Online Business Assignment: Custoscan
Task:This is a group assignment that builds on the work completed in Assessment 2. It allows your group/team to showcase the business idea identified by the group as the “best one’ during workshops earlier in the unit. The objective of Assessment 3 is to hone student’s business concept development and presentation skills, including what it takes to explain and pitch an idea for a new business venture. It will allow students to appreciate that potential investors take the investment process seriously and will not commit to a project without first scrutinising it carefully.
Cover: We are providing some sample solutions of online business assignments, to help you in building up a concept plan in drafting the solution yourselves. CustoScan is a start-up organisation with a vision to increase the relationship between a business and its customers. The purpose of CustoScan is to improve the way retailers do business in the contemporary market scenario that has been rapidly hijacked by digitisation. In this regard, the mission of the organisation is to provide an innovative solution as an alternative to online business for those small-scale businesses by enabling them to identify local customers, who purchased products online.
The aim of CustoScan is to design, manufacture and market scanning devices, which will search for customers in the vicinity, who are purchasing online products and enable the local retailer to pitch their value offering. This device will also allow the retailer to push a message to the customers making them aware of the local market presence for the same market segment.
Problem: Due to rapid digitisation, many businesses are adopting multichannel mode for attracting the digital as well as the walk-in customers. While the digital channel provides with the necessary information and shopping cart for the customers to shop online, the walk-in stores cater to those customers who prefer to purchase offline. However, due to digitisation, the major impact is on the small businesses, who do not have the capability or the resources to adopt a multi-channel platform to enhance their business. Clearly, digitisation has revolutionised the way business operates and has a significant influence on the customer purchase decision process and the adoption of new technology. Hence, there is a need for an alternative option for such businesses that cannot afford the cost of an online platform to conduct their business.
Solution: An innovative solution proposed by CustoScan is a scanning device that helps the retailers to identify those customers who are purchasing similar products online as available from the local brick and mortar store. It is essential to note that the potential target customers are those businesses, which are small scale and has limited resources to invest in the online business model. This device will be able to search the vicinity for such customers, extract their contact information, and furnish them to the retailer. These retailers can contact the customer directly to provide their value offering and alternatively, the device will send in a push message to make to customers aware of the existence of local retailer for the same product segment and possibly at a lower price. Clearly, this solution will be innovative as well as robust towards changing the way by which the local retailers contact their customers and create awareness of their brand. Further, this device will also reduce the cost of promotion in the local community.
Market validation: Market validation process comprising of a preliminary interview with several local communities allowed the organisation to validate the response post manufacturing of the device. From the preliminary interview of 100 retailers across five townships, it is clear that about 89% of the retailers are amazed by the possibility of such a solution. About 43 % of retailers have expressed positive interest in the development of the product but about 23% of the retailers showed scepticism about the cost of purchasing and maintenance of the device. It is evident from the interview that the market response is positive, however, the cost is still a determining factor for the success of the device.
Market Size: According to the survey by the Commonwealth Bank, about 41% of the Australian retailers perceive Amazon, one of the largest online retailers around the globe as a direct threat (Inside Retail, 2018). The major impact of Amazon as an online retailer will be on the Electronics, fashion and sports businesses. Clearly, this 41 % of the retail segment do not have the potential to compete with the consumer experience provided through the online retail channel. Further, in the domestic market of Australia, the current market size of online retail businesses is 5%, which is growing at a rate of 32% annually (Scutt, 2018). Similar is the case of grocery sales where, the online grocery retail is growing at a rate of 23.8 % (Inside Retail, 2018). The total number of businesses in Australia, who are actively trading is more than 2.17 million, where about 550000 businesses belong to the less than $50000 turnover and about 750000 businesses belong to the turnover range between $50000 and $200000 (ABS, 2017). Clearly, these businesses are the primary target customers of the organisation.
Product: Unique selling proposition for the product is simplicity, convenience, real-time data, automatic push message, and comparatively low cost that competitor technologies. The product will utilise an innovative technology, which will capitalise upon the IOT and analyses using data from the local network source. Since the customers use digital technology to communicate with the online retail platform, the device will proactively scan out the contact information of the customers. However, the pre-requisite for the functioning of this technology is that the user has to be on a Smartphone. Then the device will send a pre-developed message to the target customers as well as inform the retailer about the contact details. In order to enhance the security of the device, it is essential for the retailer to register their individual credentials with the device. The device will function upon verification of retail business credentials. Hence, the device protects the business from potential breach of data privacy as well as enable the business to protect the data privacy of the customers.
Business Model: The business has three major cost units, which are manufacturing, sales & marketing and operations. The manufacturing unit will be responsible for designing, developing and producing the device. The sales & marketing unit will comprise of the sales team, who will be responsible for selling the product to the individual businesses at the target geographies. This unit will also be responsible for the product promotion to create awareness about the brand and aid towards the selling of the product. The Operations units will be responsible for ensuring collaboration and integration of the various business units. The business expects the cost of commercialisation for each product to be $90 including a risk cost of $10 per unit, while the selling price for the product will be $150. Hence, the net profit is at least 67% for each unit sold. However, the organisation have limited finance for starting with the business hence, CustoScan seeks an investment of $100000 from the interested investors as ‘seed money’ for starting the business.
