Business Expansion Proposal
Subject: E-Business, Business Expansion Proposal
Viability of the product or service that the business offers in an online environment
Website Name and Products
Perfumes, cologne water, perfume testers
The name of the company is Fragrance Bay. It deals with selling fragrance production like perfumes for men and women, cologne water, and perfume testers. The products are delivered from France, because the company works only with high-quality original French perfumery. The potential buyers are the residents of the United States of America. Fragrance Bay guarantees the high quality of the production, effective refund system and competitive prices.
The market of perfumes is a perspective one. The upcoming innovations in the segment of premium production will help the Americans with high income regain certain interest in perfumery. Limited editions of niche scents will create an atmosphere of desire and buying craze around the perfume. Nowadays fashion houses produce nearly ten fragrances per year that annihilates the individuality of the scent. This leads to the decrease of consumers’ desire to buy new perfumes.
It is impossible to choose the right fragrance without testing it on the skin. That is why there are always many people in specialized shops that sell perfumes. However, people usually test the scents and go away without buying the product. If they really want to buy one, customers prefer to shop online and there are several practical reasons for these actions. In comparison to it, internet-based perfume business has several advantaged. The prices in online shops are usually lower because the distributor does not need to spend money on the rent of space, electricity, security and salaries employees. There is no need to hurry while choosing the right perfume and so it is possible to read multiple discussions about the scent in the web.
Current online competition
The market of perfumes in the USA is growing rapidly after 2011. The sales rate increased by 8 percent comparing to 2010, when the economical situation was much to be desired. The market of fragrances directly depends from the purchasing power of people – the less they earn, the less they buy such supplementary things like perfumes as gifts for others and for themselves.
Coty is considered to be one of the most significant players on the American market of perfumes. The main characteristic of this company is that it does not produce fragrances by itself; it buys licenses from well-known fashion designers. For example, Coty is an official distributor of Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Vera Wang and Marc Jacobs perfumes. The company also works with the fragrances created by popular stars like Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Tim McGraw and Sarah Jessica Parker. Despite being known to the majority of consumers as a big serious company, Coty has some problems with dealing with mass market, because niche perfumes are sold at high prices.
According to the information provided by Leffingwell & Associates, the following companies are in Top 10 of fragrance and flavor industry leaders from 2008 to 2012:
1. Givaudan 20.3%
2. Firmenich 13.2%
3. IFF 12.3%
4. Symrise 10.0%
5. Takasago 6.0%
6. Mane SA 3.7%
7. Sensient Flavors 3.2%
8. Frutarom 2.7%
9. Robertet SA 2.3%
10. T. Hasegawa 2.2% (“2008 – 2012 Flavor & Fragrance Industry Leaders,” 2013)
Despite high popularity of “home” perfumes, created in the United States, European (especially French) brands are also in demand. The costs on original French production are usually higher, that is why the market of copies is growing extensively in the States. The Chinese manufacturers sell the fragrances that remind initial product, give it another name and sell it in the original bottle. For example, this resource is one of the major online shops of cheap perfumery in the United States – http://www.made-in-china.com/products-search/hot-china-products/Perfume.html.
The market of perfumes usually goes to extremes – there are original luxurious fragrances, that are expensive and there are cheep copies of brands that can even harm customers’ health. This kind of dumping creates certain difficulties for big fragrance companies that sell original production. The comparison of three major online perfume resources illustrates this tendency.
This shop of luxury perfumery http://www.luxuryperfume.com/womens-fragrances.html offers a wide range of rebates. Currently there is a banner on the main page that it is possible to buy any fragrance during the eight percent sale. On the site http://www.perfumebee.com/women the range of rebates varies from fifteen percent to ninety percent. Another online shop of cosmetics http://www.fragrancenet.com/ also has eighty percent sales.
The design of the company’s website is important in attracting customers. After having analyzed the sites of the competitors, it became evident that they have a very complicated and illogical navigation. Luxury Perfumes are categorized in alphabetic order, so the customer has to click on the letter and only then he/she will see the list of fragrances that start with it. The following screenshot of the page shows that there is no possibility to select the perfumes by price, size and type of scent.
In addition, the sub-categories that show the description of the item are overloaded with options which makes if difficult to read the information. Multiple ways of payment and presence in social media is important, though the customers do not need to see all these buttons in one place.
The website of Perfume Bee also has the only type of navigation by brand name. FragranceNet has an original categorization. However, it is also problematic to analyze the perfumes if the customer does not know what he/she wants to buy. In addition, there is no feedback option and so it is impossible to learn about the quality of the product and service from those who have bought something there.
In the development of the structure of Fragrance Bay, all these details that make the navigation through online shop difficult will be changed. The site will be less complicated than the ones of the competitors and it will offer more detailed information about each fragrance.
Online marketing suggestions and strategies
The first strategy is simple, yet informative design of the website. It should not be overloaded by flash and be convenient to navigate. The comment option is obligatory, so that potential customers could learn more about other people’s reaction. In addition, positive comments about the shop raise the site rate and popularity.
