William Sonoma Essay

I think that Williams-Sonoma will probably close its doors and become obsolete, if they do not change their marketing views, and incorporate a better strategic approach.

I just don’t think with the way the economy is today that many people will continue to buy those types of high end products that are offered by Williams-Sonoma at many of their retail stores. Buyers are focusing on more “bang for the buck” type products.Products are now bought for more of a necessary item, rather than, the highly fashionable products. I think management of Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma, should try to discuss lowering prices to go in line with today’s economic outlook. A happy medium to where they get somewhat of a profit and their consumers feel the products are affordable enough to purchase.

The use of their website is a very good idea. Website advertising seems the way to go with all the technological advancements we have.The internet reaches so many possible customers, and very quickly, it only made sense for Williams-Sonoma to look at the possibility of it. Williams-Sonoma used Prophet Solutions to give an in depth analysis of their business strategy. The alliance was a very good move.

It helped Williams-Sonoma gain a lot of first time buyers, and its internet sales to grow over 500% in the first two years. It was a great success for their branding, marketing, and development to continue in the retail market.If Williams-Sonoma does not change its strategic approach in terms of its marketing objectives, could possibly fold or become nonexistent in the next five years.

In today’s economy, many consumers cannot afford to purchase high end products that Williams-Sonoma offered at many of its retail stores such as Pottery Barn. Consumers are focusing more on products that are necessities than products that they simply want in order to look stylish, this is where quality of brand comes into play, and how well the product appeals to a particular group of merchants.Since William Sonoma owns the Pottery Barn, they should attempt to decrease their prices so that consumers can afford the products that they offer. However I think that they have some good ideas. One is their interactive website.

If they can increase awareness about the website and its interactive features, it may increase their customer base slightly as many websites that sell the types of products that Williams-Sonoma does, does not offer such capabilities. The nly way that Williams Sonoma can survive in its industry environment is to anticipate and quickly respond to changing consumer demands, Maintaining favorable brand recognition and effectively marketing products to ?consumers in diverse market segments, developing innovative, high-quality products in colors and styles that appealed to ?consumers of varying age groups and tastes, Competitively pricing products and achieving customer perception of value, and Providing strong and effective marketing support(M. Rouse, 2010, p. 4)Williams-Sonoma saw an opportunity to expand its customer base and the reach of its brand by extending into a new channel, the Internet, so they somewhat reached out to Prophet Solutions to enable the company to reach its objective.

Critical to the success of this venture would be creating the high-quality experience that customers had come to expect from Williams-Sonoma, without cannibalizing its existing channels. Prophet analyzed Williams-Sonoma’s organizational strengths, brand equities, and competitive environment and recommended that Williams-Sonoma’s initial online efforts focus on its bridal registry offering.Upon agreeing to this approach, Williams-Sonoma engaged Prophet’s implementation team to ready its operations for launch.

These efforts ranged from creating call center/store associate training programs to creating strategies for sourcing inventory and managing distribution. Furthermore, Prophet created a set of detailed guidelines for Williams-Sonoma to use in building the appropriate online experience, as well as an integrated communications plan that aimed to foster cross-channel loyalty.Based on the success of the bridal site, Williams-Sonoma launched a site to support the entire concept, and has continued to introduce Web sites for its other retail concepts, such as Pottery Barn. Its total Internet sales grew over 500% in its first two years, and over one-third of online customers were new buyers. The company’s strategic decision to contract with Prophet has truly enabled them to be successful in terms of brand, marketing, innovation, and design has enabled them to continue being successful in today’s retail market.If I were the CEO of William-Sonoma I would have to follow in line with the way today’s economy is. I feel strongly about lowering prices on items to reflect customers’ situations. I’d definitely research what my competitors were doing with their pricing.

I’d keep it competitive enough to where I’d still be gaining a profit, but where pricing is somewhat equal to theirs. Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, etc. would be my best friend. I’d use the social websites for advertisement, which should broaden my consumer base.There are many avenues I would consider with technology. I would even have an app for my stores, which allows customers to shop more easily online. I’d possibly look into outlet malls to sell the products from previous years at a discounted price.

I would lastly look at stores which doesn’t have a lot of consumers walking through the doors, and close them. With the internet and online shopping, that could eliminate unnecessary costs, and save big in the long run. If you were the CEO of William-Sonoma, what strategies would you recommend, and why?I would first take in consideration the condition of our country being in such a deep recession, by lowering prices periodically enough to allow adequate consumption from all class levels of people, because the economy alone has taken a major hit and some consumers cannot afford some prices currently offered by William Sonoma. I would make adjustments to mirror Bed, Bath & Beyond, Linen and Things, and Domestications.

com. Even though they’re considered another competitor for them to contend with, it will also increase their customer base as the bath products are similar to their current sales of household furnishings.I would definitely increase website advertisements by advertising on social networking sites such as Blackplanet. com, Myspace. com, Facebook.

com, and Blackpeoplemeet. com. I live in the state of Texas and there are several outlet stores along the major interstates, and by opening outlet stores, would increase the customer base and also allow Williams-Sonoma to effectively get rid of products that are slow sales or are overstocked in their regular stores.

