Coles Group Limited is a retail business in Australia that owns many chain stores and supplies consumer goods such as groceries, clothing, foodstuffs, liquor, and petroleum products through its retail stores. The company has its headquarters in Hawthorn East, Australia. The company has many retail stores across the country and targets to offer quality products and services to its customers. The company employs over 100,000 employees and significantly contributes to the economy since it is among the largest retailers in the country. Coles regulated product costs by maintaining the price for over a thousand products and lowering the cost for others after the outbreak of COVID-19 (Wibawa 2021). The company enjoys a vast market base due to its high focus on the customers and will to provide them with high-quality items. This report focuses on delivering strategies that Coles Company may employ to extend its operations by enhancing the E-marketing practices in daily operations.
Coles Group Limited belongs to the retail industry where the main products they supply are consumable goods. The items include groceries, footwear, clothes, foodstuffs, and beverages essential for human survival. Coles Group Limited contributes significantly to the economic value of the retail industry and competes with other firms, including Woolworths Group Ltd., Roundy’s Inc., Dollar General Corp., and Tesco Corp., among others (Jie & Gengatharen, 2018). The retail sector is a pivotal contributor to Australia’s economic development and influences the supply and demand for retail products. The business ensures that people receive goods and services, thus improving their living standards. Retailers employ many people in the supply sector, packaging, service provision, and delivery units. The people employed earn different levels of income based on their contribution to the businesses. For instance, Coles Group Limited employs over 100,000 people and ensures that they receive payments for their labor (Wibawa 2021). The company provides social amenities for its employees to ensure that they are satisfied and motivated to work better towards improving their financial standards. The retail industry is crucial in creating a sustainable environment for stakeholders.
Moreover, the retail industry contributes to the general economy of Australia despite improving persona stature. The industry influences the Gross Domestic Product by increasing the amount of money people exchange for products. It contributes directly to the economy through the payment of taxes, fines, import and export duties, and other fees that the government charges on the sales of products. Licensing is another means that the government uses to obtain money from retailers (Blake et al., 2019). However, in 2019 and 2020, the industry underwent an economic breakdown due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that sabotaged operations (Colbert et al., 2020). Many companies within the sector sent workers home due to the government’s directives on reduced movements to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Due to the above, the economic productivity of these businesses declined since customers and workers stayed indoors and reduced activity from one place to another. The invention of the vaccine against the virus in 2020 has helped businesses to return to operation (Wibawa 2021). The economic recovery has taken a while since businesses are still gaining confidence for full resumption, and the government has applied for waivers on taxes to encourage firms to reopen.
Analysis of Environment
Australia’s solid political outlook influences business operations by providing facilities that aid management practices. The government offers laws that control the number of operators in the industry. Licensing is one of the political leaders’ many strategies to protect businesses from unhealthy competitors. The process ensures only acknowledgeable firms are in the market, protecting consumers from counterfeit commodities. Governments educate the public on identifying and reporting fraudulent businesses, protecting them from exploitation. The government provides a peaceful environment for businesses and ensures they do not receive blows from non-licensed operators. The Australian government has educated its citizens and provided them with information on contingent measures against health problems from consuming dangerous foods (Cai et al., 2020). The campaign to consume organic foodstuffs has helped the nation eliminate diseases from unhealthy lifestyles. Thus, the retail industry must work in unison with the government to ensure that it attains its goals of preventing unhealthy lifestyles (Blake et al., 2019). The government is a critical player in the industry and ensures that all businesses work per the county’s laws, ensuring order.
Businesses are contributors to the nature of the economic environment and rely on the prevailing market conditions to provide a clear state of their success. Australia’s economy has been recovering from the hazardous effects of COVID-19 (Martin-Neuninger & Ruby, 2020). The pandemic led to the closure of many businesses to contain the spread of the virus. Many companies allowed employees to spend time away from work since they would get exposed to the virus. Hence, the government and business agencies advised people to cease operations. It prevented people from interacting with one another and visiting crowded places, leading to a decline in business operations (Gogokhia & Berulava, 2021). Tourism, accommodation, retail, and education sectors, among others, collapsed in the year, forcing people to stay at home.
Thus, the economic progress declined due to failed loss of employment and closure of critical agencies that contributed to an incline in the economic trend. COVID-19 deteriorated business operations by reducing the number of customers demanding products and visiting the business premises. It increased production costs since the supply of raw materials declined, causing many firms to close down and await better contingency measures. The economic environment significantly deteriorated due to the virus and affected many firms.
