ALFA is a tech-centric apparel e-commerce company. ALFA will be offering fashionable apparel from a variety of 88 brands that would be available on our platform including our high-tech fashion line namely By ALFA. Our target audience is male and female young adults to older adults, and we aim to cater to any and every type of fashion article imaginable.
The company is founded and located in Singapore. It will first start by selling only in Singapore and then branch out to Southeast Asian countries. ALFA plans to conduct its business with technology to be kept closely in our minds with the Website, iOS Application, and Android Application as our outlet. ALFA will be adopting various technologies in our platforms such as Augmented Reality to enable our customers to “try” the product before purchase and Chatbot.
ALFA is the online business so the company can reach with a wide range of customers and satisfying their needs and demands in a better manner. The firm also focuses on gaining the attention of many customers by using online sites and attract them towards the company’s new products and services.
As for our line, By ALFA, we plan to revolutionize fashion by borrowing technologies developed for chemistry, automotive engineering, industrial textiles, and competitive athletic wear to create high-tech fashion apparel(Fashion-history love to know, 2015).
By ALFA will be producing apparels using Fibre Optic, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), X-Static, Circuitex materials.
Mission – Create, Originate & Innovate the best quality of fashion clothing & accessories to uplift the lifestyle of the consumers.
Vision – Deliverance of the most excellent consumer-centric – experience, service & product for everything done by us.
Objectives & Goals
- Fulfill and elevate consumer’s clothing needs and lifestyles by providing the latest fashion clothing and accessories.
- Easing customer’s pain in clothing and accessories purchase.
- Providing an array of clothing and accessories items to fit customer’s needs, desires, budget, and size.
- Integration of new technology in the products provided to the customers and also in the operations of the business to enhance efficiency & providing the customer with novel and sublime experience.
- To focus on gaining 20% of the market share of the Singapore market and transforming into a market leader of the industry in about 3 years.
- To obtain a profit margin of 50% and above within the first year of operation.
- Obtaining a customer base of 3500 and retaining stable customers.
- To actively support the growth and development of the local fashion brands.
Goal: Becoming a leading tech-centric fashion E-Commerce platform, transcending in delivering the best service to consumers in terms of shopping experience and product quality.
Singapore’s Apparel Industry
Singapore has been a shopping destination for fashionistas across South-east Asian countries with Orchard Road being Singapore’s retail heart. This has made Singapore one of the leading fashion hubs in the APAC region.
ALFA company mainly focuses on online business as this will help them to reach a wide range of clients from different nations. By this, the company can gain more income and profitability to satisfying its customers’ wants and needs in a proper manner. Moreover, currently online business is most famous, and this provides easiness and comfortable services where they are getting their demanding product at home.
Singapore’s apparel sector helps in developing an income of US$671 million (S$915.34 million) in 2018. Revenue in the apparel segment is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2022) of 11.4%, the market volume of the apparel sector would outcomes in US$1,032 million (S$1407.80 million) by 2022 (CraftDrivenResearch, 2017).
Although, in recent years brick-and-mortar stores have been losing their sales due to the rise of e-commerce platforms.
Business Opportunities – Research and Analysis
As foot traffic in malls going down, online consumption going up it shows that consumer purchases are moving from physical store to online store, and such is a business opportunity that should be explored (Straits Times, 2018). Coming across this business opportunity, we have done secondary research as to what are the pain points of customers and come up with a solution(Young et al., 2016).
Finding, creating, developing, and exploiting the business opportunities that are central activities in entrepreneurship. Moreover, good opportunities can be analyzed that it is not so attractive markets and sectors and therefore, this is prepared a seven domains model to assess market attractiveness and major opportunities.
In this, secondary research was conducted for analyzing and examining profiles of the UK and London as well as exploring the market drivers by using PEST analysis. In addition to this, it is more practical in realizing to what market rivals are impacted by the rules of authority, the volatility of exchange rate, and innovation technology.
Every country possesses its political factors which would affect businesses that operate in the country. Singapore has a reputation for having a very stable political environment. The political culture is rational and based on rule of law(Guidemesingapore, 2017).
