Complementary E-Value Elements for “Price”
- - Connectivity: Follow comparative search engines to see how your price levels compare with your competitors’.
- - Content: Use the right color and font in your product and service prices and present the information in the right places on your website and your e-mails.
- - Community: Watch consumer-to-consumer markets and e-auctions closely to understand the real market value of your product.
- Commitment: Clearly emphasize shipping costs and possible unknown costs (hidden costs) to eliminate possible misunderstandings beforehand.
Place: The essence of distribution is to provide convenience and bring expertise to consumers.11 The Internet reduces many physical shopping hassles and costs for consumers, providing a convenient shopping experience. Consumers can now easily access product logistics information, which enhances understanding in terms of time, space, and availability—this has recently been conceptualized as “consumer logistics awareness.”12 Thus, companies need to provide easy ordering options and share product logistics information with consumers on their website to reduce possible misunderstandings, such as those caused by delayed delivery. Retail stores not only make products available for consumers but they also provide information and expertise through their sales personnel. Today, many consumers visit physical stores to learn more about products/services, then purchase such products online where they are discounted (this is called “online free-riding”).13 Alternatively, they collect information on the Internet by using search engines or listening to what other like-minded consumers are talking about in their blogs or social networks and then visit retail stores to experience the product in the physical store and eventually buy it there. Thus, the Internet has, in turn, caused cannibalization problems in many distribution channels. Companies need to understand how consumers utilize product information and logistics in order to reduce such negative free-riding behaviors and channel cannibalization.