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Digital Marketing Assignment: 4Ps Evolution in E-Commerce


Task: There is no doubt that E-Commerce and the use of Web-Based technologies have transformed the marketing mix. Prepare a digital marketing assignmentdescribing in detail using examples from organisations that you are familiar with how marketing’s traditional 4Ps (product, price, promotion and place /channel) have been transformed in the online environment. The report should be no more than 3,000 words.


As per the research on digital marketing assignment, the exponential rise of electronic trade (e-commerce) along with the immense increase in online social media is substantially impacting the world economy (Li and Ku, 2018). Just between 2014 through 2017, the global e-commerce online sales climbed by 72 per cent and it is predicted that by 2021 the sales have expanded by 265 per percentage since the year 2014 (eMarketer, 2018). Also, success of e-business is founded on its advantages for example, speedier purchasing and selling procedures, 24/7 business hours, simplicity of locating items, access to even more customers, cheap operational expenses and minimal barriers to entry.

The promotion mix, often referred as the 4Ps of conventional marketing, relates to product, location, pricing, and promo, and may be observed in the e-commerce industry. Nevertheless, in the context of e-commerce, wherein commodities are no longer limited to tangible objects and it is simple to compare costs between sellers, the meaning of the several Ps has become muddled (Kannan and Li, 2017). The development of the 4Ps in the backdrop of E-Commerce is discussed in this study.

4Ps Evolution in E-Commerce

Customers now have a broader selection of diversified products at their fingertips than they had in brick-and-mortar businesses, as per Kannan and Li (2017), and these products include not just physical objects offered and acquired online, but at the same time the so-called virtual goods (Hamari and Keronen, 2017). When more people seek to express themselves via their purchasing habits, online customisation of goods has become possible. The quantity of items sold by major internet merchants may be over 75 times than that major brick-and-mortar retailers. Virtual commodities and digital information products are two new product types that have arisen in the era of ecommerce. In aggregate, e-commerce has resulted in a greater choice of items, with sales shifting away from a few popular brands and toward niche products. The long tail is affected by this maturation, however studies disagree as to whether the tail grows fatter or flatter. Finally, customers increasingly want customised items. Because of technological improvements in e-commerce, mass customisation is now available online at a lower cost than in traditional storefronts.

Consumers can now compare costs more easily thanks to the Internet. Nevertheless, there is no strong agreement in academia about how e-commerce influences prices in practise. It is believed that the price of online items and services seems to be more volatile (Kannan and Li, 2017). Price discrimination on the internet refers to the practise of presenting different prices for the same goods to different clients. Price discrimination was seen on near to four out of five travel websites. In an internet context, vendors can charge greater prices if the buyer's wants and the type of the product providing are a good match.

Unlike brick-and-mortar establishments, which highlight the value of a good location, e-commerce had already made the actual location largely meaningless. Transactions may now be completed from any computer with internet Access, making them more convenient for consumers. New ways of getting products to customers quickly have also emerged, allowing for cheaper and more efficient transportation (Taleizadeh and Sadeghi, 2018). The position of e-tailers, or online merchants, has lately shifted from that of a reseller to something like an agency seller. They claim that typically, e-tailers buy items from manufacturers subsequently resell those to online customers, but that some large retailers, including such Amazon as well as Sears, nowadays are allowing manufacturers to engage directly with customers on their websites for a charge. Click and collect is now also evolving as a multi-channel option for major conventional shops that combines online ordering with picking up the goods in the store. The benefits of the click - and - collect method include a broader selection of items and the assurance of product availability.As a result, click and collect brings together the best of both physical and online retailers. E-commerce, on the other hand, has spawned two separate omnichanneling patterns (Kang, 2018), in which customers combine online and physical channels when determining where to buy an item. Both are showrooming as well as webrooming, which are also described as the "research-based shopper phenomena" (Verhoef et al, 2007). Webrooming would be a concept in which buyers seek information online however and buy the product in-store (Fernández, Pérez, and Vázquez-Casielles, 2018). Showrooming would be a phenomenon wherein the consumers browse for information physically but buy products on the web (Fernández, Pérez, and Vázquez-Casielles, 2018).

