本文是电子商务专业的留学生Essay代写范例，题目是“Justification for E-Commerce Shopping Platform（电子商务购物平台的合理性）”，我建议The TJX Companies, Inc.创建一个囊括所有TJX家族门店的电子商务购物平台，因为我坚信这个内部创业机会有潜力为已经杰出和声誉良好的TJX Companies, Inc.品牌提供更多的财务利益。自2014年以来，电商零售业呈指数级增长，2018年占零售总额的14.3%，比上年增长15%(阿里通，2019)。考虑到电子商务部门的增长以及零售行业的总销售额，目前没有迹象表明在不久的将来增长会放缓。
I propose that The TJX Companies, Inc. create an all-inclusive e-commerce shopping platform to include all of the TJX Family stores as I strongly believe this intrapreneurial opportunity has the potential to provide increased financial benefits to the already distinguished and reputable TJX Companies, Inc. brand name. Since 2014, the e-commerce retail industry has experienced an exponential boom and in 2018 represented 14.3% of total retail sales, which was a 15% increase from the prior year (Ali & Tong, 2019). Given the growth of the e-commerce sector as well as total sales within the retail industry, there are currently no indications of reduced growth in the near future.
In order to keep up with modern society’s shifts of digital adoption, The TJX Companies, Inc. is presented an opportunity to make their one of a kind, ‘treasure hunt’ shopping experience accessible to loyal customers, labeled by the coined term ‘Maxxinistas’, all over the world. The notorious TJX Brand has established itself as a leader within the fashion and home décor industry through its key core competencies of opportunistic buying, aggressive inventory management, and high-value, off-price merchandise. An e-commerce shopping platform will capitalize on and align with today’s fashion consumer trends (Sullivan, 2018).
Problem or Opportunity问题或机会
In recent years, e-commerce has proven to become the most powerful engine for growth across all industries. Miva (2017) states, “With social media and mobile commerce growing exponentially in recent years, the conversation between businesses and consumers has become more engaging, making it easier for transactional exchanges to happen online.” (para#26) The loyal customers of The TJX Family stores have undoubtedly fueled the e-commerce boom, specifically the retail sector, in one way or another.
The e-commerce boom itself has created an opportunity for the TJX Family however, consumer’s involvement and recent adaptations have created a problem with the organization’s lack of e-commerce presence. In order to remain competitive and retain the loyalty of its customers, The TJX Companies, Inc. is faced with the problem of whether an e-commerce platform aligns with the organization’s operations and strategic goals rather than just with modern trends. I believe the ladder to be true based on the company’s unified family of stores, branded element of surprise within the consumer’s shopping experience, current physical footprint, and customer loyalty.
The stores that fall within the TJX Family are not simply stores owned by one company, but rather a family of stores that operate as, ‘One TJX’, yet offer different assortments of products in each unique store brand. This idea leverages a global presence including talent, infrastructure, ideas, and expertise across all geographies (The TJX Companies, Inc. 2018 Annual Report, 2019). For example, gift cards are universally sold and accepted across all stores, each store front is designed with an open layout concept: no walls, minimal displays and décor, and simply organized into major sections, and in some cases, the store fronts are combined to offer a more convenient, expanded shopping experiences to customers (i.e. T.J. Maxx & Homegoods where T.J. Maxx offers family apparel and accessories, and Homegoods home décor and furnishings). An all-inclusive e-commerce platform will further unify the idea of a family of stores and a global presence (Company, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018)
A unified e-commerce shopping experience hosting a family of stores will also enhance the TJX Family’s important, branded element of surprise. “Eclecticism, combined with unpredictability and cut-rate prices, provides an ambience of surprise on each shopping visit; it also a provides a sense of urgency to commit and purchase, rather than simply browse.” (Sharma, 2018, para# 4). For example, if the website sporadically offered reduced sale prices according to an internal schedule, it would provide customers with the same experience they are drawn to in a TJX Family store. This also is a cost savings opportunity for The TJX Companies, Inc. as it is much less labor intensive to publish an online savings than it is to individually mark tags in a store (Burns, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018).
