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Customer Relationship Management and E-Commerce Strategies - Essay Example

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Customer Relationship Management and E-Commerce Strategies Table of Contents I. Abstract 3 II. Main Findings 3 III. Comments 6 IV. Conclusion 6 References 7 I. Abstract The paper explores the key activities related to managing relationships with customers at Starbucks’ and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ websites, with an eye to understanding how information technology supports those activities…
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Download file to see previous pages The findings are that in general both websites serves as customer interaction platforms that are also transactional, and serve up products that customers can purchase, and which the backend systems process. The backend systems, apart from processing transactions, also allow for the creation of customer accounts, from where the platform is able to better manage customer experiences and interactions, by remembering customer purchases and transaction histories. (Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., 2004; Starbucks Corporation, 2013). II. Main Findings At the Starbucks site there are many activities geared towards managing relationships with customers. At the very basic, the website offers visitors the opportunity to be part of the mailing list for its newsletter. The very concept of the webpage itself is a big relationship management and transactional portal, where customers are able to buy extras and gifts, such as ornamental pieces for the holidays, coffee cups, and pouches of coffee to be brewed at home. The items are prominently displayed at the center of the pages like in a catalog, with prices, and clicking on the product images brings the customer to a page where the customer can place the order in a bag, for later payment. The site then through this particular gifts page is an interactive way for the company to engage customers and to allow for transactions. Taking a step back, putting the original www.starbucks.com on the URL bar redirects the customer to the Starbucks Store. In this way the online visitor to Starbucks is engaged in the same way as Starbucks would engage customers in their stores. The virtual presence is also configured as a store (Starbucks Corporation, 2013b). In fact, taking a step back, each of the categories in the Starbucks online store, from tea to coffee to equipment, drinkware and the Starbucks Card categories, lead to pages that sell merchandise. The entire site can be construed as a customer relationship platform, and behind it is an accounts management system where customers can create accounts to facilitate the building and the maintenance of the customer relationships online. The latter includes understanding purchase patterns, purchase histories, and generally archiving customer transactions to potentially improve the customer engagement process moving forward. At the back too it can be construed that IT is a vital aspect of the entire experience. The CRM front end as described above must have at the back of it a support infrastructure that includes orders processing and fulfillment, and a backend to track all transactions and manage specific customer relationships through the maintenance of databases of customer interactions (Starbucks Corporation, 2013). In contrast the Green Mountain Coffee website is less forward with its products, having no catalog at the home page for instance, in the way that the Starbucks site pushes its products with pricing and orders fulfillment all in front when the visitor visits the site. Moreover, where Starbucks automatically redirects visitors to starbucks.com directly to its online store, Green Mountain Coffee’s home page is a general page about the company, with key products displayed out in front, but no pricing and related orders fulfillment options present. That said, the Green Mountai ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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