As per Kannan and Li (2017), the online businesses offers a mixture of new techniques to reach clients and market items. However, it appears that firms are ceding control of product promotion to customers. All parts of the worldwide advertising business are being disrupted by online advertising, including how creative work gets done, where ad campaigns are conducted, and how adverts is traded in the market. It can take the shape of banner advertisements, search ads, pop-up adverts, rich media advertising, auctions, including online affiliates, among other things. Viral marketing seems to be another occurrence that was pretty much unheard of in conventional 4P. The marketer develops electronic material, which is then put online and distributed by users. Influencer marketing, viral videos, and guerrilla marketing initiatives are just a few examples of viral marketing. Digital word-of-mouth (eWOM) has also been proposed as a new component of the promotion mix.

Real cases of 4P evolution in E-Commerce

Uber's pricing vary depending on the nation and region in which it operates; each country has its own set of fees. As a result, no two people's prices are comparable. The firm also employs an upfront pricing policy, in which it gives clients with special coupons and incentives in order to build a loyal customer base. There are several types of taxis available in various sizes to accommodate any number of clients, and costs are levied appropriately. Premium charges are paid during peak hours, while prices change with demand-supply situations. As a result, Uber’s pricing strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Price Discrimination.
  • Innovative pricing model (via Auctions)

Uber was created in 2009 in the United States, but they're still expanding internationally since 2012 and have been doing fairly well. Uber is presently accessible in more than 40 countries and 600+ cities throughout the globe. Uber is a mobile application, which means it may be installed anywhere at moment since it is so convenient. Apps for Android devices may be downloaded from the Google Play Store whereas apps for iOS devices can be downloaded from the Apple App store. A web-based version of Uber is already in existence. It is possible to track the whereabouts of the taxis by utilising a smartphone. (Maheshwari, 2017). In respect of 'Place,' uber represents a clear progression of the marketing mix, namely the availability of products and services at the point of need. The taxi is made accessible to a place of our choice, much like an internet merchant. As a result, Uber’s place strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

• Click and Collect
Uber Promotion

In order to achieve share of the market, Uber largely relied on word of mouth advertising. Mostly in beginning, the firm's promotional and marketing expenses were quite low. Referrals based promotion helped them expand their business by enticing corporations to take advantage of the free trips and other perks they were offering. It was a big success for Uber's free riding programme, and also many people started using the service. When it comes to advertising, Uber used the same core strategies in all of its markets (Maheshwari, 2017). Uber also gives discounts as well as passes on a regular basis in order to increase its attrition rate. Uber additionally promotes its services through internet advertising as well as viral marketing. As a result, Uber’s promotion strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

• Online advertising
• E-WOM (Electronic Word of Mouth)

As a component of its overall marketing mix, Uber provides a mobile app and a web-based service enabling customers to order cabs to specific locations. Customers can choose from a variety of levels of service when using Uber. Taxi-sharing services are offered by Uber under the name "UberPOOL." Uber's cheapest option was this service. For those who prefer a more personal experience, UberGO and UberX are available. UberGO on the other hand is a service offering trips in hatchbacks. UberAUTO is another service available in India and Pakistan that allows customers to hire an auto instead of a taxicab (Maheshwari, 2017). For large distances and outstation excursions, UberTAXI allows customers to order a cab for the entire day. This has decreased turnover and antagonism to Uber drivers that local cab firms had previously displayed. In Istanbul as well as Croatia, Uber has developed a boat service where consumers may make reservations for boat trips by using application. In addition to UberRUSH, a cargo courier service,

UberEATS, a smartphone meal takeout service, is available through Uber as well.. As a result, uber provides more services than a regular taxi service. Uber also offers the ability to modify the product, along with virtual products such as Uber Credits (Li, 2020). Uber gift cards are available for purchase. Uber’s product strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps include:

  • Product customization
  • Larger product offering compared to traditional business
  • Virtual goods


An aggressive pricing approach is being used to determine the next price level using the current pricing mechanism. As a result of the large number of competitors in the industry, this makes competitor information easily accessible. When it comes to pricing, it also takes into account the cost of producing certain things that are not accessible on competitors' websites or that are more costly to make. This is due to the fact that it offers more features, which even the higher price settles for. Products are packed together and sold at a lower price than just the aggregate of their individual prices, using the product pricing approach. The company may also use an optional product cost structure for certain things, charging a base price and then charging varying rates for any additional features or services that come with it (Lendle&Vézina, 2015). eBay uses dynamic pricing based on sales, big events, and other important factors.eBay’s price strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

