance at other retail giants like Currys digital, the real retailing market, Dixons or the Primark it will reveal the non profitable technique of catalogue distribution used by the Argos ltd.
4. Main body
Here I have planned to discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of the catalogue distribution technique used by the Argos ltd and how the Argos ltd can overcome the problem that affects their business. The major source for this is the secondary data collected which has helped a lot in saving time and provides a larger space for the database saving
Argos is Europe's most successful catalogue showroom retailer. The victory of Argos is based on many aspects of the retail system, but the most unavoidable requirement is to provide the catalogues in to the hands if the budding customers. Catalogue retailer Argos is embarking on a swarm of strategic design led projects which is intended to change largely the look of its multi channel offerings as they seek to introduce more personality to the brand. Google and the catalogue retailer Argos have commenced a programme to understand how investigation campaign can force step in store. The project was launched with support from Google focusing on how an effective investigation campaign leads more people shopping on high street. Argos catalogues has been the superior selling technique in their own tenure. For Argos their catalogue plays a vital role in acquiring sales. It is a mixture of details about the product and the price of each product; it also explains what the product is alike and the instance apt for. As in the words of Ornstein the catalogues totally replaces personal sales service. Therefore it is necessary for the Argos ltd to present the offer carefully and thoroughly in their catalogues. The Argos catalogues operate as a reference text for the customers who are intending to purchase household goods. The catalogues must reflect the demands and the point of pricing prevailing in the market. The changes in the catalogue is focused to imitate the taste of the customers their lifestyle and explain the value instability, varying product efficacy, features of product substitution and merchandise development. Clarke (1998) has examined the Argos catalogue and he has recognized a social and reference utilize for the catalogue drive in to the effort in wider fashionable academic perceptions.
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Consumers are the life of every organization therefore to analyse the behaviour of the customers, the theory of reasoned action (TRA) is a theoretical approach which has been used extensively as a tool to help consumer actions, in both on and offline contexts. Cheung et al. (2005), in a review of 335 different articles on internet shopping drawn prominently from the field of marketing, business and IT, found that approaches utilising some form of TRA. TRA model is created by Ajzen and fishbein (1980), is a psychological model which investigates the various factors underlying the decision of an individual to behave in a particular way. The theory holds that human action is guided by two kinds of considerations: beliefs about the likely outcomes and beliefs about the normative expectations of others and motivation to comply with these expectations.
Although Argos is running good in the current situation with the catalogue distribution. It does not seem to have a strong future. Now a day's every single element in life is related with the internet in the other words we can say that human life is closely related with the internet therefore the purchase and sales for the human necessity will also go online as the world is growing much faster and people do not have time to waste for purchase of goods. Internet has expanded at a fast rate over the last few years most among these is the sales and distribution of goods. It has been argued that online shoppers are more likely to purchase from a website when they are easily able to obtain and process product-related information from the website (Lynch and Ariely, 2000: Zeithaml et al., 2002). Ancarani and Shankar (2004) found that he pre order shipping cost was higher for multi channel retailers than it was for web only retailers. It has been argued that the consumers do not evaluate the overall cost of a partitioned price as they would a single, consolidated price (Morwitz et al., 1998) and thus such a strategy has the potential to work well for the multi channel retailers. The Dixons, Currys digital, Primark are also good retail business who has with stand the recession without the catalogue distribution. Dixon is purely online retailer where as Primark and Currys digital are good examples of high street retailers who has succeeded in their business.
Dixons is one of the major competitors for the Argos ltd Dixons was opened as a photographic studio in 1953 and re branded as currys digital to shift to focus more on internet based selling and to reduce confusions. Currys digital is one of the leading electrical retailers in the UK. Currys digital makes their products available at the same price weather bought online or in store. That is they don't charge the customers for delivering their products if it is purchased online. For ensuring that their products are priced as the lowest they checks their prices every week, another important marketing technique used by the Currys digital is to refund the customers if they find any of their product at a cheaper price than the price of the currys, refund is given to the customers at 10% of the difference in the price with the other retail store. Currys also offers its customers a "hassle free" shopping experience with the convenience of the next day delivery, seven days a week and delivery slots from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm and installation services and inclusive of after sales support, including 24 hour helpline and a national team of engineers called the Tech guys. Currys digital also offers a simple 'reserve and collect' service. Customers can go online and secure items at a designated store, which will be ready for collection just one hour later at a guaranteed low price. They also haves the option of a comprehensive product support service, whatever happens which offers fast and convenient repairs and technical support.
