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Marketing Mix 7P Concept, or how to increase sales in e-commerce?

Hanna Bernikova
11/12/2023 | 9 min read
Marketing Mix 7P Concept, or how to increase sales in e-commerce?

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    Business is a fully-fledged structure that requires not only an idea but also knowledge, especially in the field of marketing. The company's promotion strategy should be based on the foundations of the marketing mix. The methodology of marketing in e-commerce is a natural but unexplored area, which is why its development usually proceeds intuitively. Let's see how the 7P Marketing Mix can impact the development of your online business!

     

    What is the Marketing mix - from the basics?

     

    The marketing mix is a classic model according to which the company's promotion is built based on the type of activity and the goal of further development. This model first appeared in the article "The Marketing Mix Concept" published by Neil Borden in 1964. The described concept systematized and gathered all the elements into one method, which increased the effectiveness of selling goods of the companies at that time.

     

    The 4P concept was created by E. Jerome McCarthy and consisted of four elements:

     

    • Product
    • Place
    • Promotion
    • Price

     

    Marketing 7P - innovation in the market?

     

    Marketing is a flexible science that must constantly adapt to market changes. Over the past decades, online advertising has developed rapidly due to intense competition and high demand for it. For this reason, the marketing mix concept had to change slightly. There are many variations of it: 4P, 4P + 12 strategies, 4C (which is 4P from the consumer's perspective), 5P, and one of the newest is the 7P marketing.

     

    The new concept (1981) created by B.H. Booms and M.J. Bitner consists of the 4P foundation: place, product, price, promotion, and three additional elements, which gives the 7P model:

     

    • Physical evidence
    • People
    • Processes

     

    Marketing Mix 7P

     

    Marketing 7P, application in e-commerce. Sales growth?

     

    The updated marketing mix is a model that applies to every type of product. A developing e-commerce business can modify this concept to suit its needs by examining each element of the 7P marketing through the prism of digitalization, using digital technologies and online solutions.

     

    #Product

     

    The product is an element of the 7P marketing that includes a detailed description of the goods. If we are talking about an online product or service, it is necessary to accurately describe its features from the point of view of online sales.

     

    Before starting sales, it is worthwhile to conduct market research and find out the demand for the service or product you offer. If your product is popular, you can also analyze the methods and places of its promotion among the competition.

     

    To be honest, there is one difficulty associated with online sales, and that is the inability to touch the product before purchasing. The recipient often buys blindly, which leads to numerous returns and customer dissatisfaction. To avoid such situations, the business owner should describe the product as accurately as possible, talk about its functionality and advantages.

     

    In the 21st century, the concept of unboxing has emerged. It is a method of presenting a product, usually by an influencer, who opens the purchased or received product as part of cooperation, records the whole process, and talks about whether the article meets their expectations, its pros and cons. However, it is also worth considering customers who can also be involved in building brand awareness. You can send an invitation to a customer who has made a purchase to leave a review with a photo. Platforms such as Allegro, Aliexpress, Ceneo, etc., use this method, but it will also be effective if you sell exclusively in an online store.

     

    #Price

     

    Price is also a fundamental concept in the 7P concept. Online pricing policy will depend on many factors: whether delivery is included in the product price, production costs, possible losses, rent size, employee salaries, etc.

     

    The golden rule that all entrepreneurs should remember is that income must exceed costs in order to achieve profits and success in business.

     

    There are several online pricing strategies to increase sales:

     

    • Discounts (-X%)
    • Coupons, vouchers
    • Subscriptions (e.g., Freemium)
    • Offers (buy 2 for the price of 1)
    • Promotional codes

     

    Price is related to the product, as well as to the other tools of the marketing mix. It is important to correctly calculate the market price of a given product, taking into account the demand for the product and its average cost, so that the buyer chooses your online store over the competition.

     

    #Place

     

    It may sound strange to talk about distribution in the context of online marketing. But if we delve deeper, we will learn that for e-commerce businesses, place means the "online headquarters" (usually an online store). The website is the place where the customer learns about your product, price, etc. Depending on the appearance of the website, namely the ease of navigation or non-intrusive Call To Action, the sales/conversion rate of not only one product but also your company's goods decreases or increases.

