欢迎来到51Due,请先 | 注册
关注我们: 51due论文代写二维码 51due论文代写平台微博
英国论文代写,英国essay代写知名品牌微信

更多范文

为您解决留学中生活、学习、工作的困难、疑惑
释放自我

英国大学marketing thesis:团购行为研究--英国论文代写范文精选

2015-11-20 | 来源:51Due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

英国大学市场营销毕业论文


中国作为世界上人口众多的国家,见证了热销的网上销售量在不断的上升,并且网络使用的这种发展形式已成为每个人生活中重要的一部分,能够提供便捷服务渠道和在电子商务世界中进行商务谈判,发掘机遇。这篇论文旨在调查中国的电子商务在团购(GB)上的发展,同时分析影响此类型市场的不同因素。对中国GB的国内领导者—美团和美国团购巨头— Groupon的神秘营销方案进行了具体研究,但其营销策略并不适用于中国企业,高朋(Groupon)在放入市场前会接受检查,判断是否适合中国市场。对该公司竞争优势和劣势这两者的调查,结合他们公司的资源、容量、核心能力来提供新制定的策略并加以实行。此外,波特的五力分析法也会被用于评估竞争态势和加大在中国市场的吸引力。就目前的趋势看来,该项研究设想美国团购巨头—Groupon的市场在中国的未来,看是否能在中国市场上可持续发展。考虑到本研究对该项市场调查也是有限的,也是此项调查参与部分。

介绍—Introduction
 
电子商务已提高了我们的生活水平,通过多样化的日常运营工作—它从实体空间转为虚拟空间,并且取代了有形资本,大幅度降低了公司的营业间接费用。网上交易的创新通过消除困难也提高了谈判国际贸易的效率,例如,时间差和地理位置不同问题。而且,网上销售与在实体店销售相比,已被证明有更高的支持率和销售额也在增长。(CFT, 2012).
 
China, being the worlds most populous country, has increasingly seen a significant surge in terms of online sales. The growing use of the Internet has become an integral part of every person’s life, providing convenient access and endless business development opportunities within the e-commerce world. This paper aims to investigate China’s e-commerce developments towards the emergence of Group Buying (GB) websites, while illustrating the unique factors of this market. Detailed studies on China’s GB domestic leader Meituan and the US-based pioneer Groupon’s mystifying case of its not-so-successful Chinese venture, Gaopeng, will be examined. By sizing up both strengths and weaknesses, through their companies’ resources, capabilities and core competencies to provide tailored strategic implications. Additionally, Porter’s five forces analysis will be used to assess the competitive intensity and attractiveness of this Chinese market. By looking at the current trends, this research will envisage the future of this market in China and see whether the growth will be sustainable. Comprehensive research on this market remains limited, and this is where the investigations take part.
 
介绍—Introduction
 
E-commerce has improved our standard of living by handling various day-to-day operations – it shifts physical space to virtual space and replaces physical human capital to drastically reduce a firm’s overhead costs. The innovation of online transactions has also improved the efficiency of international trading by eliminating difficulties such as time and geographical differences. Moreover, online sales, in comparison to in-store sales, have proven to support higher sales growth (CFT, 2012).
 
Under the pressure of globalisation, many firms are being compelled to conduct businesses online. There are various types of e-commerce portals available, such as online goods and services, retail services and marketplace services. To align with the current society, dynamic advancement of technology is necessary for the emergence of new business models.
 
Statistics from the GB aggregator Tuan800 reported that the Chinese GB sector had a 21.4 billion Yuan turnover in 2012 (ChinaScope Financial, 2013). This potentially profitable business serves as a sufficient motive for multi-national companies (MNC) such as the American GB creator Groupon to enter into China and conduct online dealings for local businesses.
 
The recent burgeoning of GB services, where daily promotions of products and/or services are provided within a redeemable period of time, has gained substantial media attention whilst receiving relatively little attention in terms of academic literature. This paper aims to provide a holistic understanding of China’s e-commerce development on GB websites by adopting a strategic management perspective. It first considers China’s specific context that shapes the market, which includes industry competition, cultural factors, mobile penetration, government controls, social media and reasons for domestic companies’ successes. This leads to strategic analyses on two revelatory cases, Meituan and Gaopeng, based on three issues: (a) the internal environment from the Resource-Based View, contending that the firm’s core competency is derived from unique bundles of resources that are difficult to imitate (Yiu et al. 2005:186); (b) Porter’s five forces analysis, and (c) strategic implications. Finally, recommendations for the China specific market and the market’s future development trends will be discussed in greater detail in the research.
 
团购的深层含义—The Basic Concept Behind Group Buying
 
The collective buying concept was rooted in the Chinese citizen’s budget conscious culture long before it became a global phenomenon. Prior to 2008, people would group together on online forums to buy bulk products in order to collectively bargain for lower prices (The Economist, 2006). However, buying groups may take weeks to form before enough people could make the purchase. Nowadays, the tables have turned. People may use social networks to instantly and rapidly share desires with like-minded online shoppers, thereby quickening the online GB process.
 
团购是怎样运行的—How GB operates
 
Groupon, which was launched in the U.S. in November 2008 and later expanded successfully into the global market, is the American originator of the GB concept. Its basic idea stems from the collective buying concept of offering daily discounts to customers in the aspects of health, beauty, restaurants, goods, holidays, and creating a sense of anticipation for what comes next. This has successfully captured the customers’ mind-set, offering ready-made deals and not requiring customers to express what they want. Groupon creates demand that did not exist because the need was unrealised until customers see it diminish in price. The duration of the deals normally lasts several days. The reason behind the short time span is to tactically add a sense of urgency for customers to secure the deals before the promotion period ends and to enable impulse purchasing. If there are enough people signing up for the deal, it becomes available to everyone; if the fixed minimum is not met, the deal will be called off. This protects merchandisers from guaranteeing a minimum quantity of customers so they are able to fill up excess capacity and attain economies of scale from bulk purchases. Therefore, GB represents a way to match the efficiencies of the website to its affiliated firms, and to have purchases driven by impulse that can be utilised in a click.
 
The difference between GB and traditional e-commerce is that, once the deal is completed during the designated time period, customers may enjoy a discount to experiment things they did not originally plan to do. This varies from trying out unnoticed restaurants, buying discounted international branded skincare to going on a trip in the countryside. Customers no longer have to stay at home to wait for delivery; instead, they are now driven to go out and experience the service or redeem the actual product. Also, companies do not need to buy or store inventory like traditional businesses; customers simply go to the redemption location to pick up the products or use the service they had purchased, thereby bringing costs down for GB.
 