一个统一的电子商务购物体验，举办一个家庭商店，也将增强TJX家庭重要的品牌惊喜元素。“折衷主义，结合不可预测性和降价，提供了一个惊喜的氛围，在每次购物访问;它还提供了一种紧迫感，以提交和购买，而不是简单地浏览。(Sharma, 2018，第4段)。例如，如果该网站根据内部时间表偶尔提供降价销售，它将为客户提供他们在TJX家庭商店所吸引的相同的体验。对于TJX公司来说，这也是一个节省成本的机会，因为发布在线节省的劳动力要比在商店中单独标记标签少得多(Burns, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018)。
Based on the 2018 annual report, The TJX Companies, Inc. operates 4,070 physical store fronts, which equates to approximately 110,000,000 square feet. It was also planned in 2019 to expand this physical foot print to 4,306 stores across all the TJX Family brands. In addition, they either own or lease approximately 38,000,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution centers across the globe (2018 Annual Report, 2019). A combination of the element of surprise that requires extremely high inventory turnover and the large, worldwide, physical footprint are essential assets to an e-commerce expansion. The TJX family already has resources to facilitate the posing challenge of continuously housing and flushing inventory required with an e-commerce platform (Burns, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018).
The TJX brand has proven to be successful by measuring customer loyalty. Loyal TJX Family customers are provided a consistent and familiar shopping experience and continually drawn by the treasure hunt atmosphere that enhances each future visit. In addition, customers are drawn to the brand’s authenticity and reciprocal loyalty to employees and customers within the surrounding community (Grillo, 2017) The overall purpose of a universal e-commerce platform is not a necessary means to seek new or maintain current customer loyalty, but rather a response to the shift in the retail market that will in turn generate a new type of loyalty to the same brand (Burns, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018).
Demographically, the target market for the TJX Brand and family of stores is women between the ages of 20 and 39 who are single, married and/or with children. These women ideally at a minimum hold an associate’s degree and a part-time job contributing to their individual or combined household annual income between $30,000 and $350,000, which is considered middle to upper middle class (Alhanati, 2018) (Serafino, 2018). Pyschographically, the women described above should have interests in the trends of the rapidly evolving fashion industry, a healthy and active lifestyle, seasonal shifts, modern home designs, simplicity, and value their money and the meaning of savings (Wallace, 2018) (Sullivan, 2018).
从人口统计学上看，TJX品牌和商店家族的目标市场是年龄在20到39岁之间的单身、已婚和/或有孩子的女性。这些女性理想的最低要求是大专学历和一份兼职工作，有助于她们的个人或家庭年收入在3万美元至35万美元之间，这被认为是中上中产阶级(Alhanati, 2018年)(Serafino, 2018年)。从心理上来说，上述女性应该对快速发展的时尚行业的趋势、健康和积极的生活方式、季节性的变化、现代的家居设计、简约感兴趣，并重视他们的金钱和储蓄的意义(Wallace, 2018) (Sullivan, 2018)。
The current population of the United States is 325,719,178 people. Based on the criteria of the target market described above, 27% of the population fall within the age range, 51% are female, 20.7% meet the education requirements, and 75.3% fall within the household income. Although we cannot quantify the pyschographics of the target market, the demographics suggest the TJX Family will be catering the new all-inclusive web platform to 6,991,052 people within the United States, in addition to all of those worldwide who also fit the same profile (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). Although the target market is outlined above, The TJX takes pride in the ability of their focused efforts to reach beyond their target at a wider market, including men, women and children of all ages and demographics.
The TJX Companies, Inc. operates as the top competitor of 25,045 businesses within the Family Clothing Stores sector of the fashion industry, holding a 15% share of the approximately $112 billion industry (O’Conner, 2019). Currently, given the two TJX Family online platforms, e-commerce sales account for 2% of overall sales and revenue, or $320 million of $16 billion (The TJX Companies, Inc. 2018 Annual Report, 2019). The goal of an all-inclusive platform that provides more opportunities for the organization’s target market is to initially increase e-commerce sales to 15-20% of overall sales in addition to their current growth forecast, approximately $2.4 billion to $3.2 billion if based on 2018 revenues.