The second essential marketing suggestion is advertising in the beauty-magazines, TV and Internet. The better advertising campaign will be, the more people (especially women) will pay attention to the new online shop.
Another strategy is sending customers free symbolic gifts with the product they have bought. For example, if someone bought the 100 ml perfume Chanel №5, he/she will receive an 8 ml tester of another fragrance that is similar to Chanel. The customers will estimate the attention the shop pays to them and it will create a positive atmosphere.
Social media integration
Social media is a simple yet effective way to promote the resource without paying thousands of dollars. The only drawback of this method is that is it time consuming and in it the quantity of information is more important than its quality. It is possible to use integration tools that are embedded into the code of the webpage and the updates appear simultaneously on the company’s website, on its Facebook page, in Twitter, Instagram, Picasa, LiveJournal and YouTube. Having both written and video blog is an effective way to let people know about the business.
It is difficult to promote the website when there are not many people in the company. However, it is possible to hire freelance writers and SEO specialists who work freelance. If they live in developing countries, they will agree to do social media promotion for less money than the US residents.
The first two steps that guarantee normal functioning of the website are choosing a reliable hosting with 24/7 support and positive recommendations and registering the domain name. The name of the page should be simple, easy to remember and it also should reflect the area of company’s work. For example, the address like who-is-on-duty-today.pl can not fit the online shop of cosmetics situated in the US. That is why the name fragrancebay.com meets all the requirements for American perfumery business.
There should be all major payment systems available on the website to simplify shopping. The customer should click on “Add to Cart” button and choose the method he/she prefers. If the customer needs to transfer money from one system to another, the chance of not buying the product is very high. Among the most poplar ways to pay in online shops are Master Card, PayPal, Bitcoin and others. There are also well-known resources for online payments like Authorize.Net, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, Dwolla, Stripe, Braintree, Samurai by FeeFighters, WePay and 2Checkout. (Meyer, 2012 )
Search engine considerations and optimization strategies
The most important issue on SEO is creating original customer-centric content. Tags and keywords are essential in increasing the rate of citation in search engines. However, the abundance of keywords and tags should not make the text unreadable. The site is primarily made for people, but not for the robots of search engines.
Reciprocal linkbuilding is also an efficient way to promote the business online. Fragrance Bay deals with perfumery, so it will be a right choice to collaborate with online beauty magazines or blogs. The writers will create professional and original articles about the perfume shop and their covers will be advertised on the site of perfumes. The key point in this co-working is that the potential customers are mostly women, who are interested in fashion.
It is also possible to use AdWords from Google that will advertise the website on the first page of results. Though, SEO is the rapidly changing sphere and the only thing that is definite in the vague question of site optimization is that only active work on improving the resource makes the site grow in ranking.
Fragrance Bay sells products only on the territory of the USA. That is why the questions of shipping perfumes to other countries are not urgent. However, the company buys the production in France and has a license that allows it to sell the goods in the US and confirms that all the perfumes are original. Customers will be able to see this certificate on the webpage of the shop.
Online customer relationship management
Customer relationship management is one of the most important issues the company has to consider if they want to reach good results. The main point in CRM is efficient 24/7 support both by live chat and telephone/skype.
It is possible to find a variety of tools that facilitate the management process. For example, Batchbook can be integrated with social media. It tracks deals and creates detailed address books, taking information from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts of the customers (with their permission). The tools with similar options are BlueCamroo, Nimble, GreenRope and Insightly. (Chaney, 2013)
The main categories on the site are Title Page, Cover Page, The Top 100, Articles and Help. The data is categorized by several characteristics: gender, year of creation, olfactory group, designer, country, industry, age, season and style. The screenshots were made by using http://app.imcreator.com and Paint.
The site has subcategories that help to search for fragrances by one note.
Choosing from a wide range of perfumes within an olfactory group is also possible.
In the subcategory Articles the customers will find information about the perfumes provided by bloggers and online magazines the company is going to collaborate. For example, they can read reviews of perfumes and communicate in the comments section.
The mock-up was prepared by using http://app.imcreator.com and Paint.
Picture of perfumes retrieved from (AmiAhuja, 2010)
Projected web development and maintenance costs
Domain name registration
Cost of website design
Cost of maintaining site
$250-$500 per month
AmiAhuja. (2010) The Favorite Perfumes of Kings and Queens. Retrieved from http://www.amiahuja.com/2010/03/16/the-favorite-perfumes-of-kings-and-queens/
Chaney, P. (2013, February 25). 5 Social CRM Tools for Small Business Retrieved from http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3924-5-Social-CRM-Tools-for-Small-Business
Meyer, R. (2012 , May 15). 10 Excellent Online Payment Systems. Retrieved from http://sixrevisions.com/tools/online-payment-systems/
Fragrance Industry: Market Research Reports, Statistics and Analysis. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.reportlinker.com/ci02149/Fragrance.html
2008 – 2012 Flavor & Fragrance Industry Leaders. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.leffingwell.com/top_10.htm