This business model operates predominantly as an intercessor where the website (merchant intermediary) works with local merchants (sellers) to negotiate a deal that is sold to customers (buyers) (Eliason et al., 2010:4). It works best with small, local businesses that may initially rely traditional media for exposure, which becomes expensive and does not guarantee any customers. This is where GB fits in as a low cost online advertising platform that offers e-mail services on its current deals to those that have subscribed to Groupon. Vendors do not have to pay upfront for advertising fees; instead, they are charged with a 50/50 spilt (average rate in the US) of each sold deal and Groupon earns from the commission as a service charge for systemising the deals (CNNMoney, 2011). Thus, as long as the discount is bearable, exposure from this advertising effect on consumers who had not previously acknowledge the existence of the firm will outweigh the markdowns it is offering (Edelman et al., 2011:8). Nevertheless, vendors would have to be sure they could sustain the discount they are offering without losing money and try to get their consumers to spend on top of their deal in order to take advantage of the promotion.(51Due编辑:BUG)(51Due编辑:BUG)
 
影响中国团购市场的特殊因素—China Specific Factors Of The Group Buying Market
 
In China’s highly dynamic business environment, it is of great significance for a company to be aware of and adapt to the changes within its distinctive setting so as to survive. Successful brands do not need to ask what the customers want; as they rarely know what it is they want. Companies in this market realised that it is a fallacy to think that customers know what they want, therefore a range of new deals are offered daily with the aim that a consumer would find at least one deal that they are interested in. This ability of daily delights has created an online platform for merchandisers to sell their products or services to a new group of customers and for buyers to benefit from discounted promotions, providing a win-win situation.
 
According to a Beijing research firm iResearch, China’s GB industry has, since 2012, reached a value of over $271.89 million (Lee et al., 2012). Ultimately, the best deal in China is a deal that can exactly mirror customers’ expectations. It is not always about bartering on the lowest price per se since there is already a huge market for inexpensive goods or services.
 
中国同行业之间的竞争局面严峻—Steep Competition Amongst The Chinese Replicates
In 2010, China was exposed to the first GB website which, similar to Groupon, aims to create exceptional bargains by uniting the reach of the Internet with the power of the people. As Chinese companies have a tendency to replicate potentially profitable businesses they see from other countries, after this site was created, thousands of imitators have emerged following this similar rationale, all competing to be like Groupon (China Daily, 2011). According to Tuan800, China has at present recorded to have only 943 GB websites still in business, after 4115 closed down amid the fierce market competitions due to bad financial results (TechNode, 2013). Hundreds of smaller players are left fighting brutally while the top ten sites collectively occupy 90% the overall market share. Meituan takes the lead in the local lifestyle service deals segment (that is dining/leisure/beauty) with 30% share, followed by Dianping 19% and Lashou 12.5% (WantChinaTimes, 2013). In spite of this, the industry still seems to be soaring in China; with roughly 10 billion Yuan revenue recorded at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 (Dataotuan, 2013).
 
These strikingly similar imitators picked up the most culturally suitable parts of Groupon’s function and adapted it to the local market before the company itself landed a stake in the country via a partnership with one of China’s largest Integrated Internet services company, Tencent Holdings to form Gaopeng. However, it has been unable to mimic its worldwide success and is seriously lagging behind in China amidst heated competition, ranking 12th at the end of 2012 with just 1.7% market share (Ong, 2013). It is ironic to see that Groupon’s Chinese clone became the model of what a GB company should not do rather than being the example every company abided by when it first appeared in the U.S. just a few years ago. On a more positive note, at the beginning of this year, Gaopeng announced a merger with FTuan and Tencent’s QQtuan deal aggregator in hopes of gaining a stronger market presence.
 
Using Porter’s five forces model, exhibit 1 shows the differences between Groupon in the U.S. and the Chinese companies Meituan and Gaopeng. First, because Groupon charges a large commission fee and has unforgiving payment terms with its suppliers, this raises their power, as they would be increasingly put off from using Groupon’s operating system, since the large fees may impede their usage of discounted vouchers (Edelman et al. 2011:12). Secondly, the threat of substitutes is moderate because the alternatives available are not as extensive as they are in China; Groupon only faces a few threats that offer similar discounts. Lastly, the threat of new entrants is also moderate because to be able to compete effectively with the three companies, the company would have to have an equally strong market presence. This will be explained along with Meituan’s low supplier power.
 
文化因素—Cultural Factors
Cultural factors influence consumers’ purchasing patterns, such as lifestyles, attitudes and perception of consumers in relation to the offered deals. With China’s unique culture, companies should constantly be aware of on-going trends, utilise existing Chinese technological platforms to try to match the expectations of consumers. The Chinese population is known to have a high savings ratio as they have a tendency to save up for possible contingencies. Most consumers are price-sensitive, this is backed up by the fact that the average price of a service deal sold across the top ten companies as of the fourth quarter of 2012 was 169.9 Yuan, down from 185.9 Yuan from the third quarter (Dataotuan, 2013).
 
Chinese consumers have long had the habit of investing in a vast amount of time prior to purchasing anything because they fear other websites may be offering an even lower price, and they are usually suspicious of the quality of lower-priced products. Concerns on fraud and payment security exist as well. Therefore, they are the type of customers who would browse around different websites not only to compare prices, but also to judge on the website’s after-sales service, reputation and the different categories it offers. According to the Chinese e-commerce data & analytics company Dataotuan’s 2012 report, the main reason for consumers to recommend a GB site is a different range of deals to choose from, followed by its location and low prices. This shows that nowadays, it’s not all about haggling for the lowest prices; consumers are evidently searching for a good balance between quality and price. Furthermore, due to the fact that Chinese customers are more active and social online, they would be more willing to buy something if their peers or relatives or someone they trust had reviewed and suggested it via word-of-mouth (Mckinsey, 2012).
 
移动设备的渗入—Mobile Penetration
Last year, purchases through mobile devices rose to 53 billion Yuan, making up to 4% of the total e-commerce in China (The Economist, 2013). It has gradually become a habit for Chinese customers to pay through mobile phones, showing the increasing popularity of mobile Internet shopping. This can be explained by its handy, portable nature, offering added convenience to customers. Apart from shopping, they have also been sharing their experience varying from eating out to watching the newest movie via their instant mobile messengers such as Wechat and other social networks to boast their up-and-coming, high-quality lifestyles (China Daily, 2013a). The mobile applications’ platforms may become the perfect complement for GB sites, in that customers could gradually group-buy through the convenient uses of these mobile applications.
 
