Sunday, July 03, 2011

The effectiveness of Cause Related Marketing (CRM) on E-commerce

My latest research topic was the effectiveness of cause related marketing (CRM) on e-commerce. In 2009 alone, $1.57 billion was spent on cause marketing. And as marketing, communication, fundraising, and shopping transition to an entirely online world, the aim of this study was to examine if online CRM has an influence on customer perception and purchasing behavior.

According to the survey, almost 80 percent would switch brands, similar in price and quality, to one that supports a cause and more than 50 percent would be willing to purchase a more expensive brand if the brand supports a cause of interest. Israeli’s appreciate CRM activities and 95 percent believe a company has a more positive image when it supports a cause and almost 70 percent agree that more online companies should be involved in CRM.

Some key success factors for affective online CRM strategy were identified. First of all, based on the survey, security and credibility of the website are the most critical elements that influence online purchasing decision. Price is also an important factor as can be expected.

There seems to be a gap between the subjective norms of the respondents and how they perceive CRM. On one hand, they appreciate companies that involve in CRM and agree that more companies should engage in CRM. They would try new brands and some would even pay more for products that supports SRA but on the other hand 80 percent think that companies that are involved in SRA act out of self-interest and SRA is not an important factor when purchasing online.

On the other hand, with a contradiction for the above findings and conclusions, based on the survey when asked what is important to you when purchasing online, CRM was rated the last one from all the 11 variables. A possible explanation for this is that the combination of e-commerce and CRM is not widespread in Israel and educating the skeptical Israeli market is essential. Explaining the values and advantages behind this approach can be beneficial both to consumers, business involved and obviously to the cause itself.