Like every new company in Singapore, ALFA would also have to register with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to operate as a legitimate business. Once the company is registered, the owner must then register for the collection of Goods & Services Tax (GST) from its consumers. As ALFA also carries our clothing line, ByALFA, its clothing and accessories materials will be imported from China and the USA, the government would impose taxes on the imported goods, and registration with the Singapore Customs would be required to adhere to all the laws, failure to do so would result in a heavy punishment of severe fines and even closure of the business. The company would also have to register for a company trademark to make it different from other companies in the industry. This would be helpful to the business in having its concepts, designs, and prevent violation of intellectual property rights. The trademark application would be reviewed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
As the fashion industry is considered to be one of the key highs of Singapore’s Tourism industry, government agencies such as International Enterprise (IE), SPRING & Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have all helped the local fashion brands in their way, such as showcasing them internationally. Initiatives such as the Local Enterprise & Association Development (LEAD) program & overseas marketing have been taken by these agencies(Stb.gov.sg, 2008).
ALFA hopes to gain recognition from such government agencies through ByALFA and utilize it to penetrate the APAC market.
A country’s economic factors play a vital role in determining how an organization runs its business and how profitable they are. Included factors are such as – Inflation rate, Exchange rates, Consumers’ disposable income, Economic growth & employability. Singapore is one of the countries which encourages an open & competitive business environment. It is also corruption free and the government takes interest in the diversification of its economy. Singapore’s GDP in YA2018 was around $324 billion with per Capita GDP being $94107, whilst GDP in YA2019 was $359 billion showing significant growth. The unemployment rate also decreased from 3.99% in YA2018 to 3.76% in YA2019(Usnews, 2019).
Considered to have one of the busiest ports in the world, Singapore is known to be one of the largest exporting economies. Trade taking place mostly between countries such as China, HongKong, the USA, Indonesia & Malaysia(Pines, 2019).
ALFA needs to analyze such economic country data which helps them in analyzing the whole countries information and how they are reaching with desired customers. It is important for the company is to focus oneconomic conditionsand situations. It has been analyzed that ALFA requires examiningfacts that are related to market share and information associated withexploring activities. Another economical factor that we are concerned with is the exchange rate as ALFA purchases its materials from China &the USA.
Since 2010, Singapore’s unemployment rate has been below 4% except for 2016 at 4.09%. Since then, the unemployment rate has been decreasing and as of 2019, the figure is standing at 3.62%. A low unemployment rate means that most of the population would have enough disposable income to purchase ALFA’s products. Our target market which is 18 to 45 years old is working adults which possess the financial capability to purchase and increase total revenue (Population.sg, 2016).
Singapore is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual country with Chinese ancestry making up 74.1% of the local population, Malays making up 13.4%, and Indians making up 9.2%. As Singapore is the business hub of Asia, 1.68 million out of 5.70 million of its population are non-residents that reside in Singapore for work purposes. The ethnicity mix brings in different cultural backgrounds and the large number of foreigners residing in the country also brings a certain flavor to Singapore’s socio-cultural background (Polevikova, 2013).
In business, leverage defines as how a business attains and acquires new assets for the start-up or expansion. This can be used to allows a company to expand its business operations and its functions. The business leverage helps in gaining important data and information about the customers’ preferences. Recently there has been a shift in marketing strategies that opts more of digital marketing instead of traditional marketing.
The residents of Singapore are dubbed to be workaholics and not without a good reason. Living costs are high in Singapore. Even though living costs are high, this relates directly to consumer’s buying power as well. For contrast purposes, an average worker has 34% more purchasing power than one in New York (Ifaq.gov.sg, 2020).
Technology has also become a part of Singapore’s culture. Nowadays Marketing is mostly done via social media, influencer marketing, celebrity endorsements instead of TV, newspaper, pamphlets etc (Bales, 2018).
ALFA will be observing Singapore’s socio-cultural background and offer clothing that is appropriate yet fashionable to be worn in the country.
Ever since dialed-up internet was introduced in Singapore in the 1990s, Singapore’s technological advancement has only been moving forward. In 2019, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information announced that the Government has pledged S$40 million to support 5G research to establish the country as a 5G innovation hub (Kwang, 2019).
ALFA adopts the latest technology and methods that help in increasing goodwill and smoothly run of business operations. Technology assists in maintaining and managing company functions in a better manner (Muller, 2019).
All these technological advances that Singapore possesses along with the high rate of internet penetration amongst the residents make the country a highly suitable location for a tech e-commerce company like ALFA. As ALFA is operating on websites and Apps, naturally most of our marketing activities would be done digitally as well.