政府的规章制度—Government Regulations
Government policies are drivers and inhibitors of e-commerce diffusion as they impact on decisions and operations made by businesses. Last year due to increasing complaints from consumers who reported receiving products that were fake or simply non-existing, The State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) from China finally sensed the need to pledge for regulations to oversee the development of the GB sector and eradicate the wide prevalence of counterfeits (China Daily, 2012a). According to SAIC’s statement, GB must obtain a business license prior to selling online, and local authorities are encouraged to examine the credentials of GB and ensure that they do not indulge in any illegal activities, otherwise they may face persecutions (Tencent Cyberlaw Research Center, 2012). With the implementation of new regulations, the Chinese government will aim to protect the interests of consumers by eliminating deceitful operators and increase consumer trust from buying products online to uplift the growing market efficiencies. As conceived by Sinkovics et al. (2007:223), “buyer trust is a critical underpinning of a positive online experience, which is in turn critical to website competitiveness”. However, from SAIC’s statement, at the moment, it seems they have only set out brief rules on what GB should or should not do, with no mentioning of bankruptcy rules and no intellectual property rights protection in this regard. More commanding policies would be required to streamline this industry, such as setting a minimum registered capital for newly founded websites (BeijingReview, 2011:33). With the rule of law being so frail, guanxi (personal ties) based strategies have proven important in overcoming institutional deficiencies (Lo et al., 2001:2).
 
中国独一无二的社交媒体景观—China’s Unique Social Media Landscape
China’s social media landscape is unique because it has a much larger impact on purchase decisions than anywhere else in the world (Chiu, 2012). McKinsey’s 2012 report shows that Chinese consumers are more likely to make purchases after acknowledging positive reviews via word-of-mouth either from peers, family or people they pay close attention to on these social platforms.
 
Chinese customers are very different in a sense that there is not much traffic coming from e-mails, so GB would have to focus more on reaching them by using other more popular methods such as mobile applications, micro-blogs and other social platforms. Micro-blogging in China is similar to that of the U.S.’s Twitter - it is a platform for “real time sharing of key selection of contents to the right audience in a timely, flexible manner; something that traditional media’s prolonged planning processes simply will not allow” (CIC, 2011). This has proven to be a popular method for brand building in China.
 
Companies aiming to enter the market should ensure that technology is used in improving its interaction with customers through incorporating the use of popular social networking sites into marketing strategies. Furthermore, companies should engage a proactive management team that responds and reacts directly to these networks to save costs, and attract more target online customers (Geng, 2011:7).
 
When carefully put to use, social media platforms may help businesses upturn online sales in the short-run and market share in the long-term; however, marketers must be mindful with its ways of reaching the audience who nowadays have so many choices yet so little time (Geng, 2011:1). Reputation and the brand image could be repaired or enhanced by evaluating what customers are saying on these sites to help fulfil their needs. With social media, a crisis can erupt quicker than before, making it incredibly important for businesses to have a strong engagement in monitoring conversations. In the end, a brand is what the customers perceive the brand to be; therefore, customer satisfaction is very important.
 
成功的关键因素:在中国为什么国内公司能够驾驭网络市场?—Key Success Factors: Why Do Domestic Firms Dominate The Internet Market In China?
 
The reasons why so many MNCs experience relatively small successes in China can be explained as follows. Major domestic players usually have high brand awareness in the country which has a substantial effect on tempting customers into purchasing from their websites as opposed to less known rivals. Consumers may have a perception, whether conscious or not, that these familiar brands would offer products that are of superior quality. These domestic players have a vast knowledge of the local characteristics and culture, which leads to their undisputed success.
 
Some foreign companies have failed to modify their business models to fit the Chinese cliental. For example, in comparison with EBay’s model, Taobao’s state-of-the-art revenue model not only brings a much broader supplier base, but delivers much more than ordinary product listings, such as fashion and entertainment news which makes Chinese consumers more likely to follow and use the site (Wang et al., 2012).
 
Domestic companies tend to get support over foreign firms from the Chinese government, as they are more prone to comply with their regulations. A famous example from Google is that it collided with the Chinese authorities’ censorship, which significantly affected its online searching process, making it lag far behind its domestic competitor, Baidu. Baidu was able to claim market leader position because the company knew the importance of educating its consumers about knowledge on online searching and advertising, compared to Google, Baidu knows better what Chinese consumers need and implements more appropriate methods in selling goods and services (Wang et al., 2012).
 
Foreign investors looking to enter the market successfully should adapt to Chinese consumers’ recognisable patterns, make sure the company’s customer service is top-notch and rapidly decentralise decision-making processes in order to speed up response times and utilise existing Chinese technology platforms, bearing in mind issues related to Chinese government regulations.(51Due编辑:BUG)
 
中国团购市场领导者的案例分析:美团—Case Study On China’s GB Market Leader: Meituan
Meituan was one of the first Groupon clones to introduce the GB concept to China. According to Dataotuan’s 2013 findings, Meituan is the overall leader in providing local service deals.
 
Internal Environment Analysis Of Meituan From The Resource-Based View
Meituan’s core competencies, resources and capabilities are summarised in table 
 
核心能力—Core Competencies
Judging by Lieberman (1987:2)’s theory, being a first mover into the Chinese GB market, Meituan has accumulated valuable market-related knowledge, has a technological leadership (its payment systems and referral rewards programs) and to an extent increased buyers’ switching costs. Morgan et al., (2009:285) further noted that, Meituan could be presented with having strong market sensing, brand management (BM) and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. These are its competitive marketing capabilities that it was and is using to develop and maintain successful relationships with its customers and merchants, making the site more culturally sensitive and specific to its target market (Sinkovics et al., 2007:223).
 
Marketing-sensing capabilities
Meituan’s market-sensing capabilities involve learning its customers’ needs and requirements through its distinct feedback system, to enhance their online shopping experience (Lau, 2011). Since Chinese consumers are more inclined to use their phones than emails, after the deal has been redeemed, the consumer will receive a text within two hours asking for the level of customer satisfaction from this redemption. This way, Meituan could see straightaway whether that particular vendor has provided a fulfilling service/quality or not, and if not, it could try to offer alternative advice or benefits. This helps Meituan generate superior market knowledge on its customers, while it is also able to offer suggestions to its vendors for improvements.
 
BM的能力—BM Capabilities
Meituan constantly attempts to introduce different methods that could further enhance brand image, awareness and positioning. One of which includes, its use of the available social media such as offering lucky draws via Tencent’s micro-blogging site and featuring fresh flowers during mother’s day, has not only enriched its sales, but also enthused its consumers (PR Newswire, 2011). Through working with Tencent, Meituan was able to add a vast amount of new customers to its database, effectively increased its web traffic while spending less than traditional marketing campaigns (Chiu, 2012). Nonetheless, Meituan needs to be aware that most customers are still service-driven: as stated by Dataotuan’s 2012 report, they search for what they want or where they are located to see what deals are on instead of browsing a certain website to see what is being sold. Any company, which has negotiated a good deal with a popular merchant, may increase their web traffic. Therefore, Meituan has to frequently find new ways to keep their competitive advantage by increasing its brand awareness through BM.
 