• Dynamic Pricing

eBay is an online marketplace for the purchase and selling of products and services. Individuals and corporations can use its online payment and telecom services. Countless of collectibles, decorations, appliances, electronics, furniture, equipment, automobiles, and other miscellaneous goods are posted, purchased, or sold on eBay every day (Lendle&Vézina, 2015).eBay's marketplace strategy enables them to have tens of thousands of goods in its inventory without having to keep or maintain them. As a consequence, they're a great example of how well the 4Ps have changed in the digital age..eBay’s product strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

• Wide collection of products compared to traditional retailers
• Omnichannel

Including over 30 countries throughout the world, eBay does indeed have a significant presence in online commerce. eBay’s easy web-based presence and the existence of mobile apps and responsive versions, makes them be omnipresent. eBay works on all types of devices and platforms. The system is sized to allow users to benefit from economies of scale. Customers may now purchase and sell things from other countries on eBay. They aim to turn the entire globe into a little, ideal market (Lendle&Vézina, 2015).Customers on eBay are spoiled with choice, since they have a variety of options for transacting. For instance, listing format, shipping choices, or product description. Ebay adopts the omnichannel model of selling as well.eBay’s place strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

  • Buying product irrespective of location (also, ebay ships most of their products internationally, so an ebay seller from one country to sell a customer from another country)
  • Omnichannel

Online auction site eBay use a range of media to promote its products and generate brand awareness. eBay uses a variety of media, including television, print, and online ads, in their marketing strategy including billboards, and others to raise brand recognition. During the year 2012, eBay decided to alter its logo (Lendle&Vézina, 2015). eBay bills itself as a one-stop shop for oddities, auction-style purchases, vintage things, and so on. eBay also marketed digital payment gateways including portals in order to increase customer confidence in online commerce and, as a result, increase the number of potential eBay customers. It also advertised itself as a retail mall in the consumer's pocket. eBay also spends a lot of money on self-promotional advertising. By cutting margins and giving discounts to both customers and merchants, eBay has been able to penetrate the market faster and more effectively than its competitors.. To stay afloat, Ebay employs all of the primary marketing techniques. eBay’s promotional strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

  • Online advertising
  • E-WOM


Visitors and users of Airbnb would not have to pay any fees to utilise the service. It imposes a service fee upon every booking made, which itself is ultimately paid by the travellers or guests. In addition, hosts can use internet ad campaigns to invite guests to book. The money is sent to the homeowners 24 hours just after visitor checks in because all transactions are processed through the site.There are various types of spaces available in various sizes to accommodate all types of consumers and requirements, and costs are charged appropriately. Premium costs are collected during high seasons such as Xmas and summertime vacation, as well as depending on the urgency of their booking (Jaremen&Nawrocka, 2017). As a result, AirBnB pricing strategy includes, the following new evolution of 4Ps:

  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Price Discrimination.

Short-term accommodation may be found on Airbnb's site. 'Entire house,' 'Single room,' and 'Shared room' are the three kinds of posts on the site. A kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom are commonly seen in a same space. It's more likely that guests in a common space area will have to share from their own space with one another than in a private room (Jaremen&Nawrocka, 2017). The check-in procedure at several Airbnb sites is more cumbersome than at hoteliers that offer customised services. AirBnB offers a far larger selection of items than any traditional B&B, Resort, or Hotel company because to the evolution of the 4P model.

Airbnb began in 2007 in San Francisco, when the proprietors converted their living room together into bed and breakfast. They developed a website to provide short-term living space to customers who found hotel prices to be too expensive or just couldn't obtain one. By 2009, the site had extended beyond air beds as well as shared spaces to include a variety of different properties such as complete houses, flats, private rooms, castles, yachts, and other assets, as well as a variety of experiences (Jaremen&Nawrocka, 2017). Airbnb's online site offers access to accommodation and activites in over 190 nations. So it can be accessible via all digital media, it has a tremendous global reach. As a result, anyone in the internet economy may utilise Airbnb. In respect of 'Place,' AirBnB represents a clear progression of the marketing mix, namely, the availability of products and services at the point of need. AirBnB, like an internet merchant, makes a customer's preferred location available. Adapted to the needs, the consumer can reserve a location in his or her metropolis, a town, or somewhere else in the globe. The evolution of 4Ps in this case include:

