Factors Affecting Online Traffic Generation for Corporate Websites for UK Sportswear Companies of UK: Adidas

1.0 Introduction:

Official websites are considered to be one of the most important tools in the modern days of marketing. Companies use the official websites to improve the brand awareness among the consumers. According to the view of Frambach (2003), proper brand promotion enables an organisation to increase the market share. Companies have introduced effective public relation strategies to cope up with the challenges of stiff competition. However, there are several factors that can impact the traffic generation process of the companies. The traffic generation process can determine the success of the promotional strategies of the organisation (Hartley and Pickton, 2009). The current study will identify the factors that can affect the performance of the corporate websites.

For the current study, the researcher has selected ADIDAS as the chosen company. The researcher will analyse the factors that has been impacting the online traffic generation process of ADIDAS. Situation analysis will be done for this purpose. It will help the researcher to investigate the effectiveness of the current corporate websites. Moreover, the study will help the researcher to recommend the strategies that can improve the performance of the online business of the company. The study will also help the other organisations to improve the on line traffic generation process.

1.1 Rationale of the study:

The invention of the Web 2.0, has occurred a huge transformation of the online promotional strategies of the organisation. As mentioned by Phelps and Johnson (2006), the on line promotion can attract a wider mass and at the same time it is cost effective compare to the other modes of advertisements. In order to attract potential customer the performance of the corporate websites is needed to be monitored. Reduction in the on line traffic generation can hamper the profitability of the organisation. A wide range of factors can impact the on line traffic generation process of an organisation. As stated by Beard (2006), the reducing number of customers can reveal the under performance of the corporate websites, influencing the brands of the company. The study will investigate the factors affecting the performance of the corporate websites of ADIDAS. Therefore, the content of the study is very much relevant as per the current context.  On the basis of the findings of the current study, the researcher will be able to recommend the strategies that can improve the public relation of ADIDAS.

1.2 Research Aims:

The aim of the research is to investigate the factors that can affect the performance of the on line traffic generation process of an organisation. In the context of ADIDAS, the researcher will conduct the study.

1.3 Research objectives:

  • To identify the core factors affecting generating traffic in corporate websites.
  • To assess the applicability of the factors into ADIDAS to enhance online traffic.
  • To recommend how to improve the corporate websites in generating traffics.

1.4 Research Questions:

  • What do the core factors affect generating traffic in websites?
  • What do the core factors affect generating traffic in corporate websites
  • What are the factors that impact the performance of corporate websites of ADIDAS?
  • How are the factors incorporated in the online traffic generation process of ADIDAS?
  • How ADIDAS can improve the process of on line trafficking?

 

2.0 Literature review:

This part will help the researcher to identify the theoretical evidences regarding the online customers generation through website as a media of promotion. Moreover, the part could also help to serve the supportive documents and evidences to judge the justification of the key findings, derived from this research.

2.1 Corporate website and online traffic generation:

Online traffic is defined by Forrester (2010) as the number of visitors of the website and the services offered by the organisation. In other words, the online traffic is the initial customers having interest to receive the information regarding the organisation and its products and services. however, Li et al. (2011) stated that online traffic are the number of website visitors including customers, researchers and other people intending to gather information from the particular websites. In this context, the corporate website plays significant role to generate online traffic through effective web design and informative contents. Kaplan and Norton (2011) found that corporate website is the main domain of a firm on virtual platform through which the firm could operate the business for diversified purposes.

2.1.1 Corporate website components:

The following features are crucial to enhance the effectiveness of a corporate website.

Informative:

An effective corporate website needs to be informative rather focusing on the animated representation. The reason could be demonstrated by Phelps and Johnson (2006) as being highly capable to deliver relevant information to the customers.

Brand alignment:

The web-design of a particular brand needs to ge properly alighed to the brabd value to convey the message of its objectives. In this context, Kaplan and Norton (2011) acknowledged that efficient alignment of the website looks and feel with the business logo could strengthen the promotional strategy of the organisation.

Media friendliness:

According to Forrester (2010), the corporate website of a brand needs to be media friendly to publish the organisational news and information regading the products and services, along with new launch. Supporting to this fact, Li et al. (2011) stated that media is the key channel that delivers the information through notifications and new feeds. In this context, the sociela is is most cost effective and potential channel with a wider reach of diversified regional customers across the globe. Therefore, the brand needs to design its corporate websites with proper alignment of dedicated social media pages that the end users of social media websites could be aware of the changes and offers availed for the customers, as updated in the corporate websites.