CRM的能力—CRM Capabilities
Nowadays many companies are increasingly shifting from being price-competitive to service-competitive. Meituan provided accessible links to most of the popular social networks. As mentioned previously, customers tend to browse certain sites if they categorise the website as their first choice in mind. When customers have high satisfaction from the quality of Meituan’s services, they will continue to revisit the website, make purchases and refer the website to their friends and family. In doing so, companies will benefit greatly from having these “free” advertisers. Clearly, customer satisfaction is closely associated with loyalty and customer retention.
 
In conjunction with this, Meituan has an exclusive referral scheme whereby customers can earn 10 Yuan from each successful referral. It has been said that over 70% of its new users come from referrals by existing customers (PR Newswire, 2011). Referral schemes not only bring new clients into the business but also help effectively retain customers. This becomes a win-win solution to all parties.
 
Since there have been rumours that some merchants were non-existing and even sold counterfeits, customers have started to lose confidence in the GB market. As part of relationship marketing (RM) to gain consumer confidence, Meituan took the lead with launching a 7-day money-back guarantee program. It promises unconditional refunds of products to customers within seven days of purchase (voucher not redeemed) and for expired coupons to protect consumers’ rights and interests across the industry. This has shown to make customers increasingly loyal to the company, increase its customer retention rate and further boosts sales and improves the company’s long-term profitability (Shirazi, 2011:84). As Shirazi (2011:82) commented, Meituan’s RM capabilities have much increased Meituan’s competitive advantage in this industry.
 
技术含量—Technological Capabilities
Meituan understands that any merchant ultimately wants to encourage business growth from performing GB deals. Therefore, if there are many returning customers, merchants will be more willing to cooperate with the site again. While all the other companies in the sector were busy expanding their operations, Meituan used its funds to upgrade its internal systems to further enhance the user experience. It deployed a secure automatic payment system for merchants so they could receive their payment after a certain pre-set amount of deals have been processed (Qianlong, 2013). This makes it easier for Meituan to deter dubious merchants in that it extracts the commission before paying them their share. Its constant endogenous development towards its data analytical and information systems helps provide more sales support and convenience for its merchants, resulting in long lasting partnerships and therefore, is a key factor for sustaining competitiveness (Yiu, 2005:195).
 
资金来源—Capital Resources
Being a GB that focuses on local lifestyle services, Meituan aims to be the best within its field by focusing on offering catering, cinema, karaoke, and beauty deals. Geographically, it is far behind other competitors in bigger Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) concerning popular deals such as movie tickets and hotpot vouchers, though it has shown to be increasing its share in providing travel deals (Dataotuan, 2013).
 
The site stood out with its record-breaking sales resulting from restaurant meal deals and movie tickets discount and ended 2012 at 5.5 billion Yuan with monthly sales exceeding the total of the whole of 2011, with sales recorded at 250 million Yuan in just one month (PR Newswire, 2012). Although it has lower margins on each deal, its mass sales volume has given the company a high turnover. Just because it has achieved high sales, its efficiency does not work as a barrier for new innovative competitors to join the scene. Consequently, Meituan has to ensure its business recurrently puts emphasis on inimitable technological innovative ideas without losing its quick response to the dynamic market and its effective management system. These investments increased its economies of scale, making it beyond impossible for existing small players to endure.
 
Its outstanding sales figures might seem rosy at first, however, according to Yangcheng Evening News (2012), Meituan’s employees were instructed to fraudulently falsify their sales figures to create a mirage by placing orders, but subsequently cancelling them and issuing refunds back to them (Marbridge Daily, 2012). An employee alleged that Meituan had falsely increased its transaction volumes from 100 million Yuan up to 300 million Yuan. The company negated this accusation. Meituan’s VP added that the company had reimbursed 38.47 million Yuan to consumers with expired deals; this signifies nearly 10% of its sales (Tech In Asia, 2012). Since Meituan has yet to become a publicly listed company, all its financial results are produced privately. Therefore, its financial results lack scrutiny and all of its sales statistics are to be considered dubious until proven otherwise. The same applies to Gaopeng (ChinaTech News, 2012).
 
Industry Structural Analysis: Porter’s Five Forces On Meituan
By applying this model, we can further understand the dynamics and what implications could be put towards building strategies for shaping the most appropriate industry structure. Here we use Porter’s five forces to look at China’s number one GB leader in localised services, Meituan’s current situation. (Please refer to exhibit 2 for a summary of Porter’s Five Forces analysis)
 
新入侵者的威胁—Moderate Threats Of New Entrants
This market has very low entry barriers; all that is required is minimal technical skills, a sales team and some funding (Buchler et al., 2011:21). Anyone without specialised knowledge could set the site up and begin operations fairly cheaply and quickly, as the business is built upon a clever idea rather than major technological advancements (Slade, 2012:12).
 
GB all offers similar services with minor exceptions. A huge crowd of new entrants will attempt to come into this restricted market space, due to the industry’s high growth rate and mainly, the market attractiveness of being able to attain revenue straight away even before consumers use the service (China Daily, 2013b). This would pressurise the incumbents into performing better, which benefits the industry as a whole. Meituan needs to understand these new entrants well, so it could be the first to form alliances with them rather than letting them takeover the industry with new ideas and strategies that surpass Meituan’s current advantage. Consequently, alliances deliver access to complementary resources without requiring the investment as in acquisitions (Murray et al. 2012:187). However, due to the strong power between the top major players, even if new companies enter the market, they would have to have large resources and capabilities (R&C) to be able to compete with Meituan’s strong market presence. Furthermore, Meituan has a relatively strong demand-side benefits of scale in that its brand recognition and identity has limited the customers’ willingness to buy from a newcomer, which largely reduces the newcomers’ prices until it has built up a similar market presence to be able to compete head on with Meituan (Porter, 2008).
 
消费者讨价还价的能力—High Bargaining Power Of Buyers
The high industry growth rate does not guarantee profitability for Meituan, since buyers’ power is high (Porter, 2008). Wang et al. (2013) emphasised that due to buyers’ collective power, they may assert control in such a risk-filled marketplace and defend their consumer rights together in confronting unethical retailers. Although Meituan’s first-mover status had slightly increased buyers’ switching costs, its close competitors are improving so rapidly that customers could easily purchase from another web. Therefore, their switching costs are moderate as compared to its closer rivals like Dianping and Lashou. When comparing to the smaller more insignificant players, their costs would lessen.
 
