Global Associate Program (G.A.P.)

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This section will introduce the research methods used for collecting the data, as well as present available resources employed to fulfill the purpose of the Thesis. Furthermore, merits and limitations of choices, including a discussion of issues of validity and reliability will be discussed in the following section to properly assess the methodology. In order to specify the purpose of every study, no matter the type and aim, appropriate research methods should be used as well as relevant data collection techniques. These allow the researcher to generate pertinent information about how to proceed with a solution for the specific problem. As previously stated in the purpose, is the particular company in which this paper will focus on and therefore, the most appropriate research method to use for such purposes is a case study.


Interviews are efficient when it comes to retrieving information about a specific subject since they provide a personal contact with knowledgeable individuals, as well as give the opportunity for further questions in case of misunderstandings. The most important aspects when conducting interviews, according to Brannick and Roche (1997) are: the approach, respect for respondent, and manners and appreciation. The approach implies being prepared in advance, using time wisely and appearing familiar to the subject. Respect for respondent is the situation where the identity of the interviewee is protected and kept anonymous if so desired, as well as when interviewers avoid expression of criticism, agreement or disagreement when the respondent is answering the questions. Lastly, manners and appreciation stress the significance of showing respect for the help given by the respondent and their cooperation, time and energies deployed.

Validity, Reliability and Trustworthiness

As the investigation is holistic, long lasting, flexible and deep, it is believed that time, energy and knowledge consumed in it will lead to valid and reliable results. The problem however, lies in the fact that the results cannot be generalized on a large number of entities since the sample size, “n”, conducted is relatively small and therefore cannot be applied to other similar companies. Yin (1994) believes that a case study should be tested for validity and reliability. This could be performed by replicating the findings of the study in a second, or even a third case if required, to prove that the results will reoccur in a similar fashion. However, as the purpose of the study is not to generate a theory rather than to propose a method of action, the study does not require any replication.

Customer Perspective

Previous empirical studies of relationship conducted by Crosby, Evans and Cowles (1990) have shown benefits of customer loyalty as viewed from the perspective of the firm (cited in Gwinner, Gremler & Bitner, 1998). As a result, the benefits to service providers for having developed strong relationships with their customers can thus contribute to a loyal customer base. Loyal customers can lead to many advantages, ranging from the social aspects to the economic and financial aspects of a firm. They are more likely to purchase goods and services without hesitation. In addition, loyal customers can also lead to a huge decrease in costs, particularly because loyal customers are most likely to cost less in providing services. This is, in large part, due to sales, marketing, and setup costs being amortized over a longer customer lifetime (Gwinner et. al., 1998).

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Service Orientation

As explained by Kotler, Armstrong, Wong and Saunders, “Marketing is managing profitable customer relationships” (2008, p. 6). To manage these relationships require specific interactions to take place between all parties concerned. This interaction process is at the foundation of the Service Perspective. According to this point of view, the main solution (physical product, service, or a combination of the two) is not enough to differentiate an offering from competitors. It is perceived that the offering should support the customer’s value generating processes. This core solution, along with various customer relationship elements, combines to create a package called the Total Service Offering (Grönroos, 2007). This concept embraces the main aim as establishing valuable relationships with customers and other stakeholders.

Table of Contents :

    • 1.1 Background
    • 1.2 Problem
      • 1.2.1 Delimitations
    • 1.3 Purpose
      • 1.3.1 Research Questions
    • 1.4 Disposition
    • 2.1 Data Collection Techniques
      • 2.1.1 Literature Review
      • 2.1.2 Interview
    • 2.2 Merits and Limitations
      • 2.2.1 Validity, Reliability and Trustworthiness
    • 3.1 Marketing Through a Service Perspective
      • 3.1.1 Business Relationships
      • 3.1.2 Customer Perspective
      • 3.1.3 Service Orientation
      • 3.1.4 Service Quality
    • 3.2 Contributors to Growth
      • 3.2.1 Critical Success Factors
    • 3.3 Market Analysis Tools
      • 3.3.1 SWOT Analysis
      • 3.3.2 Competitor Map
    • 4.1
      • 4.1.1 How It Works
      • Earn
      • Bid
      • Win
      • 4.1.2 Global Associate Program (G.A.P.)
    • 5.1 EBW Marketing Potential
      • 5.1.1 Free Bids
      • 5.1.2 Live Reverse Auctions
      • 5.1.3 Prepaid Cards
      • 5.1.4 Road Shows
      • 5.1.5 Shopping Sprees
      • 5.1.6 Customer Support
      • 5.1.7 Displaying Content
      • 5.1.8 Future Plans
    • 5.2 Market Analysis of
      • 5.2.1 SWOT Analysis of
      • 5.2.2 Competitor Map of
      • 5.2.3 Analysis of Direct Competitors
      • Groupon
      • Comparison Against
      • EBay
      • Comparison Against
      • Other Reverse Auction Sites
      • Comparison Against
    • 6.1 Developing a Marketing Strategy
      • 6.1.1 Interaction and Convenience
      • Recommendation Applications
      • Deep Collection of Information
      • Customer Support
      • Customer Updates
      • Podcast with Dr. Bill Lim
      • 6.1.2 Content
      • Focus on the Range of Products Offered
      • Promotional Products
      • Facilitating the Information Retrieving
      • Clarity
      • A Window of Connection
      • The “Fun” of the Experience
      • An Attention-Grabbing Page
      • Sales
      • 6.1.3 Control
      • Affiliates
      • Insurance
      • Tutorials and Guiding
      • User Rating Systems

Marketing in e-Commerce through the Implementation of the Service Perspective

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