     

    An effective website consists of:

     

    • Appearance consistent with the company's image
    • Combining text blocks with graphics
    • Menu and logo
    • Call To Action buttons (CTA)
    • Contact details
    • Website or store regulations

     

    #Promotion

     

    Promotion - market activities aimed at promoting your products. A advertising campaign should be launched after analyzing the marketing activities of competitors and researching your target group, i.e., characterizing the recipient. After completing these stages, you can start choosing the types of advertising for your company in the online space.

     

    • Static and dynamic banners
    • Email campaign/newsletter
    • Social media (Instagram, Facebook) and blogging
    • PPC (Pay per click - Google Ads, Facebook Ads)
    • SEO optimization
    • Video marketing (YouTube, live streams, viral videos)
    • Podcasts (one of the most trending types of promotion)
    • PR (public relations)

     

    Today, there has been a significant development in the field of information technology, specifically in Machine Learning, Data Science, and Algorithms. Thanks to these innovations, advertising and customer search have been simplified several times. For example, on social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.), algorithms are configured by programmers to always deliver content that is most likely to interest the recipient.

     

    #People

     

    The development of technology has also led to the simplification of communication with customers on online platforms through chatbots, which automatically respond to frequently asked questions of the company.

     

    Contact with the customer in the online industry can be fully digitized, i.e., transferred to social media, email, dialogues in comments in special applications (Rating Captain, Allegro, Google My Business, etc.).

     

    #Process

     

    Process is another very important element of the 7P model, which, like other parts of the digital marketing mix, influences the customer's willingness to make a purchase in your store.

     

    Processes that the customer goes through before purchasing your product or before any other action you want them to take (e.g., signing up for your newsletter) should be simplified to the maximum extent possible. It is important to remember about #Place - the place of selling the company's product. It is the website, which should be perfectly adapted to the requirements and simplified for the customer, namely:

     

    • The payment method should be diverse (Blik, Apple Pay, etc.), and the interface should be as clear as possible. The potential customer should not change their mind about making a purchase just because the payment process is too complicated.
    • Conversion. The required action should involve as few steps as possible. If a customer has to fill out 10 surveys and click on 10 links to make a purchase in your online store, there is a very small chance that they will complete even half of the steps.
    • Website optimization, i.e., its speed. Customer loyalty depends on comfort during the purchasing process. If the user is annoyed by the long loading time of the website, they will not be satisfied and will not become a returning customer.
    • Constant communication with the customer, responding to feedback, and the presence of descriptions of both products or services and the company. The consumer always wants to be heard, even if they are communicating with an online store.
    • Additional tabs on the website about the process of returning goods. The lack of store regulations with a description of the complaint or return process discourages every customer. The thought arises that the store is hiding something about the quality of its products.

     

    #Physical evidence

     

    It may seem that physical evidence is a concept unrelated to e-commerce. In reality, there is no physical evidence of the quality of a product online because we cannot touch it and see it in person. But even this element can be implemented in the digital world.

     

    The physical evidence that the customer sees and reviews before conversion is primarily reading reviews. 97% of buyers check reviews before ordering a product or service online. Importantly, reviews should be both negative and positive. Unfortunately, the lack of reviews results in a huge loss of potential customers.

     

    Today, every online business must be registered on at least 3 review platforms (Google, Facebook, Opineo, etc.) to develop successfully and not get lost among the competition. To simplify the management of these platforms, special tools for monitoring reviews have been created, where you can collect comments from various places, respond to them, track statistics, and improve customer service. One of the most popular applications for managing reviews is Rating Captain. In this application, you can not only collect reviews and ratings but also track what customers complain about most frequently and what they are delighted with. There is also an option to add widgets that display ratings on online store pages, show ratings on Google Maps or other services, as well as recent comments. Importantly, Rating Captain operates in accordance with the Omnibus Directive.

     

    Another evidence directly related to product presentation is videos and photos, both professional and those taken by customers. User Generated Content can be a very strong proof of validity - it is advertising the company through content created by customers. Users willingly show, mostly on social media platforms, how they use the company's product or service, leaving honest ratings and comments.

     

    Does the 7P Marketing Mix work in e-commerce?

     

    The marketing mix can be applied both online and offline. Regardless of the type of product and communication channels with the customer, you can use this tool for preliminary analysis of your actions. Based on research and each element of the 7P marketing mix, building a company's marketing strategy will proceed much faster because you will already have the necessary basic information.

     

    It should be remembered that the marketing model of business promotion presented in this article is very flexible. It tells us that depending on the company's goals, the concept may undergo changes.

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