Given the developments brought by the digital age, businesses such as House of Fraser have to consider the added value they deliver to customers and to become more service oriented, if they wish to survive the competition of online retailing platforms such as Amazon and Ebay.

Task

Given the developments brought by the digital age, businesses such as House of Fraser have to consider the added value they deliver to customers and to become more service oriented, if they wish to survive the competition of online retailing platforms such as Amazon and Ebay. Traditional retailers have to be proactive by being present where their customers are and to provide them with services that suit their particular needs in terms of product preference, place, time and form.

You are required to critically evaluate how the British retailer House of Fraser uses digital technologies in its interaction with potential and existing customers. In addition, you are asked to suggest improvements to their digital business strategy, based on theory and best practices of web-page, mobile and social media use in the context of retailing. You are encouraged to highlight the customer journey while searching and purchasing products sold by House of Fraser and its competitors. Consider customers’ experiences of purchasing and perceptions of online and offline services offered by House of Fraser and its competitors.

To help yourself with this task, next to attending lectures and tutorial sessions, you should visit the websites of House of Fraser and its competitors. It is vital that you read and cite academic articles on digital transformation, digital marketing, and how to add value to the customer experience.

You are asked to:

  • Undertake a short analysis of the external environment.
  • Identify what makes House of Fraser unique; compare this with the competitors.
  • Highlight the customer journey while searching and purchasing products sold by House of Fraser and its competitors. Is the customer journey different for traditional vs. online retailers?
  • Consider the customers’ experiences of purchasing and perceptions of online and offline services offered by House of Fraser and its competitors.
  • Consider all the actions related to digital and social media that House of Fraser currently undertakes; be critical about them.
  • Evaluate and give recommendations for the layout, design and navigation of the House of Fraser’s website.
  • Evaluate and suggest improvements to House of Fraser’s social media presence.
  • Indicate what can House of Fraser do to engage more the tech-savvy young generation.
  • Explore ways in which House of Fraser can meet customer expectations of online and offline experiences.
  • Explore the feasibility, appropriateness and how could you measure the efficiency of your recommendations? Think of analytics, monitoring, control, and security of web-based technologies.
  • When suggesting improvements, consider the best practices of web-page, mobile and social media use in the context of retailing (based on theory and what competitors do).

Marking criteria individual critical evaluation report (equal weight 20% each):

Critical analysis of current digital business strategy.

Desirability of suggested improvements.

Knowledge and understanding of key concepts. Quality of arguments.

Use of examples, data and references.

Clarity of structure, text organisation, clarity of language.

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