- Consumer stereotypes: The first one is consumer stereotype for the other design of products and other branded products, they are thinking of out of fashionable brands. According to the survey, there are around 50% of the respondents who are deeply focused on branded commodities and goods. They are concern about the products company name and how this will be designed as per their needs and requirements.
- Business online attract several customers: It has been analyzed that many users prefer only branded products and they are always purchase desired goods. It was further supported by that there are around 60% of respondents of the ALFA agree on buying designer and branded products at a reasonable rate. Apart from this, it has enhanced the number of enterprises that are also promoting their business online and develop more alternatives for consumers to select online.
- Warehousing: There won’t be a need for a huge warehouse as we will only be storing ByALFA collections which are offered on a limited quantity basis. Our warehouse will be staffed with fulfillment staff.
- Material cost and sourcing for our high-tech fashion line (ByALFA)
ByALFA would require the high-tech fabric, one of the main materials we are looking to utilize is X-Static which has been used in healthcare, sports, aerospace, and military sectors since the early 2000s. X-Static is produced by Noble Materials which is located in the USA. The cost of material and shipment is one to take into consideration and will be reflected in the pricing of the apparel offered by ByALFA.
- Creative effort: Hiring the correct designer to create ByALFA’s collection. We will have 2 in-house designers for ByALFA, in the subsequent phase we will be partnering up with the best designer of the year. Doing so helps us to minimize wage expenses as we do not have to maintain a large creative team and collaborating with designers will also allow us to tap into their fan-base.
- Brand-Partnership and Online Payment Vendor Acquisition: Our Business Development team will be responsible to get deals with fashion brands. The brands that we are targeting are relatively infinite although they have to meet certain quality requirements
They will also be responsible for striking deals with companies to the likes of Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Paypal, Stripe which processes payment of orders.
CIGARS is the Second methodology used by ALFA for marketing analysis which further clarifies the marketing strategies of the company.
|Country||Industry||Growth Rate||Area||Rate of Inflation||Sector|
- Country – ALFA is a fashion e-commerce platform offering clothes and accessories that are founded and will be operating in Singapore which is home to 5.8 million residents. Singapore residents are known to be tech-savvy therefore associating a wide range of new and advanced technology is considered to be a marketing strategy that works well in Singapore (Eom and Lee, 2020) with digital marketing as the main strategy. Creating a successful marketing campaign depends on the effectiveness and competency of the strategies.
- Industry – ALFA will be operating in the fashion industry of Singapore which is vibrant and highly competitive as there are long-established local brands such as Love Bonito as well as brands from overseas like Zalora. These brands are highly popular and are the go-to fashion e-commerce platform for consumers looking to purchase fashion apparel. These established platforms manufacture their collection or partnering up with fashion brands like what ALFA would do.
- Growth– ALFA’s strategies are hoped to help growth and profit margin. Furthermore, we plan to utilize the limited-edition strategy by launching our high-tech fashion apparel, ByALFA. This is hoped to garner a sense of curiosity, urgency, and scarcity which would result in a rapid increase in sales. We would notify customers about our latest collection via social media and other promotional platforms (Zhang et al, 2017). Our marketing strategies would be influenced and an improved version of competitors’ strategies as we would observe their strategies. With those strategies has been implemented, the growth rate is expected to showcase at 6-8%.
- Area – When ALFA has reached a certain growth level, we will be setting up a physical store in [email protected] which is a place often visited by locals and tourists. The physical store is hoped to expand our customer base that is previously unaware of the existence of ALFA and get them onboard to our platform. This would result in ALFA gaining more popularity & profitability at the same time in the market competition and can be improved with better marketing analysis & strategies (Koszewska, 2018).
- Rate of Inflation – Singapore’s rate of inflation as of 2020 is 0,99% which indicates a healthy economy. A low inflation rate shows that residents are earning and the unemployment rate is low. This is directly related to the level of disposable income and also buying power. Despite the fact, appropriate marketing strategy and brand equity are required to attract a huge audience to convert leads to the purchase of our goods (Koszewska, 2018).
