Online Marketing Essay

This essay sample essay on Online Marketing Essay offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.

The aim of this report is to explore if Primark’s current website is adding any value to their brand and why they have chosen to go online. Has Primark mirrored its offline success online?

1. Critiques of the Website

In order to critically analyse the current website of the high street retail outlet, Primark, it must firstly be established what kind of website it actually is.

Primark’s website must be categorised into one of the three distinct styles created by Dann and Dann (2004).

It may be:

Site Primark

1. Information publishing (content provision/interactive brochure)

2. Transactional sites

3. Mass customisation

Dann and Dann (2004) have described the information publishing site as: “At web site at its most basic, where the content is the experience and the emphasis is on the provision of information.

” Primark’s site is very simple and holds mainly information.

Whereas, a transactional site consists of a category of sites, that exist for the purpose of exchange of some sort e.g. buying and selling. Primarks’s site does have some transactional activities, the employment application form; however this is a very small amount of transactional activity.

Mass customisation has been defined as “A web site where the content and experience are tailored to the individual user based on their established user heritage and other information…” This is practically not existent as there is nothing that could appeal to the individual user as it holds mainly corporate information.

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Therefore it seems that Primark’s website best fits the Information/content publishing style.

To evaluate whether the site has effective design, three key areas can be looked into. (E-marketing, lecture 5, 4/11/05)

1. Effectiveness:

* Can users complete their tasks correctly and completely?

The site is simple and straightforward to use and fairly visually appealing as the whole site is neutral and plain. The clear toolbar across the top enables the user to find exactly what they are looking for allowing easy navigation.

2. Productivity – efficiency:

* Are tasks completed in an acceptable length of time?

There is little transactional activity present although the employment application form seems to be straightforward and easy to use. Again as it is mainly an information site, there are little tasks to be completed and therefore nothing to slow the site down.

3. Satisfaction:

* Are users satisfied with the interaction?

This could be analysed by whether the user returns to the website and how far the user “goes in”. I personally wouldn’t return to the site as there is no activities or interaction, this may be assumed the consumer may feel the same with no real reason to return. With no real benefits to gain from the site, a user may not feel very satisfied.

2. Assessment and analysis of Primark’s current involvement in online activities

By assessing Primark’s online activities it should become clear whether it is beneficial for them to be online. This can be done by, firstly, establishing the type of design it is following- a market-led design or a user centred design.

A market-led design would consist of tactics designed to engage the customer, encourage purchase, supply offers and incentives and add value to the brand.

Whereas, a user-centred design (Bevan, 1999) would concentrate on knowing its audience well, and considering the following factors;

* The users purpose for accessing the site?

* Who are the important users?

* How frequently do they visit the site?

* What experience n expertise do they have?

* What nationality are they? Can they read your language?

With the little information on Primark’s site it is difficult to pinpoint the design they may be following. However, it seems to be more market-led than user-centred as there is nothing actually on sale on the site (neither service nor product) to focus customer needs or acquisition on as it is just providing information.

Primark has a brand image of providing value for money clothing as do its competitors Matalan. Therefore it would be worthwhile to see how their site compares. The Matalan site immediately comes across as a better quality site. It has a greater amount of information available, more transactional activities with the option to send an email from the site rather than being referred to outlook express. With the bright and colourful images and pages, it seems to be more a user-centred design as the images are targeting a younger audience.

The information here shows that Primark’s current site is not reaching its potential. It doesn’t really seem worthwhile for them to be currently online as they are not brining in any more customers. Forrester research (1998) has shown two of the most important factors- high quality content and frequent updating along with ease of use and downloading speed to keep their customers returning.

3. Primark’s current and potential audiences

In order to maintain and gain customers, Primark must find out why users would want to visit their site, why they use the internet and what they use it for. This can be done by segmenting the market into the Demographics of online shoppers, Psychographics and Behavioural shoppers. (E-marketing, lecture 7, 18/11/05)

The Demographics would consist of facts like age, gender, income, occupation etc. The demographics of the customers that may visit Primark’s offline store would most likely be female; under 35’s ( therefore the website designers must take this into consideration and target users similar to their existing offline customers. Women are currently 44% of users of the internet and ages between; 25-44, are the regular users (Mori Technology Tracker, 2002). This could be taken advantage of by Primark as their target audience already exists.

The Psychographics are the social values and the views and opinions of consumers, as well as their activities and interests. Psychographic users can be segmented within this segment numerous times as directed buyers, bargain hunters or entertainment seekers (Lewis and Lewis, 1997) – the list goes on. However it is vital to take psychographics into consideration as targeting these users can mean great rewards, for example, the adventurous learners (Coupey, 2005) may be swayed into purchasing a product is marketed to them correctly.

The Behavioural aspects of the consumer consist of quantities and types of purchases. This segment can also be segmented within itself as simplifiers, surfers and bargainers (Strauss et al, 2006). If Primark were to target for example the simplifiers, this would be very beneficial as 50% of all online purchases are made b this group based on convenience, quick and quality service. (Strauss et al, 2006)

However, it is not as straight forward as targeting the correct markets. There are a number of barriers restricting a user, including cultural issues, technological issues and legal and political issues. A big cultural issue is language although the internet is currently 35.8% in English. Many sites are beginning to provide a number of languages. All the factors must be considered by Primark in order to attract more customers.

4. A positioning statement for Primark (on and offline)

Primark stands for;

“Providing fashion conscious under 35’s fashionable quality merchandise at very competitive prices / value for money…Primark has established a well earned reputation for stylish, up to the minute looks at exceptionally affordable prices.” (

From the information gained in previous sections of this report, two perception maps can be drawn based concentrating on transactional vs. content and sales vs. image. (Adapted from Dann and Dann, 1997)

On the transaction vs. content map, Primark can be placed in both low content and low transactional sections, as this report finds there is little to the site other than company information therefore it has been placed slightly higher on the content side rather than transactional.

On the sales vs. image map, the positioning can be argued to be both low sales and low image by looking at its competitors. In order to be highly sales orientated, there must be a product/service available for the customer to purchase, yet Primark does not have this. Its competitors on the other hand are highly focused on image as it has concentrated on its brand image, displaying its awards and achievements on the home page and with images of young bright people displaying its collections. Therefore, Primark has been positioned low in both sales and image.

Primark’s offline success is far greater than the successes of its web site, employing over 11,800 people in over 120 stores ( If its loyal customers and brand image could be transferred over to the web pages, the site would be far more successful.


To conclude, this report has found that Primark is not making full use of its potential being online. Research has found that 35% of people currently use the internet for shopping (EIAA, 2004) and Primark should take full advantage of this. Their current web site is not adding any value to the brand nor is it taking advantage of the target markets which are already in place.

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Online Marketing Essay. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Online Marketing Essay
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