With the invention of deal aggregating websites, consumers can more easily compare and select the best deals that interest them. For most times, GB firms sell similar deals. It then becomes almost impossible to retain customers, which is why Meituan has devised its capabilities to safeguard its user base. Generally, regular deal shoppers tend to sign up for multiple memberships and simply pick the best deals regardless of the GB company name (Slade, 2012:13). In the end, they opt for the one providing the best quality and the best price. They are known to be price-sensitive, which further shows their ability of negotiating leverage to pressure price reductions, explaining the high bargaining power as a whole (Porter, 2008). The deals that are offered tend to be discretionary therefore do not pose as a must-buy necessity. Thus, if Meituan does not consistently offer attractive deals along with a well-attended CRM, the demand may decline quickly, leading to slower cash-flow growth (Greenburg, 2010:5).
 
供应商提供低价格—Low Bargaining Power Of Suppliers
Under the current market system, the resources for small, local businesses to increase brand awareness are fairly limited. Subsequently, service such as dining, are seen to be perishable in the sense that any unused capacity can never be recovered, therefore suppliers have strong temptations to negotiate deals with Meituan while its end-product still has value (Porter, 2008). While merchants look for new ways to market to consumers, Meituan presents a cost-effective opportunity for exposure to different consumer populations. Meituan’s credible, well-known image means more repeat purchases than its competitors. This gives rise to Meituan’s value proposition as an advertising platform, by informing customers of the merchant’s existence, while providing low financial risks. The value proposition for merchants further enhances when new customers are brought to them and are trying to establish their brand name, because the deal has a disruptive function that may bring additional revenue in both the short and long term (Eliason et al. 2010:15). Then, it is down to the merchants to find ways to secure these customers. In this sense, the bargaining power of suppliers is lowered as they are at the mercy of Meituan’s enormous database.
 
With Meituan being the leader of the market and the fact that there are many potential suppliers, actually weakens suppliers’ influence on the price-per-deal and increases their switching costs (Slade, 2012:14). It is important to note that the suppliers who use Meituan are mainly small, local enterprises, since they are the focus of Meituan because large enterprises already have advanced advertising channels. They may not fully understand the intricacies of this market therefore can become overwhelmed with GB success stories from other small businesses, meaning that they would not be in a position to bargain with Meituan.
 
Despite this, it was said that its margins on the average deals are close to zero for suppliers that are in great demand because their decision to work with Meituan depends upon the margins they are allowed to keep, therefore they would be more inclined to work with Meituan (FT, 2011). It also charges a low commission to work as a strong deterrent for potential entrants and eliminates many unprofitable incumbents (Qiu, 2011). Since there are close to 200,000 vendors assisting Meituan at the moment, the bargaining power for each of them stays quite low (Qianlong, 2013).
 
替补品出现的高威胁—High Threats Of Substitutes
Meituan’s main focus is on providing local service deals to small businesses, with less than a fraction of its deals on physical goods. For the most part, customers have yet to develop brand loyalty. What is more, Meituan faces threats from traditional shopping sites, deal aggregators, social commerce sites, and store offers (i.e. buy 4 get 1 free), as well as Internet companies with huge amounts of subscribers. Special attention should be rewarded to these social commerce sites (where sellers are connected in online social networks) and micro-blog sites (Stephen, 2009:2). With the rising presence of social media and technological advancements, Meituan not only competes with its direct competitors, but rather any brand that could steal the mind space of its consumers.
 
When sufficient information is obtained and good systematic agreements with merchants are achieved, GB will become more advantageous than offline store promotions. Within the cutthroat competition amongst net giants, relatively low-priced deals on Meituan’s website will also be beneficial over conventional methods. Other traditional forms of bargains include paper coupons, deep discount websites, online auction sites, online promo/QR codes as well as paying full price or simply not purchasing anything at all (Buchler et al., 2011:22). Meituan has to pay close attention to what it can learn in utilising the best methods for targeted marketing through its market-sensing capability. Otherwise, it may suffer in terms of profitability and development potential.
 
同行业中的竞争态势—High Intensity Of Competitive Rivalry Within The Industry
The highly intensive competition has largely eroded Meituan’s margins as well as raised its cost of setting up sales teams as the niche competitors are all fighting for talented workers. The low costs that are involved with leaving the industry, low fixed costs, early cash flow and lack of consumer loyalty in conjunction with the low differentiation of services have made it extremely competitive within the industry (Eliason et al. 2010:12). Despite the closing down of thousands of GB firms, the market is growing in value, and it still seems to be booming with leftover survivors becoming progressively stronger. This domestic rivalry benefits the industry by adding pressure on businesses to innovate and improve (Porter, 2008).
 
The nature of the business involves price and non-price competition. Price competition in this case is measured in terms of the commission extracted from the merchants in offering each deal, and non-price competition exists when companies start to compete in terms of support services, brand image and quality that is likely to improve customer value (Porter, 2008).
 
Meituan competes among the other top nine players, with the smaller players that have less market presence affecting it less. Although the industry is experiencing a strong growth rate at the moment, as the competitors become more similar as industry customs emerge, technology disseminates, and consumer tastes converge (Porter, 2008).
 
对美团分析的总结—Summary Of Meituan’s Analysis
 
From Exhibit 1, it is clear that Meituan is the only one with low supplier bargaining power. This is largely because small, local businesses need the company’s well-maintained reputation and huge resources to help them gain awareness. It is clear that this market does not look like an attractive industry for one to enter unless they can truly differentiate themselves from others and implement ways to significantly lower their administrative costs.
 
Meituan realises the importance of increasing exposure of its site through RM and quality maintenance. It rose to the top of the market largely because of its sturdy leadership, strong demand-side benefits of scale, robust marketing capabilities and patience in suppressing the temptation to expand when all the other players were doing so. It succeeds by unwearyingly finding the best method to provide the best services for both buyers and suppliers. However, while the company business slowly grows, it faces trouble hiring top talented workers, lags behind its competitors concerning the offerings of popular deals in bigger cities and comprises of fraudulent sales figures. Although being a leader and a first-mover has brought advantages to the company, Meituan still has to continuously strive for improvements, since the ability to meet essential demands of customers impacts business performance. It becomes important to be offering innovative, attractive deals for the chosen market segment. Under such a situation, Meituan must constantly be thinking forward in terms of hi-tech development.
 