Right CMS integration:

Right CMS integration is also important for a brand to manage its contents, according to the importance and limitations. Cheung and Law (2009) cited that an effective Content Management System (CMS) prioritises the available content based on the data requirements of customers and the customers’ perception regarding the brand and its offers. However, Forrester (2010) observed that a high-end CMS cam only be utilised where the organisation belongs to the large scale economy as the data range and anticipated changes are comparatively wider. Therefore, the CMS is irrelevant in case of limited requirements in web designing mechanism.

2.2 Website as a media of marketing:

Website of an organisation is the virtual existence of the company that intends to reach competitive number of customers through global presence where attractive and informative website attracts higher number of global customers. In this context, Cheung and Law (2009) stated that website plays a pivotal role in promoting the business through providing information about the anticipated products and offerings. In addition, Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) stated that promotion via website could be more effective than the other media as a number of information about the concerned firm could be delivered to the visitors via website. However, the most crucial factor to make the website attractive is web-design. Potential web-design eases finding the webpage and associated information regarding the organisation, the customers intends.

Detailed information and upgraded news over time could enable the firm to attract more visitors to evaluate the usefulness of its services. In that case, Phelps and Johnson (2006) suggested linking the website with the search engine that the visitors could find relevant information as required. This could lead to make the visitors feel the benefits of the products and services offered by the organisation. As a result, the brand value of the organisation could attain a significant hike offering competitive positioning in the market.

2.3 Factors affecting online traffic generation process:

Online traffic or the website traffic are generated by the organisation to increase its acceptance across the world. However, in word of Woessner (2011), there are some factors having major affecting on the website traffic generation as undernoted below:

Search engine ranking:

Most of the consumers use the search engines like Google, Bing and yahoo. The higher ranking the website could attain the higher volume of online traffic could be covered. In this context, Adjei et al. (2010) stated that most of the website visitors prefer the initial options while searching a specific information. Thus, search engine ranking could help the organisation to achieve significant number of website visitors for greater popularity and market share.

Loading speed:

It has been found from the global statistics that average number of customers generally spends 30-40 seconds on each websites before navigating to the another option. Therefore, loading time enables the website visitors to make decision regarding the visiting durations. In that case, Woessner (2011) observed that network plays significant role to drive the speed of loading the website.

Website layout:

Website layout in terms of easy access of the contents and other relevant information are highly accepted by most of the customers. In continuation, Phelps and Johnson (2006) observed that bogging down the pages with advertisement and pop-up windows could make the customers less interested returning to the same website.

Content:

The website visitors often look for the updated information to gather the current data published by the organisation in its websites. Moreover, the website visitors also seek for the information like, current product and service updates, current offers and discounts where unnecessary contents could divert the customers to switch on accumulating from another websites (Bart et al. 2005).

2.4 Application of the influential factors in ADIDAS:

ADIDAS generally highlights on the content management and the web designing that the customers could easily find out the required information from its corporate websites. The information in the website are served in a very compact form without any description that itemisation of the web content could be eased. Lai and Turban (2008) cited that categorised content management enhance the customers visit to gain the current updates of the organisation where effective content management system could also deliver information on the selection of required items.

2.5 Role of ADIDAS’s corporate website attaining customer loyalty:

The website of the organisation itself is the brand of the firm to attract significant number of customers. However, Meyerson and Scarboroug (2008) found that the information sharing is the key strategy of the firm to deliver the right information to the customers to serve the offers as promised. ADIDAS uses the website as one of the potential marketing channels to promote the products and services, along with the modifications and changes incorporated. The mission and vision of the organisation to be a sustainable and socially and environmentally responsible organisation could also influence the customers to enhance engagement through purchasing products and services.

2.6 Research hypothesis:

H0: The factors influencing online traffic generation has an impact on the corporate website of ADIDAS.

H1: The factors influencing online traffic generation has no impact on the corporate website of ADIDAS.

3.0 Research Methodology:

Research methodology is chosen carefully to address the research issues undertaken by the researcher. Therefore, the research methods are aligned with the research issues while conducting the study. Therefore, the based on the research aims and objectives, primary data has been considered as suitable for the research as the current research is exploratory in nature. The section initiates to present the relevant data collection and sampling technique for the study.