- Sector – As mentioned above, ALFA would be operating in the fashion industry which includes cosmetics and beauty. Diving into more detail, ALFA would be categorized under the apparel sector which focuses on the sales of clothing and accessories. The apparel sector can be said to be as competitive as the fashion industry. To succeed, a brand needs novel innovation as a differentiating factor. A strategically placed and eye-catching advertisement will increase brand awareness in Singapore (Koszewska, 2018)
Crimson Blade Analysis
|Regulation & Licensing||High|
|Money & Capital||Low|
|Network & Interoperability||High|
|Aggression Level Reaction||Medium|
|Differentiation of Products||Medium|
|Economies of Scale||High|
Channels Monopolised – Distribution channel consists of intermediaries and or businesses that each play a part in the supply chain to ensure goods or service reaches the end consumer. It includes suppliers which in our case refers to brand partners, material suppliers of ByALFA which would be Noble Materials. Other entities that would be in our supply-chain would be our logistic partner whose function is to move materials from the supplier to us as well as delivering goods from our warehouse to customers and if required to deliver returned goods from our customers back to us. The distribution channels which are also called placements forming are a part of the marketing strategies which include a promotion, price, and product (Beyers and Heinrichs, 2020). As ALFA is not the only company with similar products & providing services, some competitors provide the same. Therefore, it is considerably Medium.
Regulation & Licensing – Licensing is one of the requirements that an entity needs to possess to run a business be it goods or service although it should be noted that not all businesses or activities require licensing. Possessing a license indicates the ability of a company to provide satisfactory goods or services. In some instances, issues due to licensing may arise and create suspense due to unsatisfactory goods and or services as well as administrative matters (Beyers and Heinrichs, 2020). The license required for the ALFA is a clothing permit and LLC that is important to be approved by the company for a smoothly run of business operations.High
Intellectual Property –ALFA would be filing trademark rights for our logo and intellectual property rights for ByALFA products which are designed by our in-house designer as well as collaborative efforts with acclaimed fashion designers. Protective distinctive symbols ensure compliance with the consumer protection act as it allows them to choose between various products that are available in the market (Beyers and Heinrichs, 2020). Medium
Money & Capital – Singapore is considered to be an expensive country to live in as well as for companies to commence their business as compared to countries like India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It is observed that the gross profit of the company plays a very significant role in the capitalization of the industry. The ratio of all these economic variables determines the extension which they can contribute to the company for increasing its capital and monetary aspects (Tudor, 2018). By aggregating capitalization and stock market analysis, money and capital would determine market performance variably. Low
Switching Costs – AsALFA operates in a highly competitive industry and sector, we are aware that the products and services that we offer on our platform can be relatively easy to replicate by competitors. Switching costs can shape itself in the form of effort and significant time required to change suppliers which could result in disruptions in normal operations of the business during its transition period (Tudor, 2018).
As customers do not need any cash outlay to be on our platform or download our mobile applications, there is no switching cost involved should they choose to purchase their apparels from other e-commerce platforms. The most prevalent factors in switching costs are notably psychological, effort-based, monetary, and time. Low
Overhead – It is business expenses that are not directly attributed to the creation of goods and services. It includes rent, salaries of non-manufacturing employees, pension funds, auditor fees, marketing fees, etc. Overhead expenditures cost implementation in individual assignments is part of management policy and is on management’s discretion (Borscheva et al., 2019). Therefore, management would allocate budgets for marketing and other overhead expenditure. Medium
Network – Network is a sensible working arena that is carried across multi-service inter-connections (Borscheva et al., 2019). ALFA’s sales, revenue, and profitability will be highly dependent on the technology used in the website and mobile applications that will be designed and maintained by our software engineers. We need to ensure the interoperability between the website and mobile application to ensure a smooth shopping experience for the platform visitor to convert them into a buying customer. High
Brand Equity – Brand equity is an intangible asset that is derived from consumers’ perception of the name of the brand itself. It could also be said to be brand reputation although brand equity provides commercial value that has the potential to drive in sales. ALFA hopes to earn this valuable intangible asset through our high-tech fashion line ByALFA as well as providing an unforgettable shopping experience that is highly supported by technology. In short, the equity of a brand is based on the name of the company itself rather than the product it offers (Tudor, 2020). ALFA mainly focuses on maintaining brand equity that helps them in promoting different products and services among customers and offer them designer goods to satisfy their demands. Having brand equity would help in making up for the low switching cost as it helps to gain customer loyalty other than the loyalty program that we would have. High