实施策略—Strategic Implications
 
By increasing employee satisfaction levels, their problems with hiring skilful workers may be fixed. To break through GB's method, which is becoming more common, Meituan could implement a sales concept that focuses on consumers’ actual desires. This goes back to the original GB concept, where consumers post what they want online. Others who want those sorts of deals join in to vote and in the end Meituan would see what the most popular desires are so that it could use this information to strike a deal with merchants. Meituan would also benefit from being able to negotiate a larger commission since it could provide the actual amount of consumers interested in purchasing. Alternatively, if customers feel like the deals are truly cost-effective, this, in conjunction with a descent shopping experience, will help in generating a higher customer loyalty rate.
 
The merchandisers play an integral role in the GB business structure. They have the bargaining power to influence the companies’ costs involved in providing consumers with the deals in the market, although this power is low in Meituan’s case. Developing and cultivating long-term and positive relations with them does not only imply on gaining the ability to bargain for fairer, lower prices, but also mean that they have the ability to increase the diversity of deals offered to increase the attraction of the website. This is advantageous as Meituan increase their selection on popular deals by geographical expansion in the three bigger cities mentioned. Moreover, it may want to hire an independent auditor to report its financial results in avoiding deceitful sales figures, and to prove to the public that they are indeed a true, and honest company.(51Due编辑:BUG)
 
Gaopeng案例分析——Case Study On Groupon’s Chinese Venture: Gaopeng
 
Internal Environment Analysis of Gaopeng From The Resource-Based View
Gaopeng’s core competencies, resources and capabilities are summarised in table 2.
 
Core Competencies
Gaopeng established a Joint Venture (JV) with Tencent to gain the ability of fully leveraging Tencent’s endowed R&C, including its popular QQ instant messaging platform. By joining partnerships, both counterparts can reduce operation and marketing costs and innumerable risks could be avoided. The pioneering work Groupon attained has provided Gaopeng with its most recognised GB brand worldwide, additionally giving Gaopeng underlying benefits from its technological know-hows and global sourcing resources (Buchler et al. 2011:23).
 
Technological Capabilities
Gaopeng has built capabilities on incorporating Tencent’s popular instant-messaging service QQ with its site. Consumers can login via their QQ account, which is to consumers’ convenience, as they do not have to register and set up another account. This engagement with the consumer has helped Gaopeng extract value from Tencent’s user tracking capabilities on its user’s habits, friends and location to successfully help Gaopeng distinguish itself from its rivals (Bloomberg, 2012). Gaopeng has also developed technological capabilities through bringing over Groupon’s technological expertise via home-based-exploiting (Behrens, 2012:101). Groupon’s home-based-exploiting refers to the exploitation of its technological standard from the US to Gaopeng. By absorbing and learning from Groupon’s latest technologies, payment systems, credit systems, website interfaces, Gaopeng has the advantage to make use of such developmental protocols to advance itself even more. Nonetheless, Groupon’s partnership with Tencent to form Gaopeng did not assist the MNC in acquiring a larger share of this unique market.
 
Knowledge Resources
In this case, Gaopeng not only has the expertise, innovative capabilities and access to international markets from Groupon. The partnership allows Groupon to gain numerous benefits when relying on their Tencent’s insider knowledge on the regulatory environment, access to local market information, established customer base, and guanxi networks with government officials to help minimise legal uncertainties (Lo et al., 2001:5). However, due to the high number of competitors in China, these sources of potential competitive advantages have not appeared to enable the company to compete more effectively.
 
Capital Resources
Groupon’s large firm size and the wide extent of profitable international operations were the reasons for Groupon’s entrance into the potentially profitable Chinese market. However, Groupon failed to transfer its international brand power onto Gaopeng, which inevitably faced escalating challenges. Its expansion into such an unfamiliar territory has caused it to lose focus, squeezed up large amounts of capital and achieved little collaboration from its global operations. As a partner, Tencent did not offer much funding albeit Gaopeng’s tough cash problem (TechNode, 2011). Furthermore, with the lack of differentiation, Gaopeng was stated as the leader of unsuccessful deals (29.4% from Dataotuan’s July 2011 report). Despite this, Groupon had overlooked the high degree of competition involved and replicated the business model it used globally. To further define its failure, it reported with a net loss of $46.4 million US dollars after the first nine months of landing in China (WSJ, 2011).
 
Reputational Resource
The diminution of loyalty from its customers has contributed to its failure in sustaining the firm. Last year, an employee of Gaopeng was fired after proven to have cheated in an iPhone lottery on the micro-blog (Xinhua, 2012). This has seriously damaged its reputation.
 
Groupon sent in internationally renowned managers to take up senior positions to offer sales techniques, quality assurance and editorial work to the rest of the company. Not only were they a burden on the vast overhead costs, but they also had little knowledge of the local market and possess language barriers (FT, 2011).
 
From Gaopeng’s blind aggressive expansion to various cities in China, it can be deduced that Gaopeng was not able to earn enough revenue in time to cover the expenses, which resulted in unemployment and closedowns of more than ten offices across the country all within the year of its JV establishment in January 2011 (Wang et al., 2012). Not only were customers not returning, even some merchants did not want to continue cooperating as they were losing sight of value in investing in this GB model.
 
Combined Resources
Gaopeng’s recent merger with FTuan and QQtuan has created a new joint entity that combines the respective strengths of Gaopeng in global sourcing, FTuan in local lifestyle services, frontline marketing and local sales networks, and QQtuan’s operations and network to better serve users’ needs (Bloomberg, 2012). This is the first major deal within China’s fragmented GB market. Consumers will benefit from further selections and lesser prices as a result of the increased scale of the combined entity.  Since Tencent retains stakes in these three companies, it makes sense for businesses to combine (Jiang, 2012). The merger will ensure that the new company can leverage the three companies’ existing capabilities and cash flows to eliminate competition, while benefiting from the complemented resources by running with millions of subscribers added to its database and gaining more ties with merchants to help it play the role of matchmakers for local businesses. The integration of merchant networks will also generate economies of scale.
 
行业结构分析:gaopeng波特五力模型——Industry Structural Analysis: Porter’s Five Forces On Gaopeng
 
In attempting to answer why the international GB giant Groupon fail to claim a leadership role in China’s market, we use Porter’s five forces to analyse Groupon’s Chinese Venture, Gaopeng. (Please refer to exhibit 3 for a summary of Porter’s Five Forces analysis)
 
Moderate Threat Of New Entrants
Being in the same segment as Meituan, Gaopeng faces the same threats as its rival with one major difference in that Gaopeng does not have strong demand-side benefits of scale due to its low authority within the market. Nonetheless, Gaopeng’s merger with FTuan and QQtuan should enhance its market presence. The mode of foreign entry into this market has to be carefully considered as it influences business performance in terms of profitability, since different modes possess different levels of risks.
 