3.1 Type of Investigation:

In this research, the researcher would use the positivism philosophy as such investigation could lead to derive suitable inference through steering the study using the phenomena of natural science. In this context, Morgan (2007) stated that positivism philosophy helps to derive suitable outcomes that could influence the customers to create positive perception towards the brand. On the other hand, under the shade of intense competitive market environment, a significant number of global organisations are tending to promote its brand using its corporate website and its alignment with effective media platform (Hammond, 2006). Therefore, the research is based on the judgement of existing theoretical propositions and previous research papers. In that case deductive approach would best serve the steps to be followed for a successful completion.

The research is exploratory in nature and thus the research will initiate to explore the impact of factors affecting online traffic generation of ADIDAS websites. Thus, the investigation regarding the study will focus on the usefulness of the corporate website of organisation and associated influential factors affecting the online traffic generation process of ADIDAS.

3.2 Data collection process:

The study will encompass the primary data collection as the same will be most useful to spot the factors affecting traffic generation. Referring to this fact, Teddlie and Yu (2007) cited that quantitative data is potential to identify the factors based on the preferences and perceptions. In that case, the survey will be considered to gather responses from customers, in order to rebranding the organisation for better traffic generation. The survey questionnaire regarding the customers’ interest in corporate website could help ADIDAS to generate greater volume of online traffic.

The sample questionnaire will be sent to 5% of total respondents via email to gauge the acceptance and potentiality of the questionnaire. However, the questionnaire will be finally sent to the customers on the basis of the pilot outcomes to accumulate the final information from the sources.

3.3 Sampling method:

According to Staddon (2008), sampling is the process through which the sources of information are identified from the larger population. Referring to the current study, quota sampling could be appropriate for the research as it segregates the homogeneous group of people in terms of online customers of ADIDAS. On the other side, quota sampling has been identified as cost effective process of conducting primary survey through serving timeline (Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. 2012).

The current framework of the research suggests undertaking 50 samples for the exploratory types of research. However, Sandelowski et al. (2009) acknowledged that larger sample size could assist drawing more concrete information whereas reliability of the outcomes could also be ensured in terms selection of options based on the facts and requirements. Therefore, 100 customers could be the best option to derive unbiased outcomes from larger frequency.

3.4 Accessibility issues:

Accessibility is one of the crucial factors to derive required and relevant outcomes from the research. According to Greene et al. (2009), the research outcomes could be vague and inappropriate due to lack in data accessibility.  For the current study, the secondary data in the form of theories and evidences would be collected from the online library whereas the concerned primary information could be effectively gathered through internet based survey activities for faster data collection process (Toloie-Eshlaghy et al. 2012).

3.5 Ethical issues:

The researcher needs to follow certain code of conduct of the study to conduct the research following fair practices. The ethical protection has been confirmed by the researcher through informing the participants regarding the procedures of the survey and associated risks involved. However, disclosure of the provided information could be ensured through collecting mutual consent of the participants. Collins et al. (2011) observed that the ethical questions may arise while collecting the primary data. In order to resolve the issues, permission will be taken from the participants.

3.6 Data analysis plan:

The data, gathered from diversified sources will be analysed using mathematical calculations. The data manipulation tools in Microsoft excel will be used to generate the information from the raw data. The frequency of given options preferred by the respondents will be calculated using simple percentage process where the literature could be helpful to justify the outcomes. The data analysis will also be conducted through proper representation of the generated information through charts and graphs.

3.7 Research limitations:

The research is fully dependent on the primary data where qualitative data in the form of manager4s’ view could lead to enlighten the in sight of ADIDAS website and its effectiveness. Moreover, the information could also gauge the effectiveness of i8ncorpprate potential changes in web-designing mechanism to enhance the customers’ preference over its rivals. Time is the key barrier of the research where online survey could enable the respondents to put influenced opinion that in turn could drive the study towards wrong derivation.

4.0 Gantt chart:

The entire study would be completed following the schedule shown below:

Task Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Selection of topic and search for justification
Constructing literature
Selecting appropriate methods
Data collection
Data analysis and representation
Reviewing the outcomes
Conclusions and recommendations
Submitting draft of te project
Printing and final submission

 

5.0 Conclusions:

The research will be conducted to analyse the factors that could affect the corporate website of ADIDAS as the promotional media for the online traffic generation. In that case, the researcher has set the aims and objectives of the research at the initial phase, along with the research hypothesis to construct the literature accordingly. Moreover, the basic objectives of the study also help in selecting suitable research methods to be implemented while conducting the research in future.