However, the economy is still recuperating from the side effects of the pandemic. The government influenced the recovery by introducing measures to curb the rising inflation due to the pandemic. First, it introduced subsidies on goods such as foodstuffs to help households maintain their standard consumption patterns that changed due to many factors such as loss of employment and reduced income levels. Subsidies helped people to survive the harsh economic times and helped them flee from the side effects such as increased tension and depression. The government temporarily introduced free childcare support; price froze for many products, and offered free preschool for children in some states (Cai et al., 2020). The current economic condition is prosperous and favors business activities, especially for Coles Group Limited and other businesses in the same industry, because the government procured resources to help eliminate the virus and reinstate the fallen economy (Medhekar, 2021). A resumption of regular operation in 2021 improved the profits and encouraged firms to reemploy their former employees, boosting their income. The company has regained control over its resources and has improvised more operations to ensure sustainability.
The social environment comprises many factors that determine the nature of products the business may supply. This business environment focuses mainly on the target audience and elaborates more details that the firm must consider before exploiting the market gap (Mahfuz Ashraf et al., 2019). It comprises factors such as demography, geographical positioning, and behavioral aspect. Demography is the distribution of population based on gender, race, age, birth, death, income, and many more. On the other hand, the geographical aspect seeks to understand the customer’s positioning and distribution across a specific region. This aspect describes people’s characters within a particular area and expounds on the nature of products they demand. The behavioral element focuses on the consumers’ actions and attitudes toward demand for specific items. Understanding the social environment aids the business in understanding the nature of consumer choices and preferences. It equips the industry with more power to make informed decisions regarding the supply of products and their personality (Mahfuz Ashraf et al., 2019). Coles conducts market research more frequently to determine the changes in the market and promote the collection of products in high demand.
The technological environment is a crucial consideration for businesses since it determines the speed at which they handle matters. An improvised and updated technical system helps companies to operate at high speed by taking arising issues in their current time (Bruijl & Gerard, 2018). Coles Group Limited possesses upgraded technological systems that aid in collecting orders, packaging for transportation, and delivering them to the rightful owners. Technology helps businesses have high-speed communication with the customers and even departments, creating compelling products and service delivery.
|Strengths||A strong brand reputation due to its long-time existence in the market |
Attractive prices on products currently due to waivers and subsidies
Many stores and vast numbers of employees hence efficiency in service delivery
|Weaknesses||Operating lower margins compared to rivals |
Difficulties in negotiating with suppliers
|Opportunities||Geographical expansion to other regions and countries |
Proper marketing programs to entice and attract customers
|Threats||Extensive competition from rival companies that influence the leading market share and control |
Lack of extensive and clear distinction between the different brands leads to customer confusion hence increase
Fig a: A Tabular Presentation of the SWOT Analysis of Woolworths Company
E-Marketing Strategic Plan
Segmentation and Targeting
Market segmentation is a strategy that many businesses use to identify their customers and avail their products to them. It is applicable through geographical or price segmentation, where the former focuses on providing goods and services to a group of people within a specific region (Camilleri, 2018). In contrast, the latter focuses more on separating people based on their income and the cost of commodities. Coles Group Limited’s primary target audience is people within Australian borders and ensures that it has different chain stores across the nation. The company is keen on ensuring that it first meets the demand of the Australian citizens before extending to international markets. Additionally, the company segments its audience by categorizing them into different classes based on their incomes. The company offers products at different prices to customers in different regions based on their payments. Customers in some areas that seem classy pay more for the items and services, whereas others receive the same product at relatively lower prices. Market segmentation helps the business to obtain loyal customers and helps preserve products for them.
Differentiation is a process by which Coles Groups Limited provides unique customer goods and services. Differentiation is achievable by providing differently packaged products in containers and sizes (Shah & Ahmad, 2019). The company offers uniquely packaged products in branded containers and sachets. Such activities create uniqueness and distinguish the brand from other rivals by attracting new customers and improving their satisfaction levels. In addition, the company offers products of different sizes to allow all the customers to obtain the goods they desire. Bulk breaking is a simple differentiation technique that equips businesses with more power to serve people across all economic groups and maintain consumer demand (Shah & Ahmad, 2019). Cost leadership is a strategy that Coles Group Limited uses to create a distinction between its products and those of competitors hence providing a competitive advantage. The company ensures its prices are lower than rivals, attracting more followers and giving massive market share ownership since they understand customers.
Positioning is a process by which the company interested in the business maintains a firm leadership strategy that creates images in the customer’s mind and ensures that they frequently remember the brand whenever they need products. It focuses on keeping a solid brand image and maintains a strong relationship between the company and the customer (Saqib, 2020). Brand positioning aims at keeping the customer more aware of the brand’s existence in the market. Some strategies that promote product positioning in the market include frequent promotion and advertisement through different media. Coles Group Limited has positioned itself as a concerned customer business that meets consumer needs without exploiting them by controlling product prices.