High Bargaining Power Of Buyers
Due to Gaopeng’s low market share, customers have even lower switching costs here over Meituan. They are more one-time price-sensitive bargain shoppers because they not only lack confidence in the company from its previous scandals and they are also choosing from a selection of undifferentiated deals (Porter, 2008). Nevertheless, consumers are required to pay prior to the service. If consumers do not redeem their deal vouchers, they usually do not get their money back from Gaopeng (Meituan’s advantage is that it provides an unconditional refund) – the gist is that Gaopeng and the business offering the deal would have already been paid and would not lose any revenue.
 
High Bargaining Power Of Suppliers
The intense competition means in wanting to strike a good deal with the merchandisers, the agreed commission rate will be significantly lowered because there are so many alternatives for merchants, the prominent ones can be picky with choosing the provider with the best fit. Suppliers gain more power when they can extract more profits out of their profit-share. Their power rises along with the increasing number of players and substitutes available in the market.
 
In Gaopeng’s case, even with Tencent’s massive resources, it has quite a low market share that gives suppliers low switching costs to move to another company. As the only basis of platform differentiation from a supplier’s perspective is volume and the quality of consumers delivered. This adds pressure to Gaopeng and forces it to not only prove that promoting through it will be worthwhile, but also offer deals that are reasonable to most merchants. The average commission rate from each deal is 12% (Meituan only charges single digits) in comparison to 50% in the U.S., with only 1.7% market share in the overall market; it faces a serious cash crunch (FT, 2011). This is one of the reasons why many companies fail to survive.
 
Supplier power should soon decrease after Gaopeng’s merger proves successful from its increase in audience reach, or if Gaopeng lowers its commission rate.
 
High Threat Of Substitutes
Gaopeng resembles identical threats to that of Meituan. Another substitute that threatens both Gaopeng and Meituan are discounts offered directly by merchants. These discounts are usually targeted at repeating customers who have a substantial purchase history with the particular merchant. Fundamentally, GB sites provide an easy method to run promotional campaign for quick exposure. Even if it means merchants may not be able to profit much from each deal (since parts of its revenues would be used as the marketing fee), it solves merchants’ problem of bringing in new customers to the store. However, if merchants with a sufficient consumer base were able to run these deals without the help of GB sites, then self-run deals are a suitable replacement for running a profit-cutting daily deal through a third party. They become more lucrative and eliminate the need of a third party undercutting their profits in exchange for more exposures to customers (Slade, 2012:14).
 
High Intensity Of Competitive Rivalry Within The Industry
In this highly attractive industry, the degree of competition along with low barriers to entry will inevitably lead to the large influx of new entrants into the industry and therefore the high intensity of competition. Gaopeng failed to distinguish itself among its rivals, as a result, failed to acquire enough customers to be part of the top ten players, which adds to its competitive rivalry for a greater market share. It competes with hundreds of smaller players. Gaopeng would have to improve its after-sales/customer service, using Meituan as a lead example in order to survive under such market pressures.
 
gaopeng分析总结——Summary Of Gaopeng’s Analysis
 
Five forces analysis yields similar trends identified through the analysis of Meituan, with the only difference that suppliers here are much stronger. This is because Meituan takes less commission from them and Gaopeng does not have a reputable image, making them far less attractive company to cooperate with. Gaopeng must further improve its product/service quality through its CRM to enrich its user experience and BM in setting its offerings apart from the competition (Greenburg, 2010:3).
 
Groupon was rational to think that proceeding through joint operations would provide higher chances of success over progressing on its own, but it has been operating along with a high degree of competition that seemingly halted the company’s internal progress and contributed to its unprofitable business.
 
Although partnering with Tencent seemed to be a favourable entry method, the decision making process took a long time. Even with Tencent as its local partner, it shows to have failed to build a company that understands the local market environment. Not only was its entry into the market late, Tencent’s attention was divided between FTuan and QQtuan.
 
Groupon should have realised that China’s e-commerce market is unique and therefore the same US business model will not work and should not have been applied. In many other countries where Groupon had been successful, it had actually bought market shares by acquiring local leaders.(51Due编辑:BUG)
 
战略实施——Strategic Implications
 
Gaopeng should not expand faster than it could support, as investors may see this business model as a simple e-commerce ‘bubble’ that could never be a stable, profitable business. Nonetheless, it could expand through acquisitions of small and medium sized GB platforms in order to capture more R&C. With regards to its poor management structure, Gaopeng would have to extract its foreign executives in order to cut costs and control the company’s delaying cash flows.
 
To enhance its brand reputation and deliver assurance, Lau (2011) suggested that Gaopeng states its guarantee policy and statement on its site, continue upholding a professional website appearance and provide third party trust assurances to its buyers and sellers.
 
To increase its sales revenue and market share, Gaopeng needs to increase its unit sales from its current customers while acquiring new customers, since it is not possible for Gaopeng to raise margins or prices amidst this competition (Morgan et al., 2009:285). It is important for Gaopeng to accurately position its target consumers through CRM, and search for new ways to create competitive advantages that will outperform its rivals’ performances. Thus, providing a sophisticated GB model that possesses international service standards, instead of losing focus and greedily try to include every different segment (Crum, 2011).
 
In terms of securing returning customers, Gaopeng should improve its BM by profiling its users to provide customised/personalised deal recommendations that relate to individuals, also forwarding repeat deals based on their historical purchasing data. This helps offer consumers a value-added experience, increasing their brand loyalty and generating higher sales volume through continual systems upgrade (Lau, 2011). This database building grounded on consumer preferences would make customers more inclined to read their messages and improve operational efficiency of suppliers. Successfully doing so will lead to a truly distinguishable and rewarding business, which will benefit the customers and merchants in the long run.
 
In order to intensify values to merchants, Gaopeng should segment them in providing a tiered advertising service, by leveraging consumer reports and clear market targeting capabilities to attain a diverse and loyal merchant base that locks them into using its services. Gaopeng needs to prove to its merchants that selling through the GB site will indeed secure customers who will return.
 
In the near future, Gaopeng should make the best use of Groupon’s global supply chain to broaden its range of deals; such as enabling it to offer overseas travel packages and other GB deal. Gaopeng could leverage Tencent’s mobile messaging application, Wechat in contributing direct use of its data resources and 200 million user base for target marketing (Techweb, 2012). Gaopeng’s future success will lie in its ability to prove that their business model is indeed profitable through the return-on-investment capabilities offered by this platform in turning it into a complement to the company (Buchler et al., 2011:24). To occupy more market share in the mobile Internet market, Gaopeng has to invest a lot in its data analytical systems to make accurate recommendations of discounts based on customers’ locations and preferences.
 