Learning Curve – Learning curve which is often referred to as the experience curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the output and cost over a specific period which represents the task of the worker or the employee (Tripaet al., 2016).It provides measurement and perceptions to different aspects of a company as well as providing employees with a relevant time frame to learn their respective tasks. Every aspect of ALFA’s business activity would give a certain experience to each employee and owner included. This will be a value-add in terms of the desirability of ALFA as a company to work for and in the long-run attract better talents. Although being a new e-commerce platform or being a new company in general, the learning curve would be steep and has to be managed effectively. High
Aggression level Reaction – Being a new company in a competitive landscape, we are required to be aggressive in terms of marketing. Although we will prohibit unethical and misrepresentative marketing activities which motive morally and legally wrong. A good aggressive strategy would show a company’s determination, initiative, discipline as well as energy to achieve the ultimate level of success (Tripa et al., 2016). Whereas excessive aggressive strategy tends to face backlash and a bad reputation. All our advertisements would be decent, honest, truthful, and compliance with legal requirements. For marketing and sales, ALFA needs to analyze customers’needs and understand their preferences as per this company develops products and services. Besides this, the company formulates effective strategies and policies which assist in gaining the attention of potential clients.Medium
Differentiation of Products – Product differentiation could be one of the many marketing strategies that a company can implement to succeed amongst its competitors. Successful product differentiation involves identifying unique offerings in comparison with competitors in the market, it also involves the way that unique product is communicated to the public (Tripa et al., 2016). Offering a unique product works hand in hand with developing strong value propositions in developing offerings that are attractive to the masses. ALFA provides a huge range of clothing and accessories, but our true product differentiator would be our high-tech fashion that would utilize silver scent from Noble Materials as well as our Augmented Reality feature which has not been adopted by our competitors. Medium
Economies of Scale –ALFA has the potential to scale exponentially and would benefit from economies of scale because of the array of products that are obtained from a variety of sources including our own manufactured goods. Some economies of scale-like capital cost contain a physic base of engineering, for example, frictional loss of industrial and transportation equipment (Suyama, 2016).ALFA needs to analyze competitive advantage which helps them in increasing company goodwill in a better manner. The firm requires focusing on the country’s economies of scale to enhancing business operations and functions in the large marketplace. High
As we are a tech-centric fashion e-commerce company, one of our strength lies on the Augmented Reality feature which allows customers to upload a full body picture of themselves and enables customers to virtually try on the item before purchasing to see whether the item is suitable for them adds to our strength as a company and it also acts as a differentiator amongst our competitors. Customers need not go through the traditional retail shopping experience anymore which includes making a back and forth trip to the physical store, looking for a specific item in a few stores which may or not be available, making another trip down should they see a need to return the goods. ALFA is an online fashionable providing company and it is situated in Singapore. They are providing a variety of products and services to their customers. ALFA is concentrated on a development plan where they are evaluating the whole marketplace and satisfying customers’ needs and wants. Besides this, the firm works on investment in its augmented reality software which increasing the growth and development level of the company. ALFA design such products which are required by customers and by this their demands are satisfied in a better manner.
ALFA eliminates the customer’s pain point of shopping in a brick-and-mortar shop as it enables customers to purchase items in the comfort of their own home and get it delivered to their doorstep. Our lax and simplified return policies that allow customers to return their goods 14 days after they receive the item with no questions asked is a major advantage for our customers.
Another strength of ALFA is our partnerships with 88 brands which includes local and international brands. This enables us to provide an array of apparel choices to our customers in Singapore. We will be able to serve both male and female from size 0 to plus-size for various occasions such as casual, business attire, formal wear, activewear, plus-size fashion, modest fashion as mentioned above Singapore’s population consists 9.4% of Malays which mostly are Muslims. Not only that, but we will also be able to suit the customer’s budget as well as we will be working with brands of lower to high end. The brand partnership also means that ALFA would not have to deal with an inventory of partner-brand items, we will only need to manage the inventory of ByALFA.
Our strength also includes the promotions which we will run. Lastly, ALFA’s strength is our clothing line, ByALFA which offers high-tech fashion which is a unique selling point of ALFA. ByALFA plans to offer apparel with materials that are used in the aviation and automotive industry, chemistry, industrial textiles, and competitive athletic wear. One of the main high-tech fabrics that ByALFA plans to utilize is X-Static which is an antimicrobial fabric that prevents the growth of bacterial and fungal as it is woven with silver. The life span of X-Static apparels is extremely long and the silver scentcan keep it odorless throughout its life span. (Edden, 2016)
As ALFA conducts its business online, one obvious disadvantage is that wedo
not get any foot traffic as there is no physical shop therefore proper marketing methods are required for customer acquisition. Customer acquisition costs can potentially be high. To tackle this issue, ALFA will be employing marketing strategies that reach our target market which is men and women from 18 – 45 years old. Most of our marketing activities will be conducted digitally such as influencer marketing to target our younger audiences of 18 to 35 years old, fashion magazines for our older target audience.