E-marketing aims to improve the number of customers the business serves by creating more awareness in the country. The industry expects the number of customers it helps will increase with time due to the vigorous and robust campaigns it runs. E-marketing aims to draw more customers to the business by improving the company’s brand image and promoting the products and services it sells (Khajehasani et al., 2020). The company expects that the number of millennials and generation Z believing in its products will have increased by 10-20% hence the need for robust E-marketing. In addition, the marketing strategy aims at increasing the number of website visitations by 5%. The program may take place in phases for one year.
Product differentiation is essential for Coles Group Limited since it helps expand its operation and attract customers. Maintaining the strategy will ensure that more customers will remain loyal and new ones will get attracted by the quality products, hence, helping in achieving the goals of E-marketing (Chen et al., 2020). Customers prefer unique products in quality, packaging, and quantity; therefore, they demand more from Coles Group Limited. The company may gain more customers from the younger generation aged 10-25 by creating more unique items that emphasize the quality and quantity of the items. Young people prefer products that give them class and fit their youthful lifestyles. Hence Coles Groups Limited must consider product outfits that do not embarrass the younger generation, thus improving customer loyalty.
Sustainability has been a critical issue for many businesses and has contributed to progressive competition. Coles Group Limited has run robust sustainability campaigns to maintain a suitable environment for everyone to survive without confrontation due to pollution. The company runs various campaign strategies to ensure its customers do not pollute the environment. Sustainable packaging strategies where the business eliminates plastic bags and cans and replaces them with efficient, eco-friendly facilities such as consumable bottles and cans help eliminate environmental pollution. Such programs help maintain the brand’s image and commitment to maintaining a healthy environment, thus attracting more customers.
The pricing strategy is another essential aspect the business must consider as it approaches its customers. The company must create confidence in its customers by assuring them that their goods and services are of the appropriate quality and quantity. The business may generate confidence in its customers by charging premium product prices. Premium pricing is where the company sets the highest price possible for an item to guarantee the customer that it meets the exemplary sales standards (Sutherland et al., 2021). Quality assurance is necessary for the business since it protects the brand image and eliminates customers’ doubts about the items sold. Therefore, the company is more likely to obtain the market share it desires and control a more comprehensive market share since it improves the brand positioning and competitive advantage.
Improve the Coles Group Limited’s Website
Marketing strategies are vital for the prosperity of companies since they determine how often customers flow into the business. The current conditions and objectives of Coles Groups Limited to target the youths as the primary customers demand that the company emphasize improvising on current technological systems to help reach the target audience. Online platforms are necessary for the business to progress swiftly and achieve this goal (Wijaya et al., 2021). Cole’s website is a platform that significantly contributes to sales since customers peruse through the wall, determine what they want, and make orders. The target audience mainly uses the website to make their purchases. Thus, the business must consider more attractive ways to improve the current website and make it easy to navigate. The customers will then manage to make fast orders and purchases. The business must improve the website to prevent frequent breakdowns and simultaneously promote unlimited customer service.
Infographic Instagram Posts
The target market is mainly available on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Therefore, it would be unnecessary for the business to neglect these platforms’ impact on its success. A proper analysis of the market nature indicates that the best strategy under current circumstances is using social media platforms to run advertisements and create awareness (Lal et al., 2020). An infographic Instagram post is necessary for the business since it simultaneously relays much information about the company to a broad audience. The ad is cheap for the business and may help identify customers’ primary responses. The brand benefits immensely from posting short videos and photographs on the walls by learning more about its target audience and features that may attract more of them (Mason et al., 2021). Therefore, it must frequently post these visuals on the platforms to update customers and create awareness.
Paid Advertisements on Social Media
Advertisements help update the customers on the products the business currently offers. The business may pay for specific advertisement posts on social media platforms to gain more appearances on the customer’s walls (Arora & Sanni, 2019). The paid advertisements on social media platforms ensure more people view them since they appear more frequently on the walls. Thus, the business may interact with more customers at a specific time. These advertisements expand the viewership and enlighten more people to engage with the business.
The two posts indicate the importance of the business in the customers’ life and provide a short analysis of its operations. They encourage the consumer to visit the main website to retrieve more information and expound on the company’s operations. They help create awareness in minimum words and increase the interest in knowing more about the business. Customers may visit the leading site to learn more about the company. Such adverts are essential since they enhance the consumer’s interests.
