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Which is Better, E-commerce or Digital Marketing?
All four Ps of marketing—product, price, place, and promotion—are evolving in the digital world. The scope of business operations is expanding as well, and technology is leading to the automation of services. We have goods that are born online and consumed online, like kindle subscriptions for books. The physical marketplace today is replaced with e-commerce websites and other company websites instead of the traditional marketing techniques (personal selling, articles in newspapers and magazines), and the price today is also determined after taking into account various digital parameters like globalization, opening up of trade between countries, increased competition, and others.
In this article, we will gain a deep understanding of the promotion and place factors of the marketing mix in the digital world and the comparison between both of these factors.
E-commerce versus Digital Marketing
The feud between e-commerce and digital marketing is kind of worthless. We cannot decide which one is supreme because if we start comparing digital marketing, it will be like comparing apples and grapes. E-commerce deals with the place factor, and digital marketing deals with the promotional factor of the marketing mix. A company needs both of these strategies to survive in this competitive and dynamic working environment. E-commerce will help in listing the products and services that the company has to offer to its customers and the various distinguishing factors. It helps the company organize all its information regarding its offerings for the user to understand and compare the different brands, ensuring that the consumer's journey is not hampered or interrupted. It makes sure that consumers can easily purchase the goods that they desire with minimal effort, and on the other hand, digital marketing helps the company by advertising the e-commerce website or the company’s products and services.
The Concept of Digital Marketing
Any marketing initiative taken by the company on digital platforms or the internet to promote or advertise its product, service, or brand name is known as digital marketing or online marketing. Companies today are leveraging the fact that consumers have access to high-speed internet and smartphones. The various wings of digital marketing are −
Social media marketing
Search Engine Marketing or Website Marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Content marketing and others
The benefits of using digital marketing as your means of marketing communication to both buyers and sellers include −
Wider reach and targeted audience − With digital marketing, companies will have the benefit of reaching a wider audience across the globe, and on top of that, they can also ensure that the audience they reach is made up of potential buyers. Today we are deep into data, and understanding a person’s choices, needs, interests, and demographics is child’s play.
Cost-friendly − Digital marketing is a more cost-effective measure as companies can build their own websites, channels, and handles and share engaging posts with the audience. With a budget, they can try out other methods like email marketing, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, and others.
Timeliness − Digital marketing helps companies reach consumers with the right advertisements at the right time. You just searched for Nike shoes on Google, and now you'll see ads for them on your social media platform; or it's 2 p.m., your lunchtime, and Zomato and Swiggy—the food delivery applications—will come up with tempting deals on biryani and other dishes.
Develop brand loyalty − Since the consumers interact with the brand on a daily basis on different channels, they become involved with and attached to it. They become brand loyalists and help the company grow.
The Concept of E-commerce
Electronic commerce, or E-commerce, refers to the meeting place where sellers and buyers meet to compare prices of various products, understand product features, and ultimately make a purchase decision. E-commerce has been around for a while, but it really took off during the pandemic when people were afraid to leave their homes and go to the physical marketplace. E-commerce has myriad benefits to offer both buyers and sellers. On e-commerce websites, a buyer can find anything, starting with the clothes they need, the food they eat, the vehicles that they ride, entertainment channel subscriptions, and anything under the sun. Some of the e-commerce websites currently trending in the Indian subcontinent are Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Big Basket, Blink It, Swiggy Mart, Jio Mart, Ajio, and others.
The benefits that e-commerce offers to both buyers and sellers are −
Price deductions and discounts − E-commerce provides the consumer with reduced prices. With e-commerce, companies can store their products in warehouses and directly send them to customers’ shipping addresses as and when required. So the company is here to eliminate the middlemen and their associated costs.
Comparison between different brands and products − Customers can compare the prices, product features, and aesthetic appeal of the different products without any hassle.
Accessibility − Consumers can purchase goods 24 hours a day and can also compare prices and product features whenever they have a 10- or 15-minute window.
Flexibility and ease − Consumers can make their purchase decision at their leisure and have the goods delivered to their doorstep. Consumers can conduct research and make payments all while sitting on their couches.
Competitive pricing − It reduces the overhead costs of the company. Since now companies can operate without middlemen, shops, or outlets in various geographical locations, and with a smaller staff. Companies can use this deduction or the reduced prices to sell their products at competitive prices.
Higher margins of profit − Since firms do not have to share a percentage of their profits with the intermediaries, they can easily book themselves higher profits.
Can reach a mass audience − Companies can easily reach more consumers with the help of e-commerce. Customers from all over the world can shop at the company and have their purchases delivered to them.
There will be no overstocking or understocking of inventory − since the goods are available in the warehouse and we do not have individual stores. This will reduce the problem of inventory understocking and overstocking. Companies will be able to serve consumers better.
Companies can no longer function with just one pillar of marketing. To succeed, they must have all four marketing pillars in place, as well as outperform their competitor’s and customers' expectations. With effective and balanced digital marketing and an e-commerce website, a brand can do wonders in the digital world. Brands should always keep in mind that the only thing that consumers buy is what is visible, and the reason why consumers have shifted to the online world is that they prioritize convenience more than anything else. Serve the customers with the best, and companies will have them for the rest of their lives.
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