The e-commerce and online auctions industry currently has 230,000 businesses, generating $560 billion in 2018. The clothing, footwear and accessories sector holds 16.8% of the industry, or $94 billion (Spitzer, 2019). Given this data, the TJX Family’s market for their new all-inclusive e-commerce shopping platform will be 2.4% of the family clothing stores sector of the fashion industry, 2.9% of the clothing, footwear and accessories sector of the e-commerce and online auctions industry, and .5% of the overall e-commerce and online auctions industry.
The four key features of an e-commerce shopping platform that satisfy current customer needs include: the ability to control inventory, maintain a loyal customer base, quickly adapt to new technology, and offer superior after-sale services (Spitzer, 2019).
The TJX Family manages and controls their inventory much unlike any fashion retailer as described above with the, ‘treasure hunt’ effect. Not only does its uniqueness entice consumers, there are means and methods to control the process proving consumers with the off-price value they are promised. The TJX Companies, Inc.’s inventory is globally sourced from over 21,000 vendors in more than 100 countries. The company utilizes their resources to buy close to the need of timely fashion trends and brand emersions, and offer limited sizing and quantities (The TJX Companies, Inc. 2018 Annual Report, 2019) (Sullivan, 2018). This model is more efficient for the TJX Family’s operations of an e-commerce site while still satisfying consumer demands.
Loyal Customer Base忠诚的客户群
As described above, The TJX Family has proven to have an expansive loyal customer base, which began during the Great Recession of 2008 where per capita disposable income plummeted and customers found joy and comfort in the company’s shopping experience that offered familiar brand name merchandise at a discounted price. Since the TJX Family’s rise to fame, the company was recently ranked #16 on the National Retail Federation’s list of top U.S. retailers. Also, after surveying more than 77,000 U.S. consumers and measuring familiarity, quality and purchase consideration, T.J. Maxx was voted Brand of the Year in the off-price retailer category by the Harris Poll (Serving Our Customers, n.d.).
Modern consumers are most interested in the usability, personalization and privacy of an e-commerce shopping platform, which requires the TJX Family utilize and continually improve with new technologies.
Usability. is the most important part of an overall online shopping experience as it is expected to be instant and convenient. If the website is not functional, a consumer will simply go to another site that is (Sullivan, 2019).
Personalization. is the experience created to cater to every individual customer just as if they were being assisted by a sales associate in a store. Examples include the ability to create customer profiles and track purchase histories and/or personal preferences, as well as the ability to leave product reviews and ratings (Roesler, 2018).
Privacy. Consumers have a greater challenge assessing the ethical behavior of an online retailer with the lack of face-to-face evaluation. As a result, consumer’s assessments are largely based upon their feeling of security before, in the process and after a transaction. Examples include account privacy, unsolicited, targeted marketing campaigns via phone/email/social media, and transactional security (Sergio, 2007) (Sullivan, 2018).
After-sale services include customer service, a return policy, a shipping policy and a rewards program. Modern consumers have high demands in each of these areas given Amazon’s takeover of the market. Customer service should include a help center, FAQ page, and 24/7 chat and phone service, as well as the ability for a customer to request the assistance of an in-store associate for an online order inquiry. The return policy should include a simple, automated process offree return shipping or free returns to the store. The shipping policy should include Domestic free standard shipping, Domestic flat rate standard shipping, Domestic flat rate expedited shipping, and International table rate shipping (Overton, 2019). Lastly, the current rewards program for TJX credit card holders and non-credit card holders should extend to the new platform (Sullivan, 2019).