• Click and Collect

Digital marketing, internet advertising, community engagement, referral marketing, and local collaborations are all part of Advertizing approach for Airbnb. To raise awareness of its services, Airbnb makes use of a wide range of advertising methods. It uses a mix of traditional and new marketing techniques, including television advertisements, display ads, and digital entertainment marketing, to attract guests and hosts alike. A geo-localized strategy is employed by Airbnb in order to convey the advantages of "living like a local." Social media analytics is also used to target the right audience for items on the website..The corporation also engages in other public relations efforts, such as supplying free lodging to individuals victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York during Nov 2012, and therefore engages in cause-related advertising. Based on the results of the customer study, the logo and website were also changed. Airbnb also supports numerous events and has teamed with other organisations to increase brand awareness.AirBnBcontinues to use the evolved marketing mix model in terms of:

  • Viral Marketing
  • Guerrilla Marketing
  • E-WOM
  • Online Advertising

The key findings are described hereunder. The purpose of this study was to address the research question of how the 4Ps are presented in the backdrop of e-commerce. Generally speaking, e-commerce has resulted in a greater choice of items, with sales shifting away from a few popular brands and toward niche products. This same long tail is affected by this development, however studies disagree as to whether the tail grows fatter versus flatter. Some academics think that e-commerce decreases prices, while others say that it has the opposite effect. Although no clear consensus exists on the subject, it can be said that e-commerce hasn't really culminated in the law of one price, as has already been previously supposed. In reality, the literature backs up the idea of dynamic pricing, which refers to price changes all the time and under different conditions. Price discrimination is indeed widespread, particularly among enterprises in the tourism sector.Multichannel distribution, which incorporates physical and digital stores, has received some attention as well. Click as well as collect is another one of those combinations, which allows customers to collect their online purchases in such a store. Multi- as well as omni-channel options, on the other hand, have enabled opportunistic customer behaviour in the manner of showrooming but also webrooming.By bringing a lot of internet advertising techniques, e-commerce has changed communication channels. On the other hand, Integrated marketing communications are regarded to be the best strategy to current promotion because they mix many commercial channels. At the very same time, as even the Digital revolution enable the quick transmission of electronic word-of-mouth, ownership of promotional messaging is shifting from corporations to consumers.

eMarketer 2018, Aalto University IdP,, Statista, viewed 10 November 2021, .

Fernández, NV, Pérez, MJS &Vázquez-Casielles, R 2018, ‘Webroomers versus showroomers: Are they the same?’, Journal of Business Research, vol. 92, pp. 300–320.

Hamari, J &Keronen, L 2017, ‘Why do people buy virtual goods: A meta-analysis’, Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 71, pp. 59–69.

Jaremen, D &Nawrocka, E 2017, ‘AIRBNB COMPETITIVENESS ON THE HOSPITALITY MARKET SECTOR’, PraceNaukoweUniwersytetuEkonomicznego we Wroc?awiu, no. 473, pp. 286–296.

Kang, J-YM 2018, ‘Showrooming, Webrooming, and User-Generated Content Creation in the Omnichannel Era’, digital marketing assignment Journal of Internet Commerce, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 145–169.

Kannan, PK & Li, H “Alice” 2017, ‘Digital marketing: A framework, review and research agenda’, International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 22–45.

Lendle, A &Vézina, P-L 2015, ‘Internet Technology and the Extensive Margin of Trade: Evidence from eBay in Emerging Economies’, Review of Development Economics, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 375–386.

Li, M 2020, ‘Uber Future Value Prediction Using Discounted Cash Flow Model’, American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, vol. 10, p. 30, viewed 11

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Maheshwari, N 2017, ‘Uber taxi cab-handling crisis communication’, Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 1–17.

Taleizadeh, AA &Sadeghi, R 2019, ‘Pricing strategies in the competitive reverse supply chains with traditional and e-channels: A game theoretic approach’, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 215, pp. 48–60.

Verhoef, PC, Neslin, SA &Vroomen, B 2007, ‘Multichannel customer management: Understanding the research-shopper phenomenon’, International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 129–148.


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