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

Hanna Bernikova
23/02/2022 | 9 min read
The Marketing Mix 7P concept, or how to increase sales in e-commerce?

Table of contents

    Business is a full structure, the establishment of which requires not only an idea, but also knowledge, especially in the field of marketing. The company’s promotion strategy is based on the foundations of marketing mix. The methodology of marketing in e-commerce is a natural but little-explored area, so most often its development is intuitive. Let’s see how Marketing Mix 7P can influence the development of your online business!

     

    What is the Marketing Mix – from scratch

     

    Marketing Mix is a classic model, according to which the company’s promotion is built based on its type of activity and the goal of its 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 allowed to increase the efficiency of selling goods of the companies of 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, which must constantly adapt to changes in the market. Over the past decades, online advertising has developed at a rapid pace due to the huge competition and high demand for it. For this reason, a tool like Marketing Mix had to change a bit. There are many variations: 4P, 4P + 12 strategies, 4C (or 4P through the eyes of the consumer), 5P, and one of the newest is 7P.

     

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

    • Physical evidence
    • People
    • Process

     

    The Marketing 7P, applied to e-commerce. Increase sales?

     

    The updated Marketing Mix is a model that applies to any type of product. A growing e-commerce business can modify this concept to fit its needs by investigating each element of 7P marketing through the prism of digitization, using digital technologies and online solutions.

     

    #Product

     

    Product is an element of marketing 7P containing a detailed description of goods. In case of goods or services online, it is necessary to describe the features in detail from the point of view of selling online.

     

    Before starting your sales, it is a good idea to do some marketing research and find out what the demand is for the service or goods you offer. If your product is popular, you can also analyze the methods and places of its promotion among competitors.

     

    Frankly speaking, there is one difficulty related to selling online, and that is the lack of tactile contact with the product. The recipient usually buys things blindly, which is the reason for numerous returns and dissatisfied buyers. To avoid such situations, the business owner should describe the product as accurately as possible, tell about its functionality and advantages.

     

    In the 21st century, such a concept as unboxing has emerged. This is a method of product presentation, usually by an influencer who opens the product purchased online in front of the camera and says whether the item meets his expectations or not, what are its advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, the consumer who made the purchase can be offered to leave a comment with a photo. This method is used by Allegro, Aliexpress, Ceneo, etc.

     

    #Price 

     

    Price is also a fundamental concept in the 7P model. Displaying a price list, like a product in e-commerce, is different from stationary stores. Online pricing policy will depend on many factors: whether delivery is included in the product price, what are the production costs, possible losses, the amount of rent, employee salaries, etc.

     

    The golden rule that all entrepreneurs should keep in mind is that revenue must exceed costs in order to be profitable and successful in business.

     

    There are several online pricing strategies to increase sales:

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

     

    The price is linked to the product as well as to the subsequent Marketing Mix tools. It is important to correctly calculate the market price of a product, taking into account the demand, its average cost, so that the buyer chooses your online store and not the competition.

     

    #Place

     

    This sounds strange when we refer to the distribution side of online marketing composition. But if we take a deeper look, we find out that for an e-commerce business, place means “the headquarters of an online business” (most often it is an online store). A website is the place where the client gets to know about your product, price, etc. Depending on the website design, namely the ease of portal navigation or the non-intrusive Call To Action, the percentage of sales/conversions of not just one product but the entire service segment of your business decreases or increases.

     

    An effective website consists of:

    • Design that is consistent with your company’s image
    • Combining text blocks with graphics
    • Menus and logos
    • Call to action buttons (CTA)
    • Contact details

     

    #Promotion

     

    Promotion – the conduct of a company in the market to promote its products. An advertising campaign should be run after analyzing your competitors’ marketing activities and researching your target audience, i.e. characterizing your audience. Once you have completed these steps, you can start choosing the types of ads for your business in the online space:

    • Static and dynamic banners
    • E-mail campaign/newsletters
    • Social media (Instagram, Facebook) and blogging
    • PPC (Pay per click – Google Ads, Facebook Ada)
    • SEO optimization
    • Video marketing (YouTube, live streaming, viral videos)
    • Podcasts (this is one of the most popular types of promotion in 2021)
    • PR (public relations)

     

    Nowadays, the big leap in development has been in the area of information technology, namely Machine Learning, Data Science and Algorithms. Thanks to these innovations, advertising and searching for customers has been simplified. For example, in social media (Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, etc.), algorithms are configured by programmers in order to reach the content that is most likely to interest you.

     

    #People

     

    Advancements in technology have also led to the simplification of communicating with clients on online platforms using Chat bots that automatically answer the company’s most frequently asked questions.

     

    Customer contact in the online industry can be completely digitized, i.e. moved to social networks, 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 the other parts of Digital Marketing Mix concept influences the customer’s willingness to make a purchase from your store.

     

    The processes a customer goes through before buying your product or before any other action you want them to take (for example, signing up for your newsletter) should be made as simple as possible. It is worth keeping in mind here the #Place – where the company’s product is sold. It is the site, which should be perfectly edited and simplified for the customer, i.e.:

    • The payment method should be diversified (Blik, Apple Pay, etc.), and the interface should be as clear as possible. The potential lead should not change mind about the purchase just because the payment process is too complex.
    • Conversion. The required action should include several steps. If a customer has to complete 10 surveys and click on 10 links to buy from your online store, there is a very low probability that they will complete at least half of them.
    • Site optimization, i.e. site speed. Customer loyalty depends on comfort during the overall buying process. If the user does not feel relaxed and, most importantly, is upset by the 7-minute loading of the company’s website, they will not become a satisfied and returning customer.
    • Constant communication with the customer, responses to comments, presence of descriptions of both goods or services and the company. The consumer always wants to be heard, even when communicating with an online store.
    • Additional tabs on the site on the process of returning goods. The lack of complaint regulations alienates every customer. The thought arises that the store is hiding something about the quality of its products.

     

    #Physical evidence

     

    It seems that physical evidence is a concept unrelated to e-commerce. In fact, there is no physical proof of product quality online because we can’t touch and see something live. But even this element can be implemented in the Digital World. 

     

    The physical evidence that a customer sees and reviews 100 percent before converting is primarily reading comments. 97% of buyers check reviews before ordering a product or service online, which should be both negative and positive. Unfortunately, lack of comments results in a huge loss of potential customers. Today, every online business needs to be registered on at least 3 feedback platforms (Google, Facebook, TripAdvicor, etc.) to successfully grow and not get lost among the competition. To simplify the management of these platforms, special review monitoring tools have been created where you can collect comments from different places, respond to them, track statistics and improve customer service. One of the most popular apps for mastering reviews is Rating Captain. In this app, you can not only collect reviews and ratings, but also track what customers complain most often about and what they are delighted with. There is also an option to add widgets that display on online store pages, showing the rating on Google Maps or other services, as well as recent comments.

     

    Another piece of evidence directly related to product presentation are videos and photos, both professional and taken by clients. User Generated Content can be a very powerful piece of evidence – it is the company’s advertising through content created by clients. Users are eager to show, usually on social media, how they are using the company’s product or service, leaving honest reviews and comments.

     

    Does Marketing Mix 7P apply to e-commerce?

     

    Marketing Mix can be used both online and offline. Regardless of the type of product and customer communication channels, you can use this tool to initially analyze your efforts. Based on your research and on each element of the 7P, building your business development marketing strategy will go much faster because you will already have the basic information you need.

     

    Keep in mind that the marketing model of business promotion presented in this article is very flexible. The concept can change, depending on the company’s goals.

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