How a typical customer buys a product
A typical customer is a young individual (or company) who wish to reinforce or establish a social relation with someone or who desires to have a personalised item. They have a low to middle income bracket and feel quite comfortable in using the web to buy products on-line. A typical buyer first determines how much he is willing to spend, and uses the internet to search for alternatives. When the customer finds a product that matches his needs, he generally tends to compare the same product from different sellers.
He considers convenience, trust, quality, and variety in making a choice whether or not to purchase the product. Next, he looks for different kinds of the same product (e. g. colour, shapes, size, price, etc) and makes the final decision depending on the recipient and personal taste. He then waits for the delivery of the product and expects it to be on his doorstep by the period indicated in the internet. CATEGORIES OF COMPETITORS Based on the information from the UK Statistics Authority (see bibliography), competitors are divided into 3 categories:
Primary competitors are those companies which primarily sell decorated mugs. In the UK, there are around 30 primary competitors. They generally target established businesses rather than individual customers – relying more in wholesales than retail businesses – hence, they compete more in prices instead of artwork, services, or quality. Primary competitors are normally small size businesses, or independent craftsmen or hobbyist. About half of all primary competitors hold a website, Nevertheless just a few of them carry online transactions.
Secondary competitors are those who sell mugs but not as the core of their businesses. They generally are photo-developing companies, business-marketing suppliers, home furniture companies, and giftware companies. Compared to primary competitors, secondary competitors are usually bigger in size, make better use of the Internet, and compete not only in price but also in product variety, customer services, and quality. They tend to target established business as well as individual customers.
Tertiary competitors are primary and secondary competitors abroad that offer and sell their products in the UK. They are mainly located in North America and the European Union. They are similar in size to secondary competitors and rely more on the Internet to market and sell their products inside the UK. In general, the competitors’ environment is made up of small to medium size businesses (and some independent craftsmen) that tend to compete in prices more than in services. Nevertheless, despite being an open and easy to break-in market, there is no sign of a dominant competitor.
Main competitors include all those companies dedicated to sell mugs as the core of their business. Secondary competitors are those who sell mugs but, nevertheless, only as part of their business, they include: gift companies, printing companies, photo companies, t-shirt companies, etc. Finally, the tertiary competitors are the main competitors and secondary competitors abroad that offer and export their products to the UK. Jolly mugs have a good competitive advantage over other companies because of the low cost that it offers and the good market that it has.
London is a perfect place to start the business because of the many people that the company can cater to. Aside from these, the company is also flexible, willing to adjust to the needs and wants of the customer. This style gives more room for the customer to exercise his creativity. The quality of the products that it offers is also very good. The technique that the company utilises creates more vibrancy and preserves the design for a longer time. However, these characteristics are not enough for the business to survive.
It needs to improve its knowledge on the industry and know the prevalent practices of companies engaged in the same trade to increase the number of its patrons. There is also a need for the company to increase its budget for expansion and improvement of the products and services that they provide on-line. They should also expand their market and cater to companies which order by the bulk and not only limit itself to individual customers. For a more detailed recommendation for the business, a marketing plan is provided.