e- Communication strategies
Alpaca Direct is a small e-business based in Hayden, North Idaho that was started in 2005. Over the years, the business has recorded a lot of profits with most of their sales being made online. The company has served over 100,000 clients from 30 different countries worldwide since its formation. Some of the constitutes that can be attributed to their economic success include:
Privacy and confidentiality
Alpaca Direct, as an e-business has been able to maintain personal information that is available to other businesses and individuals operating under the strategy. They have been able to dominate the market for quite some time as the business is still not known in many countries. Confidentiality is key to any business operating online as their information must remain safe and only accessible to authorized users. The company is also able to protect their electronic records and files from unauthorized access.
The company has made its products and services available to its customers throughout the world. The use of web and internet to connect with them has made it even easier and accessible at all times. Steps have been taken to prevent any disruption of services by events such as power outages and damage to physical infrastructure. The company has invested on ensuring a smooth flow of products in their sites even though most sales are made during the cold-weather seasons. They have also identified the gap in the market that most countries do not have their own yarn shop and therefore Alpaca Direct has stepped in to fill that gap to most countries by aiming to bring them the yarn shops at their doorsteps.
The use of business internet has supported the company to maintain a constant cost throughout their regions of operation. This has helped Alpaca Direct to standardize the general look and feel of the internet presence of the business to be more uniform in nature to help reduce their total cost of maintenance. The business is therefore enjoying reduced cost of operations and in return increased rates of profits over the years. Running the business through web and online platforms has also been cut down by the increased customer knowledge of their products over the period they have been operational. The company has 11 employees only hence no extra expenses on salaries.
Access and data-integrity
The company, though small and still establishing itself, has had to put across several measures to prevent access to their data which is kept online. One way is through installation and the use of anti-virus software which has helped maintain the security of their products and services as well as prevents hacking of their systems. The use of firewalls and network protection has also played a great role in maintaining a stable brand in the market which has helped maintain and attract new customers to the business. Alpaca Direct has benefited from the image created and maintained to their worldwide clients thus the success which has and is being recorded by the business economically.
This basically deals with the existence of proof in a transaction. For nay web or online based business, this is very important for record keeping and can be used for reference in case of any future misunderstandings between the business and their clients who rarely meet face-to-face but are mainly online based. A digital signature or a document electronically signed would also create responsibility in the case of damage thus has helped increase and maintain client trust in the business. The business has also started the use of Gift Certificate to their customers which has increased their sales and attracting more new customers who are willing to try out the new experiences.
Alpaca Direct made the best decision to become an online e-commerce business. This has helped increase their sales and the business at large. According to Mr. Hobart, they have really benefitted from the use of social sites such Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ to boost their sales. Other advertisement platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook have enlarged the market accessibility and these efforts have increased their sales.
Some of the benefits they have enjoyed are:
Attracting new customers through engine searching
Online retailing is a driving force for branding and creation of stronger relationships between the business and their customers. The customers can easily follow the links that are available online and make their orders while recommending the same to their followers thus increasing sales of the company.
Decreasing the cost of inventory management
The business becoming e-commerce and running most of their sales online has helped decrease the general cost of managing their inventory of goods. They can also automate their management using web-based systems which are less costly and this has saved their operational costs by a great deal.
Making their products accessible across the world
With the increased use of internet and social media in the whole world over the last few decades, there are increased sales online as most people prefer online sales over other methods. The ratings from satisfied customers have also increased their sales as new customers find their products are good and effective. The testimonies from these customers have attracted other customers who did not know the products existed before.
The company is able to operate 24/7
Online based businesses have one major advantage over other business and that is they are able to operate around the clock at all times. Alpaca Direct has really benefited from this since most of their clients are from different countries and therefore different time zones hence they can access their products at any time.
Boost brand awareness
The business has benefited from the online platforms as it has been able to create and boost their brand awareness in the market. Development of pages that have been indexed by search engines crawlers has been one of the ways they have enhanced their website’ search engine optimization and in the process that has enhanced the target audience on their selling sites.
Alpaca Direct has been able to identify and rely on niche markets that are interested in their products. The company has been able to identify exactly what their customers want and has been able to provide a solution to their problem which has not been presented by other firms. The company has been able to identify this gap in the market by:
Word of mouth
They have focused on the conversations from their own customers regarding their products and services. These recommendations from customers carry a lot of weight with their customers.
Targeted collateral campaigns
This strategy relies on consistent brand exposure to their targeted group of people in the market. The feedback from the internet has also helped them identify where they need adjustments and upgrading. This has helped in maintaining fair competition in the growing market. Once the Alpaca Direct has been able to develop the niche, they can therefore begin to implement a plan of answering the questions that will guide their ongoing efforts to solve the problems in the market. This will enable them to meet the needs and wants of all customers regardless of their location.
Many countries do not have any local yarn shop and therefore Alpaca Direct has use that to their advantage by bringing their yarn shop closer to them by the use of internet and the social media at large. This has reduced the competition in the market hence the company has been enjoying monopoly in the industry. According to Mr. Hobart,
Peer comments and feedback
A post by Kelley Hobart on 15th Feb says “A Super Soft Alpaca Bear is the Perfect Valentines Gift
I totally agree with her. I mean what else could compare to a super cuddly and super warm Alpaca bear from the man in your life. This is totally a go for Valentines gift for me to keep me going for the next year.
A review by Alpaca Direct on 27th June says “Summer Knitting Classes- Sign up Now!
That’s a very good idea, Alpaca Direct is offering knitting lessons over the summer break. What more exciting news could anyone ever expect? I must say Alpaca Direct is full of surprises and what you thought you’ve seen it all, another bigger and better surprise is blown at your face. This is a must attend and I believe I will leave that place more experienced than I went.
Badger, E. (2013). “How the Internet Reinforces Inequality in the Real World”. The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
Baker, E. (1984) “The social structure of a national securities market.” American Journal of Sociology 89: 775-811.
Meyer, H. (2007). The Fast Path to Corporate Growth: Leveraging Knowledge and Technologies to New Market Applications. Oxford University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0195180862.
Paul, T. 2000), Electronic Commerce – Strategies & Models for Business-to-Business Trading, pp.31, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, ISBN 0-471-72029-1