I would attempt to incorporate interactive websites that enable customers to talk to or chat with an associate while I’m shopping online in the privacy of their homes is always convenient and helpful. I would improve my level of e-commerce by advertising with major communication companies like Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-MOBILE to improve accessibility to shopping by posting web-apps on the new I-phone and Android cellular phones. Williams Sonoma experienced a reduction in retail occupancy costs attributed to the 1 billion dollars the company gained in 2010.

This was done by by broadening the product line to similar to Home Goods or Bed Bath and Beyond who had already doubled the revenue of Williams-Sonoma. The company redistributed their assets earmarked for traditional cataloging to online accesses and saved money; partly because they made necessary changes to impact paper usage, which was pretty much outdated (Williams Sonoma’s 2010 Shareholders Meeting). William-Sonoma had six competitors. The six competitors were Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Pier 1, The Bombay Company, Door Store, and Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium.

Crate & Barrel had extravagant store displays which were hard to copycat. They also found more affordable products from smaller retail chains to sell. Pier 1 consolidated three chains into one big chain. They also allowed Sears to license their name in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The Door Store lowered its pricing to attract consumers that were more into style. They began shipping nationwide. Restoration Hardware only marketed towards the upper echelon of society. They went after the wealthy upper class with their products.The Bombay Company increased its outlet stores, selling their products at a discounted price, increasing sales and clearance merchandise. Finally, the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium opened stores in upscale malls, trying to attract upper class clientele. Without researching all of the retail industry, I couldn’t say which marketing method was most effective.

I do realize that as prices are high, the demand for the product lowers. Based on my answer to the above question, I’d think any business which lowered prices to sell more products was the most effective. But, I believe they all could be effective strategies.I think the Door Store, as well as the Bombay Company’s strategies are the most effective. A lower price is always music to consumers’ ears.

I believe by doing this, you get more prospective buyers, and people buy what they can afford. Crate & Barrel’s design might attract people inside, but I think it is there decision to buy products customers could afford will be there niche. I don’t know if only advertising to the wealthy is a good idea or not. I know if you can sell one product that is ten more times expensive than your competitors, well then you are still doing well. I guess it just epends on getting more than that one purchase. All the strategies seem like they could be effective. I believe each company just needs to be flexible, and ready to change based on how well their strategy is accepted by their consumers. Describe the competitive strategies used by each of Williams-Sonoma’s competitors.

Crate ; Barrel competed by marketing nationwide via catalogs and websites, and its main strategy is designing beautiful store displays that were difficult to copy and worked diligently to find products from smaller, out-of-the way factories that made beautiful products that consumers could afford.Restoration Hardware advertised to the richest and wealthiest consumers, targeting the top 10%. Pier 1 Imports consolidated three chains into one, and licensed Pier1 name to Sears in the countries of Mexico ; Puerto Rico. The Bombay Company increased its number of outlet stores to get rid of clearance merchandise and increase sales to another customer base. Door Store extended its marketing approach to style-conscious consumers at very low prices, and marketed via web and shipped nationwide. Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium established locations in upscale malls, marketed via catalog and web site.Which of these strategies are the most effective? I think the most effective strategies would be The Bombay Company and Pier 1 Imports.

I am convinced that the Bombay Company has a good idea. Many consumers may not be able to afford the products that they sell in the normal retail stores. So therefore, when there is a lot of product left available, they ship these products to outlet stores. These outlet stores attract all consumers; from those very wealthy to those who are average retail consumers.In this sense, they are able to get rid of products that they could not in their stores and also increase their customer base by offering things at outlet stores at lower prices.

I think that Pier 1 strategizes effectively by increasing their customer base in other countries. It is a good idea for them to combine their chains and then team up with a chain that is well known, as well as a chain that is one that people look as being a chain that can be respected such as Sears. Eventually they are in a position to increase their customer base by sending these chains to other countries such s Mexico and Puerto Rico. How is Williams-Sonoma using the Internet as a distribution channel now, and how would you recommend that they us the Internet in the future? Williams-Sonoma launched a bridal registry to perform a test run for furthering the use of the internet(prophet. com).

This shift was so successful it moved the use of the internet to Pottery Barn, and other retail outlets. The end result was 500% increase in internet sales and a 1 billion dollar profit. They also used the web to launch PB Teen, which focused on the gap in age between Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids.Each website is interactive now but PB Teen was the first with outstanding success. This appealed to teenagers who called in wanting something to improve their own identity, setting trends for their bedrooms. The interactive site allows the exchange of ideas, instant feedback and the customer has the ability to view products they like. Williams-Sonoma has already completed its’ internet shift.

I feel they can rely more on the model by providing 24 hour online support to those consumers that have odd hours.Furthermore I believe the company should limit its’ use of hardcopy catalogs unless specifically requested because this focus had established itself as a business, does nothing for it in the future. Another approach is marketing thru social networking sites. This approach, along with direct marketing does have its’ costs and would show increased gain after the initial cost.

If the company wishes to improve its’ position of 7. 9% market share, it will need every edge it can possibly have.


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