售后服务包括客户服务、退货政策、运输政策和奖励计划。由于亚马逊占领了市场，现代消费者对这些领域都有很高的要求。客户服务应该包括帮助中心、FAQ页面、24/7聊天和电话服务，以及客户请求店内助理协助进行在线订单查询的能力。退货政策应该包括一个简单的、自动化的流程，免费退货送货或免费退货到商店。航运政策应包括国内免费标准航运，国内统一费率标准航运，国内统一费率加急航运，国际表费率航运(Overton, 2019)。最后，目前针对TJX信用卡持有者和非信用卡持有者的奖励计划应该扩展到新平台(Sullivan, 2019)。
The TJX Companies, Inc.’s mission is to, “to deliver great value to our customers every day.” (Company, n.d., n.p.) To fulfill their mission, The TJX Family provides value to customers with a diverse inventory of high quality, brand name, designer merchandise at an off-price value between 20% to 60% lower than the manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing (MSRP). In addition, the organization operates an extremely flexible business model that adapts with shifts in the unpredictable external economic and retail environments. Key operational features of The TJX Companies, Inc. include: an open layout concept and minimalistic store displays that focus on reduced overhead costs, extremely high inventory turnover to create the treasure hunt for shoppers, and global merchandise sourcing through an extensive list of reputable, trusted vendors (Company, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018). While looking ahead, the TJX Family states in their 2018 Annual Report, “we expect the cost headwinds to persist. At the same time, we are laser focused on identifying opportunities to partially mitigate the expense pressures in ways that protect our successful, flexible business model and our shopping experience for customers.” (The TJX Companies, Inc. 2018 Annual Report, 2019, p.4)
TJX公司的使命是“每天为我们的客户提供巨大的价值。(Company, n.d.， n.p.)为了实现他们的使命，TJX家庭为客户提供价值的高品质，品牌，设计师商品的多样化库存，以低于制造商建议零售价格(MSRP) 20%至60%的折让价值。此外，该组织运营的业务模式非常灵活，能够适应不可预测的外部经济和零售环境的变化。TJX公司的主要运营特点包括:开放式布局的概念和极简主义的商店展示，专注于降低管理成本，极高的库存周转率，为购物者创造寻宝，并通过广泛的声誉良好、值得信赖的供应商列表全球商品采购(Company, n.d.) (Sullivan, 2018)。在展望未来时，TJX家族在其2018年年度报告中表示，“我们预计成本阻力将持续。与此同时，我们专注于寻找机会，在一定程度上减轻开支压力，以保护我们成功、灵活的商业模式和我们的购物体验。(The TJX Companies, Inc. 2018 Annual Report, 2019, p.4)
The proposed all-inclusive e-commerce shopping experience aligns with the TJX Family mission to continually reach and extend beyond their market. A web-based platform has the opportunity to drastically expand the number of consumers worldwide, and provide them with the same shopping experience and great value found within the TJX Family stores. Just as the flexible business model has attributed to their success, it will also provide foundational structure for an e-commerce site that will in turn generate significantly fewer overhead costs than a traditional brick and mortar store. As the trends indicate, e-commerce and mobile shopping will continue to shape the ideal experience for fashion consumers worldwide. Aligning with these trends will fulfill the TJX Family’s mission and long-term organizational strategy.
An all-inclusive e-commerce shopping experience is innovative because currently, there is no off-price retailer within the e-commerce industry. If the TJX Family were to successfully implement an e-commerce platform that hosts all of their family of stores, they would be the first to do so, living up to the status of being the leading off-price retailer. The creation of their flexible business model was once an innovation that has led to an overwhelming success. At a point in time, many would have believed the business to fail because of their non-traditional model, and the same is true for a potential e-commerce platform. The TJX Companies, Inc. has not only established themselves as a leading retailer, but also a leading innovator from the beginning. The TJX Family would be the best to pilot the first e-commerce platform for an off-price retailer.
全包式电子商务购物体验是一种创新，因为目前在电子商务行业中还没有打折零售商。如果TJX家族成功地实现了一个电子商务平台，容纳了他们所有的门店，他们将成为第一个这样做的人，成为领先的低价零售商。他们建立灵活的商业模式曾经是一种创新，并带来了巨大的成功。在某一时刻，许多人会认为该业务会失败，因为它们的非传统模式，对于一个潜在的电子商务平台来说也是如此。The TJX Companies, Inc.不仅建立了自己作为领先的零售商，而且从一开始就是一个领先的创新者。TJX家族将是最好的试点第一个电子商务平台的低价零售商。
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