“Shoppers return 5 to 10 percent of what they purchase in store but 15 to 40 percent of what they buy online,” (CNBC, 2018). But once the returned goods are back in the hands of a retailer, less than half are resold at full-price. “Many retailers end up throwing away over 25 percent of their returns,” Moore said. Although, a good return and exchange policies are an important factor that affects customer’s purchasing decisions. As mentioned previously, ALFA allows goods to be returned within 14 days with no questions asked as long as it is in its original condition. Goods return could be a major and costly issue therefore proper strategies need to be deployed to generate the lowest goods return rate as possible. Our Augmented Reality which allows customers to virtually try on clothing beforea purchase is hoped to bring down the goods return rate. Another strategy we are going to employ is to mimic how BestBuy handles the cost of returned goods which includes selling those returned goods with the “Pristine” tag at a reduced price (BestBuy, 2017).
Operating in Singapore where technology is considered to be advanced and internet penetration is extremely high provides opportunities for ALFA. According to GlobalWebIndex, three-quarters of Singapore internet users between the age of 16 and 64 years old are already shopping online (GlobalWebIndex, 2019).
Because of COVID-19 or similar situations that the world is currently experiencing, ALFA as an e-commerce shopping platform can commence business as usual without significant disruption except for contactless delivery. Whereby brick-and-mortar stores are forced to shut down, losing their foot traffic while still incurring expenses such as rental and wage without any revenue. This can be seen as an opportunity for ALFA’s business continuity.
Expansion to South East Asia countries and India can result in being highly profitable for the company as the market has immense potential to be tapped on.
Recently there is a trend of fashion e-commerce that started with a purely online outlet to open a physical store like LoveBonito. Even Amazon has partnered up with OTG and opened up AmazonGo, a chain of convenience stores. Opening up a physical shop brings up foot traffic opportunities as well as acquiring customers that are reluctant to purchase without trying on the item physically.
As COVID-19 or unpredictable global events, in general, can create opportunities, it can also be a threat to ALFA’s business where the economy is affected as it directly affects customer’s buying power.
The obvious threat that almost every business faces are its competitors. With technology advancement, more and more business entities are looking to take a bite of the cake and enter e-commerce business. Currently,ALFA is looking at ASOS, Zalora, Love Bonito, Pomelo, Farfetch, and Taobao as its competitor. Customer’s inability to physically try on the product could deter those who are new to online shopping to finalize their purchase. Therefore, well-established brick-and-mortar stores can be said to be our competitors. However, they are operating in a different sphere than ALFA.
Partnership with International brands could be a threat should a trade war occur between Singapore and respective countries or restrictions on imports due to change in import and export law.
As high-tech fashion is relatively a new field to explore, the scarcity of material for the ByALFA line could potentially be a concern as ByALFA would be our unique selling point to drive potential customers onto ALFA platforms.
Operating in a relatively saturated market, ALFA has to observe its competitors. As mentioned above in Market Pain, there are a few companies that have to be considered as competitors of ALFA. These competitors vary in terms of the origin country. Some are local, some are international but have office and warehouse in Singapore or international but offer shipping to Singapore.
ASOS and Zalora are the closest to ALFA in terms of the business model as they sell products from partnering brands as well as their clothing line. Love Bonito and Pomelo only sell products designed by themselves or re-labeled products. Whereas Farfetch sells high-end brands and Taobao serves consumers looking for affordable apparel making both of them the most different from ALFA as they target specific consumer groups based on pricing.
The 6 companies mentioned above are already established with a huge existing clientele base. For ALFA to succeed, we need to differentiate ourselves and build a unique branding to ourselves hence our high-tech fashion line ByALFA. Other than that, we also emphasize giving our platform visitors a unique and novel shopping experience with technology being the emphasis. Apart from these companies, physical retail, indie brands are also another segment of the fashion industry that ALFA should observe. For comparison, we will take a look at ASOS, Love Bonito, and Taobao.
