Sample Essay On Fiddit! The Virtual 3D ‘TRY On’ Software
Unfortunately, the target market is not entirely ours for the taking. There is competition. Fortunately, we only have one competitor- Fits.me. This is a web-based company that offers a virtual fitting room to apparel retailers and online stores. Their business mission and purpose coincides with those of our company- to increase the sales conversion rate by offering customers the chance to fit apparels online before making the final decision to purchase. As such, we are team-players in the same business field and we have to think harder in order to defeat the competition.
Fits.me was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. This is the home of the marketing, sales, client services and financial and corporate development departments. Other functions such as R&D and I.T are based in Tartu and Tallinn in Estonia. The marketing strategy applied by the company involves the fulfillment of three needs of online apparel sellers and consumers. The first strategy is to enable online interaction between people and garments. This process is called fitting and is offered by their virtual fitting room. Second, to increase the client loyalty by ensuring that customers complete their purchases and are satisfied enough by the retailers’ online services so much that they become repeat customers. Third, they offer market insight to apparel retailers that they can use to adapt and change their online marketing strategies accordingly.
The company has a number of benefits over us. For example, it has already obtained a loyal client base of considerable size owing to its previous presence in the target market. It also has the necessary funding to grow and develop its products and services owing to its large number of investors. These are SmartCap, The Entrepreneur’s Fund, Conor Venture Partners and other angel investors. However, it also does have some weaknesses. It uses cyber mannequins or body robots to represent a body of any possible form, takes a photograph of the body looks like in the selected garments and then shows this image to the online customer.
Our role in the marketplace is to help online apparel retailers make sales conversions by helping them influence the consumers to make the final purchase. We will be able to acquire a share of the market because of our use of 3D which makes our software better than that of our competitors and secondly because of our aggressive marketing strategy through various advertising platforms such as brochures, trade shows, social networks and viral broadcasting and conferences. Additionally, our subscription service fee is fixed meaning that retailers do not have to worry about any fluctuations due to unfavorable economic conditions.
Strategic Position and Risk Assessment
The fashion industry is ever-changing. Every day new designs are invented and consumers are always spoilt for choice between different designs. That is why the need to try on a garment before they purchase. Research conducted during the market analysis showed that most people found the inability to fit a garment online as the biggest disappointment in their online shopping experiences. This was seen even in people who had used these services for more than one time and as such it is a consistent problem that needs to be addressed. This means investment in our product is feasible because it fills a direct need that has not been fully tapped. It is a niche market.
We intend to sell the services of our software to small online apparel retailers within the first year. This one-year period is meant to give the company enough revenue that is necessary to venture into the second stage of our operations- dealing with global online apparel retailers such as Amazon. We believe that by the end of the second year, our startup will have undergone the necessary growth and development in size, staff as well as financial aspects. The constant changes in fashion design means that our consumers will need to adjust their needs from time to time in order to keep up with the fashion industry. Consequently, our software will also need to be updated in line with the fashion changes in order to remain relevant and stay ahead of the competition. On top of that, the software will also accommodate all ages since customers change in body size and shape over the years.
E-commerce is growing with the advancements in internet technology. It is not just garments that are sold online-one can buy anything online nowadays. The worldwide internet presence and the large number of people accessing the internet around the world means that there is a big market in the online garment industry. There are many mid-sized as well as large companies that sell apparels online. With more growth expected in E-commerce, the garment market is expected to grow exponentially as more people continue to access the internet. This is the basis of our decision to invest in the online apparel market.
As mentioned earlier, our prices are set at a fraction of those of our competitor. Given that our software is better in terms of the user interface and the images produced, the lower prices are guaranteed to attract more customers than those of our competitor. The subscription fee is also fixed to indicate stability and reliability. Additionally, compared to the physical location of our competitor, we have better infrastructure in place to facilitate business growth and development.
Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy
We have developed several marketing strategies that will help FiddiT! Survive and thrive in the online retailing market. Our penetration strategy includes a variety of ways to reach out to the target market. These are brochures, website and print media that describe the functions and benefits of our software. This information will be tailored according to the size, location and target markets of our potential clients in order to meet their needs directly and personally. Advertisements in social networks will be done in partnership with some of the existing small online apparel retailers with pages and groups on social networking sites that have a large number of followers.
Our growth strategy starts with acquiring clients from the large number of small companies with few workers within the first year and then proceeding to partner with larger companies during the second year. Revenue obtained during the first year will be used to expand the business in order to meet the requirements of larger companies. The process of teaming up with larger companies will go on from the second year through to the fifth year of operations. We believe this strategy will enable the business to achieve its goal of making a return on investment (ROI) within the first few years and operating efficiently and profitably both locally and globally. With the expected growth, we will increase the number of employees in accordance with new business needs. This will increase our manpower and consequently business productivity will increase.
Our communication strategy is embedded in the penetration strategy. It is through the methods of penetrating the market that we will communicate to our customers about our product and why we think they should buy it. After the five-year growth and development period, revenue and profits obtained by the company are expected to pave way for the next step in the future plans of our business. In order to defeat the competitor, we might need to bring him to our side. This means buying shares from our competitor in an attempt to influence their business decisions and ultimately overshadow them by becoming their new owners. This is not a merger but a complete takeover executed over time.
Operations and Management Plan
Currently, the business relies only on the efforts and dedication of a small team that was involved in coming up with the business idea. Our technical lead is Byron Hugh. He will be responsible for overseeing the transformation of data into useful computer equations to be used in the software. He will also interpret the equation outcomes and come up with useful information that can show the way forward for the software development. James Sake is the research and technology advisor. He will be designing data collection procedures and using them to collect market data and interpret it into useful information. Wilson Ng will oversee the sales aspect of our business. He will be in charge of all design components of our software. His past experience in sales will be useful in developing software that meets a certain need and can be sold. The business lead is Taekyun Tom Lee, who will assist James in the data analysis. He will also be in charge of all written documentation pertaining to the business. Alex Stephens will be in charge of marketing. He will oversee all marketing activities and is the person responsible for actualizing our marketing strategy. He will also act as a consultant in all aspects that touch on business operations and the business itself. The financial advisor will be Zihao Shen whose responsibilities include overseeing all financial transactions and acting as the financial consultant.
It is evident that our staff will be overworked due to the amount of work that each has been assigned owing to the fact that the business is at the initialization stage. However, it is important to note that as the business continues to thrive and make more profits, additional employees will have to be sought to help in managing the increasing functions of the business. The introduction of these new employees into the team will lead to a restructuring of the hierarchical structure in order to accommodate their new skills and services that will be needed at the time. Since every member of the operations team was involved in coming up with the business idea and has contributed both financially and physically to the development of this software, everybody is considered management as of now.
The management plan is in several ways similar to the operations plan. There is no superior and subordinate in our team. As such, we are all responsible for the management of the business, each person acting according to his/her assigned responsibilities in order to run the business.
However, there are some future changes that will cause changes in the type and structure of management. Employees hired over the course of business operations will range from the management level to the subordinate staff. Consequently, changes will have to be made at the top level to include people with business administration and management skills and experience. We will have the CEO and the management team separated from the mid-level employees in other departments such as marketing and sales.
Should the company decide to take out our competitor by taking over their business, we will have to seek additional funding from investors such as banks and other venture groups. The investors will be included in the board of directors. This board will be in charge of making major decisions regarding the business in future.
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