|Strategy||Objective||Action and Response||Date|
|Product||To create awareness about the diversification of products within Coles |
To increase the purchasing speed and accommodate more customers per time to avoid system breakdown
|Create different packaging strategies to break bulk and eliminate pollution |
Re-arrange the website page to ease navigation
|Create by 20thAugust 2022, and end on 1stNovember 2022|
|Premium Price||To increase the profit margin by 15% |
To encourage people to consider the products available
|Improve sustainable product design to ensure that customer limit their complaints||Begin on 1stSeptember 2022 and end on 30thNovember 2022|
|Place||To identify areas where customers are located in large numbers |
To help the business to adapt to the various conditions existing in the market and beat the competition
|Conduct thorough market research to understand population distribution among different communities within the target area||Start in November 2022 and end in December 2022|
|Promotion||To increase the number of sales by 10-20%||Conduct advertisement programs through various media channels||Begin August 2022 and finish in September 2022|
Fig d: Tabular Presentation of the Implementation Plan
Budget and Evaluation
|Product, Price, and Place||Website improvement||Upgrade $80,000||A higher number of wall visits.|
|Promotion||Social media advertisement campaigns||YouTube ads $30,000 |
|Increased comments on the various platforms |
|Product, Price, and Promotion||Sustainable packaging||Purchasing packaging containers for $50,000||The positive emotional response from customers|
Fig e: Tabular Presentation of the Budget and Evaluation
Arora, A. S., & Sanni, S. A. (2019). Ten years of ‘social media marketing research in the journal of promotion management: Research synthesis, emerging themes, and new directions. Journal of Promotion Management, 25(4), 476-499.
Blake, M. R., Backholer, K., Lancsar, E., Boelsen‐Robinson, T., Mah, C., Brimblecombe, J., Zorbas C., Billich N., & Peeters, A. (2019). Investigating business outcomes of healthy food retail strategies: A systematic scoping review. Obesity Reviews, 20(10), 1384-1399.
Bruijl, G. (2018). The Relevance of Porter’s Five forces in today’s innovative and changing business environment. SSRN Electronic Journal, 1-22.
Cai, K., He, J., Wong, P. K., & Manolios, N. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on rheumatology clinical practice and university teaching in Sydney, Australia. European Journal of Rheumatology, 7(Suppl 2), S91.
Camilleri, M. A. (2018). Market segmentation, targeting and positioning. In Travel marketing, tourism economics and the airline product (pp. 69-83). Springer, Cham.
Chen, J., Wang, X., & Chu, Z. (2020). Capacity sharing, product differentiation and welfare. Economic Research-Ekonomska istraživanja, 33(1), 107-123.
Colbert, S., Wilkinson, C., Thornton, L., & Richmond, R. (2020). COVID‐19 and alcohol in Australia: Industry changes and public health impacts, Drug and Alcohol Review, 39, 435–440. Drug and Alcohol Review.
Gogokhia, T., & Berulava, G. (2021). Business environment reforms, innovation and firm productivity in transition economies. Eurasian Business Review, 11(2), 221-245.
Jie, F. & Gengatharen, D. (2019), “Australian food retail supply chain analysis”, Business Process Management Journal, 25(2), 271-287.
Khajehasani, S., Abolizadeh, A., & Dehyadegari, L. (2020). The role of management and strategy in the development of E-marketing. Recent Advances in Computer Science and Communications (Formerly: Recent Patents on Computer Science), 13(4), 641-649.
Lal, B., Ismagilova, E., Dwivedi, Y. K., & Kwayu, S. (2020). Return on investment in social media marketing: Literature review and suggestions for future research. Digital and Social Media Marketing, 3-17.
Martin-Neuninger, R., & Ruby, M. B. (2020). What does food retail research tell us about the implications of coronavirus (COVID-19) for grocery purchasing habits? Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1448.
Mahfuz Ashraf, M., Razzaque, M., Liaw, S., Ray, P., & Hasan, M. (2019). Social business as an entrepreneurship model in emerging economy. Management Decision, 57(5), 1145-1161.
Mason, A. N., Narcum, J., & Mason, K. (2021). Social media marketing gains importance after Covid-19. Cogent Business & Management, 8(1), 1-17.
Medhekar, A. (2021). Australia and India: Trade and investment opportunities in changing geo-political environment. Annual Research Journal of Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, 9, 32-45.
Saqib, N. (2020). Positioning – A literature review. PSU Research Review, 5(2), 141-169.
Shah, S., & Ahmad, M. (2019). Entrepreneurial orientation and performance of small and medium-sized enterprises. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, 29(5), 551-572.
Sutherland, I., Sim, Y., & Lee, S. K. (2021). Impacts of quality certification on online reviews and pricing strategies in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 93, 10-27.
Wibawa, T. (2021). COVID‐19 vaccine research and development: Ethical issues. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 26(1), 14-19.
Wijaya, I. G. N. S., Triandini, E., Kabnani, E. T. G., & Arifin, S. (2021). E-commerce website service quality and customer loyalty using WebQual 4.0 with importance performances analysis, and structural equation model: An empirical study in shopee. Register: Jurnal Ilmiah Teknologi Sistem Informasi, 7(2), 107-124.