Primark is a clothing retailer operating in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, Portugal and Belgium. Primark is known for selling clothes at the budget market. The company's success is based on sourcing the supply of products cheaply, simple design and fabrics make their clothes cheaper, another important marketing technique used by Primark is to make their products at most popular sizes, purchasing of stock is made in bulk and varieties which reduces their cost and in turn they are able to sell at cheaper prices. Usually they do not advertise their products hence advertising charges are not imposed on the cost of the products. The success of Primark is also an important achievement in the retail market. Primark has achieved many awards in the retail management. Some examples are listed below
- Occupier of the year 2006
- Retailer of the year 2006, it was provided by the annual awards of the British council for shopping centre
- Most improved store on high street, company magazine high street awards
- Runner up, best shop in which to spend £50, company magazine high street awards
- Value for money awards, prima fashion high street awards (2nd consecutive year)
- Town centre deal of the year, shop agent society, retail and leisure awards (2nd consecutive year)
- UK retailer of the year, RL Global awards
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Consumers are the life blood of every retail industries therefore in order to attain success or the objective of the business every organization must focus on attracting new customers towards them and retain the old customers. As each and every individual differs customers can have different taste and characters. It is important for the retailers to know about the characters of the customers and make the products available according to their taste and preferences. In the fast growing retail marketing world retailers are very intensive towards the customer needs and expectations and make the products available to them.
According to Clarke (2000) customer service was way down the list of priorities; all companies were interested in getting their shelves filled states Wilkinson and Ogbonna (1990 p.10).in order to attract the customers the retailers tried to maintain their shelve as fully occupied so as to make an impression in consumers mind that they got enough products. Consumer is the king because consumers have chance to move discerning demanding greater level of quantity, service and convenience (palmer 1987, palmer and bendall 1997). The difficulties faced by M&S in 1990 are the result of company loosing the touch with customers (Dawson 2000).
The main problem which Argos ltd is facing now can be solved. From the above data collected and information we got the problem is basically because western point of view it is facing recession in economy right now. Argos ltd has tried well in withstanding the recession the main problem with the Argos is that it still depends on catalogue retail system which helped them to with stand the recession but catalogue sales technique do not have a strong future; hence Argos need to focus on any other marketing technique in order to attract customers now in the electronically advanced world e-marketing is moving to a greater success they can focus on online sales through their websites. As the people are getting busy with the busy scheduled life they may not have time for high street shopping hence their preference will be for online shopping or web retail business organization. Argos can have a long lasting life in the retail market only if they change their strategy according to the growth of the advanced technology. As there occurs the presence of advancement of technology in the business there smells the success of the business.
In this paper we have premeditated the effects of two channel types' diagonally key marketing and logistics variables. In adding up we have shown that quite a lot of differences exist among multi channel and web only retailers with respect to how their channel structure operates. Argos ltd has got most of their business from the catalogue distribution and as there has no strong future for the catalogue selling technique it has to switch on to any other advanced technology for marketing their products. Therefore Argos will have to focus more on their online business so as to build a strong future for the retail enterprise. For every organization we can find one or other drawback the success of the business hides behind these drawbacks; in order to attain the objective the management has to find out the problems faced by business and sort it down. The study has taken an important step in bridging this gap in knowledge that need to be followed in order to be successful this paper can be the first step towards the objective.
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* Clarke, A.J (1998) "window shopping at home: classifieds, catalogues and new consumer skills", in miller. (Ed.), material cultures- why some things matter, UCL Press, London, pp.73-99
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* Morvitz, V .G, Green leaf, E.A and Johnson, E.J.(1998), "divide and prosper : consumers' reaction to partitioned prices
* Zeithaml,v., Parasuraman, A and Malhotra,A. (2002)" Service quality delivery through websites: a critical review of extend knowledge", journal of the academy of marketing science, vol.30 No. 4, pp. 362-75