 

 

References:

Adjei, M. T., Noble, S. M., and Noble, C. H. (2010), “The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behavior”. Journal of the Academy Marketing Science, 38(5), pp. 634-653.

Bart, Y., Shankar, V., Sultan, F., and Urban, G., L., (2005). “Are the Drivers and Role of Online Trust the Same for All Websites & Consumers? A Large-Scale Exploratory Empirical Study”, Journal of Marketing, 69 (4), pp. 133-152.

Beard, F. (2006) “Integrated marketing communications: New role expectations and performance issues in the client-ad agency relationship?”, Journal of Business Research, 37, pp. 207-215

Cheung, C. and Law, R. (2009). “Have the Perceptions of the Successful Factors for Travel Web Sites Changed Over Time? The Case of Consuming in Hong Kong”, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 33(3), pp. 438-446.

Collins, A., Joseph, D. and Bielaczyc, K. (2011), “Deisgn research: Theoretical and methodological issues.” Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), pp. 15-42.

Forrester, D. (2010). Turn clicks into customers. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Frambach, R.T. (2003) “An integrated model of organizational adoption and diffusion of innovations”, European Journal of Marketing, 27(5), pp. 22-41.

Greene, J. C., Caracelli, V. J., and Graham, W. F. (2009), “Toward a conceptual framework for mixed-method evaluation designs.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 11(2), pp. 255-274.

Hammond, C. (2006), “The wider benefits of adult learning: An illustration of the advantages of mixed methods research.” International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(2), pp. 239-255

Hartley, B. and Pickton, D. (2009) “Integrated marketing communications requires a new way of thinking”, Journal of Marketing Communications, 5, p. 97-106.

Kaplan, M. and Haenlein, M. (2010), “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”. Business Horizons,53, pp. 59-68.

Kaplan, R. and Norton, D. (2011). The strategy-focused organization. 1st ed. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press

Lai, L., S., L., and Turban, E., (2008), “Groups Formation and Operations in the Web 2.0 Environment and Social Networks”, Group Decisions and Negotiations, 17(5), pp. 387 – 402.

Li, X. G., Wang, X., and Cai, J. Y. (2011). “Corporate-, Product-, and User-Image Dimensions and Purchase Intentions: The Mediating Role of Cognitive and Affective Attitudes”. Journal of Computers, 6(9), pp. 1875-1879.

Meyerson, M. and Scarborough, M. (2008). Mastering online marketing. [Irvine, CA]: Entrepreneur Press.

Morgan, D. L. (2007), “Practical strategies for combining qualitative and quantitative methods: Applications for health research.” Qualitative Health Research, 8(5), pp. 362-376.

Phelps, J. and Johnson, E. (2006) “Entering the quagmire: examining the ‘meaning’ of integrated marketing communications”, Journal of Marketing Communications, 2, pp. 159-172.

Sandelowski, M., Voils, C. I., and Knafl, G. (2009), “On quantitizing.” Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3(3), pp. 208-222.

Staddon, J. E. R. (2008), “Spaced responding and choice: A preliminary analysis.” Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 11(3), pp. 669–682

Teddlie, C. and Yu, F. (2007), “Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples.” Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), pp. 77-100.

Toloie-Eshlaghy, A., Chitsaz, S., Karimian, L. and Charkhchi, R. (2012) “A Classification of Qualitative Research Methods.” Research Journal of International Studies, 20, pp. 106-152

Woessner, S. (2011). Increase online sales through viral social networking. Ocala, Fla.: Atlantic Pub. Group.

Appendix:

Dissertation structure:

The following structure could be appropriate for the research to steer it towards a systematic and successful completion through meeting the bottom line.

Chapter 1: Introduction including background, rationale and objectives of the study.

Chapter 2: Literature review dealing with the theories and evidences alighing with the appropriate models under the specified context.

Chapter 3: Research methodology briefing different research methods to conduct the study for better derivation of the outcomes.

Chapter 4: Findings and analysis investigating the information gathered to draw suitable conclusions on the outcomes.

Chapter: Conclusions and recommendations suggesting potential options for generating higher number of online traffic through effective web-based strategy.

 

 

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