Although the concept of place may seem peculiar for what is a global medium that transcends geographical boundaries, nevertheless, marketers still have several options for managing the place of purchase. Allen and Fjermestad (2001) argue that the Internet has the greatest implications for place in the marketing mix since the Internet has a global reach.
The framework of Berryman et al. (1998), introduced in Chapter 2, is a simple framework for reviewing different places of promotion and/or distribution and purchase. However, McDonald and Wilson (2002) introduce two additional locations for purchase which are useful (Table 5.2):
(A) Seller-controlled sites are those that are the main site of the supplier company and are e-commerce-enabled.
(B) Seller-oriented sites are controlled by third parties and are representing the seller rather than providing a full range of options.
(C) Neutral sites are independent evaluator intermediaries that enable price and product comparison and will result in the purchase being fulfilled on the target site.
(D)Buyer-oriented sites are controlled by third parties on behalf of the buyer.
(E) Buyer-controlled sites usually involve either procurement posting on buyer-company sites or on those of intermediaries that have been set up in such a way that it is the buyer that initiates the market-making. This can occur through procurement posting, whereby a purchaser specifies what he or she wishes to purchase, this request being sent by e-mail to suppliers registered on the system and then offers are awaited. Aggregators are groups of purchasers who combine to purchase in bulk and thus benefit from a lower purchase cost.
Evans and Wurster (1999) have argued that there are three aspects of 'navigational advantage' that are key to achieving competitive advantage online. These three, which all relate to the Place elements of the mix, are:
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Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.