Market Adoption: The market adoption process includes five stages, which are Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Trial and Adoption. The awareness stage will consist of conducting below the line activity such as poster promotion, pamphlet distribution and education program at each district. This will help to generate the buzz about the new product. The interest stage will consist of providing a demo of products at the education program events. The evaluation stage will consist of educating the retailers about the cost of alternatives such as a good online retail infrastructure. For example, an average online web-portal management service will cost $1450 from SheCommerce as an initial development fee and a monthly rental of $29 (SheCommerce, 2018). On the contrary, the device will require a mobile phone connection and the device itself within the possible price of $150, while no requirement for monthly maintenance. The trial phase will include providing prototype samples at a 40% discounted price to 100 retailers. The feedback of sales from the database will enable the development of the product. Finally, the product is expected to be adopted by the retail businesses increasing the business sustenance. The adoption phase will include direct marketing strategy to push the product to the market initially to create a substantiate market base.
Competition: The product is highly innovative with no comparable product on the market. However, the potential competitor for the product will be the e-commerce businesses who use SEO to identify target consumers to pull them to their retailer stores or to the online retail platform. However, the in terms of cost the use of SEO and consumer usage through social platform require high cost and technical know-how to be conducted independently. Further, SEO may not provide real-time data to the retailer. Despite these disadvantages, the success of SEO has been established whereas this scanner is new to the market.
Competitive advantage The scanner device has the market advantage of being the sole product of its kind. The device post-establishment will stay as a monopoly firm for a period of at least 5 years based on the period of the patent. The device features itself will provide the small local businesspersons to stay competitive with their online counterparts.
The ability of the organisation to generate a profit of 67% for selling at normal selling price due to the low cost of production, attribute to its first operational advantage. The business model includes designing and assembling their product at their manufacturing unit while the essential component and electronic units to be outsourced from an electronics component supplier, which decreases the capital investment. Additionally, the organisation also uses ‘direct marketing’ approach to promote and sell the product to the business customers, which decreases the cost of advertisement as well as the cost of warehousing at the initial stages.
TeamThe organisational structure for CustoScan is centralised. The team of CustoScan includes the administrative team comprising of the business head specialised in marketing, assistant business head specialised in Electronics Communication, and an accounts executive responsible for addressing the financial needs of the organisation. The Sales team will comprise 10 salespersons supervised by an Area manager. The manufacturing unit will comprise of one design engineer and two technical executives responsible for designing and assembling the products respectively. The area manager will report to the Business head and the manufacturing unit will report to the assistant business head.
Press:The press release will comprise of updates on product development and market assessment report prior to the commercialisation of the product. The press releases will be done through nationalised digital and business magazines in order to communicate to the businesspersons about the authenticity and competitive advantage of the product. The press release will also allow the business to stay up-to-date about the launch date of the product.
User Testimonials: The User testimonials will comprise of influencer testimonials prior to the launch of the product. The influencer testimonials will enable the potential customers to create the necessary buzz and create interest among the target user groups. The other user testimonials will include Quotes with the ‘hero image’ and their comment, and consumer reviews after launching of demo products. The quotes and customer reviews will enable the organisation to create trust and relevance of their product to the target audience.
Financials: Projected Cash Flow statement for CustoScan includes the cost of capital, administrative costs, manufacturing costs, and the sales and marketing costs. The total cash outflow is $470000 for the first year of operation. Here the cost of capital, supplies, product development and market research is required for the first year of operation. The target sales of 100 demo units and 4000 commercialised product will generate $459000. The break-even is expected within the third month of the second year of operation.
CustoScan being a start-up organisation has at present a business concept and a possibility of a product based on initial research and market validation. The product described in this online business assignment seeks to solve the challenges of a retailer without the capacity to provide online retailing experience to stay competitive in a market, where consumers are moving to online shopping. The Business Model expects to generate a profit of 67% with the sale of one unit of the product through its period to monopoly. The Business uses a centralised structure to simplify the business process during its starting phase while adopting awareness focused publications and user testimonial based promotion through business magazines. The organisation described in this online business assignment also adopts direct marketing technique to push the initial lot of 3000 products into the market. online business assignment are being prepared by our online marketing assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable urgent assignment help service.
ABS. (2017). Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2013 to Jun 2017. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Inside Retail. (2018). Australia sales growth in grocery e-commerce. Sydney: inside retail.
Scutt, D. (2018). The digital threat facing Australian bricks-and-mortar retailers, in one chart. Sydney: Business Insider.
SheCommerce. (2018). ONLINE STORE PLAN. Retrieved from http://www.shecommerce.com.au/ecommerce-web-design/