Competitive Strategy PEAS has been applied here for competitive analysis. The usage of this strategy by ALFA would be beneficial for us to compete with existing rivals in the same industry (Papadopoulos et al., 2016).
- Performance measures are to be taken to gauge the performance of our company. It would depend on the industry-first then on the environment. By measuring our performance, it will help our company to maximize transparency and enhance teamwork between employees as well as our manufacturing quality. We would also be measuring the performance of our facilities, location such as warehouse, and pricing which includes shipping fees. We need to ensure that we are at the very least on-par with our competitor as ALFA offers apparel for both males and females. Certain competitors like Zalora and Love Bonito sell similar kinds of products by adapting different selling strategies. The sale of fashion apparel is carried out by various brands in Singapore as well as in every other major part of the world, it would be an open competition for ALFA to compete in (Major et al., 2016).ALFA need to execute their business plan and operations in a better way they need to measure their employee’s performance. Based on this, they require to allocate their desired work and tasks. Also, they should identify current market trends and make changes in their clothing collections that fulfill customers’ needs and wants.
- The environment plays a very important role in carrying out operations for a company in the industry. Certain actions are to be deliberated for the competitive market. Creativity, design working, the attraction of the fashionable products, Reputation of the brand, and location of the workshops always depends on the environment. If the environmental surroundings are not good, it will not enable ALFA to do its business and compete (Papadopoulos et al., 2016).
- Actuators are tools used to perform essential actions to generate output which are goods and services that will be offered to the market. In the case of ALFA, actuators would be computers, internet connection, website, mobile application, clothing material, tailoring machine, etc. Actuators’ quality depends on output quality, but it has to work hand in hand with the qualified operator which in this case includes the software engineer and our in-house designer. Therefore, our actuators must have reliability, attributes, and achievement to give ALFA a competitive advantage (Major et al., 2016).
- Sensors are another tool in PEAS analysis. It works as an input and is used to capture the state of the working environment. We would be using analytical tools to measure trends automatically such as Google Trends and have our marketing staff analyze and take an action on it. This segment could be used to provide service (Papadopoulos et al., 2016). Therefore, it would function as a prompt to bring in trending apparels which is in-demand.
Below presented are the comparison between the 3 competitors shows the Overview of the companies, Details of the products & services, Prices & any additional value that is provided by them.
Fashion and cosmetic e-Commerce which was founded in London, the United Kingdom in 2000. Carries 850 brands including their clothing lines and ships to 196 countries (Asos, 2020)
Female fashion brand tailored to Asian shoppers. One of the first Singapore fashion e-Commerce which was Founded in 2008 (Love Bonito, 2020)
Online marketplace platform that was launched in 2003 by the Alibaba Group (Alibaba, 2020)
|ADDITIONAL VALUE:||ADDITIONAL VALUE:|
Marketplace feature where boutiques can offer their product on the ASOS site (Asos, 2020)
Clothing sizes that focus on female Asians which tend to be petite sized.
Also offers Maternity and kids clothing (Love Bonito, 2020)
Escrow-based payment which helps in gaining customer’s trust and eliminate online shops from scamming customers (Alibaba, 2020).
ASOS offers cosmetics although apparel seems to be their main focus (Asos, 2020)
Love Bonito offers female clothing, Maternity, and Kids clothing (Love Bonito, 2020)
Taobao offers not only apparels for both genders but also every item customers can think of including household goods, cosmetic, etc (Alibaba, 2020)
ASOS carries a wide range of brands which enables them to cater customers with lower budget to higher budget (Asos, 2020)
Love, Bonito caters to the middle to higher income bracket ladies as each piece of clothing is approximately $30 – $90 (Love Bonito, 2020).
Taobao offers a wide range of options and caters to customers of all income bracket (Alibaba, 2020)
Marketing and Advertising Objective and Strategies
Marketing strategies are an approach and an overall game plan of any organization to achieve sustainable competitive advantage by understanding customer’s needs and desires (Baker, 2008). It is a formula of how a business is going to compete, goals, and the policies that are required to be carried out to achieve goal sets (Porter, 1980). For ALFA to promote our product, brand and acquire new customers, we need to set out a clear strategy by analyzing the 4 Ps (Product, Promotion, Price, and Place)
Product and Service
ALFA is fashion e-commerce that will be offering a wide array of fashion apparel to Singapore residents through our website and mobile application. Our offering would cater for any occasion ranging from casual, activewear, workwear to formal wear. There would be 2 sources of merchandise. The first source would be products from our fashion brand partners which we will be selling on our website.