对中国细分团购市场建议——Recommendations For The China Specific GB Market
 
What the Chinese GB websites need to do to stay atop is twofold: first, maintain good relationships with merchants and provide follow-up strategies for them to interact with customers, by reminding them the importance of good CRM. Second, pay close attention to developing better mobile technologies, especially in the realm of mobile payment. With the surge in mobile shopping, mobile clients should become the companies’ most important target (iResearch, 2013).
 
As Sinkovics et al. (2007:223) conclude, “Conducting business online can be easily replicated by competitors”. Therefore, their competitive advantages would not be sustainable, and the only way to fix this is to seek differentiation advantages. Deep market research and analysis will have to be done regularly to monitor rivals’ activities and find out what the company’s churn rate is, where clients may be lost to other websites. Once the reasons for customers’ motive to buy on other websites are found, improvements could then be implemented to try and re-capture the lost users (iResearch, 2011).
 
In order to stay in business, companies need to become more far-sighted and focus on retaining their existing customers as well as addressing the needs for new clients to increase their economies of scope (Greenburg, 2010:32). This can be done by diversifying products/services so there is one deal that fits each client. Shiau et al. (2012:2440) conclude, “Consumer satisfaction and trust are the strongest predictors of intention to engage in online group buying”. Therefore, in order to beat the stiff competition, retaining deals for a longer period than competitors, offering less discretionary items and making best use of each marketing capability would help improve sales and customer satisfaction.
 
Companies need to be aware of the advantages of engaging customers through popular social networks to promote information exchange (Lawrence, 2012). The aim is to keep customers actively engaged to increase their loyalty and intentions to purchase on the website. By encouraging customers to voice their complaints, companies can anticipate to avoid further failures and train their staff to prepare for service recovery strategies to be carried out effectively. The probable value in listening to what customers are reviewing about your brand online can provide power framework to respond proactively and help with mitigating future crises. It is also important to constantly improve the efficiency of resource distributions, management levels, and innovation capabilities (Liang, 2010:74).
 
团购市场未来发展趋势——This Market’s Future Trends Of Development
 
In order to provide more attractive deals with a better discount, numerous sites have been forced to lower their margins and constrain their profitability. Ultimately, only the resourceful players could survive (Kan, 2012). The China E-Commerce Research Center (2012) forecasted that realistically there would be no more than five large-scale, well-funded GB sites surviving in the market. Larger GB could also benefit in terms of pricing as it can charge substantially less than competitors having sign deals with an online payment provider. The consolidation of China’s GB space is perhaps inevitable. However, while the model is relatively easy to set up, it is not easy to maintain its long-term vitality and gain profit, even amidst the growing demands of the Chinese market (Tang, 2012:304).
 
But since there is still a huge market of local retailers who are in need of solutions for retrieving new customers, they may continuously rely on GB players to help them solve their queries. As the joint demand for partaking merchants’ goods and services increase, the demand for the GB firm is likely to increase (Slade, 2012:14). We may see more merchandisers proactively seeking GB platforms to participate in promotional activities and GB will be incorporated within the local merchandisers’ marketing plan (CECRC, 2012). The GB portals and consumers would become more mature, while GB sites would need to actively differentiate, localise and maintain close relationships with consumers and merchants in order to survive and meet their needs.
 
Analysts believe that Chinese consumers are diverging from being price-sensitive to service-sensitive and will progressively use mobile applications to make purchases (CFT, 2012). Therefore, GB should offer better web and app interfaces, easy to navigate mobile platforms and stimulate excellent marketing capabilities to improve their margins. The rapid growth of mobile Internet users will provide superfluous opportunities and room for development for GB to fully utilize this technology towards turning mobile applications into a complement (WantChinaTimes, 2013). If Chinese consumers continue to embrace this GB motive, deals on real estate, medical care and automobiles may surface. Retailers may well rely on GB instead of owning bricks-and-mortars to do business. This will truly reshape the businesses for smaller retailers.
 
The GB revolution in China may become the fundamental shift in the way domestic consumers shop online, since many GB sites are forced to keep low margins in order to provide appealing deals at a good bargain, we may actually see these sites shift from offering limited time GB deals back to the traditional e-commerce channels.
 
结论——Conclusion
 
The main purpose of this paper is to explore China’s e-commerce development towards GB by strategically analysing Meituan and Gaopeng as comparative case studies in finding better ways for businesses to prosper in China’s unique market environment. From Porter’s five-force analysis, we can conclude that Meituan, being a more profitable player, is indeed better positioned in relation to Gaopeng. By looking at the internal environments of each firm, it can be argued that the values created by firms vary depending on the R&C they are able to obtain.
 
The two companies mentioned have shown to have similar resources that differ in sales systems and company cultures. Meituan took its first position by virtue of its first-mover advantage and leads with its highly recognised, trustworthy brand awareness providing immaculate assistance for both its customers and merchants. It also focuses its efforts on improving its technological systems for the good of its users.
 
In order to improve Groupon’s ability to adapt to the cultural and social economic aspects of China, it took the initiative of venturing with the well-funded local Internet conglomerate, Tencent to form Gaopeng. This helped them better understand local customers’ needs and behaviour. Although Gaopeng has really upped its services to match its competitors, its breakneck expansion across China haemorrhaged a vast sum of money, and made it lose track of the real importance, which is to have satisfied repeating customers. It failed to transfer its existing competitive advantage as a global leader into China’s fast growing and rapidly adjusting GB market. As the GB practice becomes progressively common, the whole GB process will soon become a regular part of consumer’s lives. Whether Gaopeng’s merger with FTuan and QQtuan will generate a higher business value remains in question.
 
From the above analysis, it is foreseeable that GB websites will constantly improve themselves to better adapt to the dynamically changing consumer needs and wants. It has presented great opportunities for small, local merchants to effectively reach new customers and has revolutionised collective buying. To compete within the Chinese Internet community, it is important for companies to understand consumers’ changing tastes, their sensitivity to price and quality and to maintain genuine relationships with both consumers and merchants. Shopping through mobile applications would be the new driving force in the future and a forthcoming complement to businesses. In meeting the rising consumer expectations, GB will need to provide consumers with higher quality, differentiated services through relentlessly improving their efficiencies, technological innovations, whilst maintaining low expenses in order to be sustainable and stay in the game. It will be interesting to see how the survival of the fittest will turn out in the next couple of years. 
(51Due编辑:BUG)

我们的优势

  • 05年成立,已帮助上万人
  • 24小时专业客服
  • 团队成员都毕业于全球著名高校
  • 保证原创,支持检测

英国站