Low to Middle-end brands would include Cotton On, Rubi, TEMT, Giordano, H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo whereby Middle-end brands would be Topshop, Topman, Zara, Dorothy Perkins, Guess, Mango, Calvin Klein, Armani Exchange, Fred Perry, Hardy Hardy, etc. As for our high-end brands, we are looking to reach out to brands such as Massimo Dutti, Coach, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Marcelo Burlon, Kenzo, etc.
The second source and also our unique selling point is our high-tech fashion clothing line ByALFA. According to Vogue, in 2019 fashion brands and retailers were seen to be testing new technologies and developing new business models for high-tech fashion and in 2020 these brands are identifying, scaling, and implementing it for practical use (Mcdowell, 2020). Therefore, we would like to jump in the wagon early and use it for branding advantage.
Another unique selling point of ours would be our Augmented Reality feature that allows customers to virtually try on clothing and accessories on their pictures.
We will be doing both traditional and digital marketing activities. Traditional marketing initiatives would include advertising in fashion magazines NYLON, Harper’s Bazaar, CLEO, Shape, Esquire, Men’s Folio, Men’s Health as well as radio channels such as 98.7 FM.
Whereas digital marketing initiatives would include but not limited to:
- Social Media Ads
Our marketing staff would be responsible for creating and publishing ads on Facebook and Instagram. The advertisement would be engaging in eye-catching visuals such as photos of our ongoing promotions, videos, and photos.
- Celeb Endorsement
Part of our social media marketing activities would be endorsing celebrities with a massive following based on their social media mainly Instagram. The celebrities that we will be partnering up with would be assessed in terms of followers’ demography and whether it is in line with our target market. Examples would be like Yoyo Chao with close to 400,000 social media followers and Andrea Chong with over 300,000 followers.ALFA can reach with celebrities through strong contacts and, they can mail them. If they were like their brand so they can easily agree to help in their promotional activities otherwise not. Along with this, the manager of the company develops strategies and plans in which they are email and post on their social media sites or attend the personal meeting to convince them.
Another segment of our social media marketing initiatives that is related to advertising on-going promotion is to post ads that encourage social media users to sign up for our newsletter and get a $10 discount for the first purchase. By doing that we are obtaining potential customer’s email and amassing leads. Subsequently, we will constantly send an email of our newest promotion and collection and turn them into paying customers.
- Partnership with Resellers and Fashion Brands
We will have our partners post about the availability of their product on our platform as well as give special discount codes therefore their customer base would come to know of the existence of ALFA.
- Limited Edition Products
ALFA will be utilizing ByALFA to our competitive advantage and branding. ByALFA’s clothing pieces would be offered in limited-edition capsule collections which means once it’s sold out, we will not produce the same item again. Limited edition products create a sense of exclusivity and immediacy. An example of how limited-edition product’s ability to acquire new customers is when Dolce & Gabbana introduced a limited edition Animalier Bronzer. 65% of the buyers were new to the brand.
- Social Media Marketplace
As we are a new e-commerce platform and have to be conscious of marketing spending. We would like to tap into marketing avenues that are free of charge such as the Facebook marketplace. There we can sell our items and lure the page visitors to ALFA’s website and or mobile application by giving them discount codes.
As mentioned above we would be partnering up with brands that range from low to high end therefore customers from most income backgrounds would be able to afford. Our cheapest product would be priced at $3 for a Hair Bow from Cotton On whereas our most expensive would be a duffel bag from Saint Laurent which is priced at $2,840.
In the initial stage, our business and sales would be purely online. The company run their online business and offer a variety of products or services. When ALFA attains brand equity and recognition we would be offering to ship to South East Asia countries and conduct digital marketing initiatives in those countries as well.
Market Segmentation and Targeting
We want to be able to cater for both genders, for any and every occasion, for any size, and any budgets. Our target market is 18-45 years old and we will segment them into 18-30 and 30-45 and use different marketing strategies for each group.
Operational Plan & Management Structure
(Source: OrchardRoad, 2020)
ALFA company’s initial sales would be conducted using its website, online advertisements & applications on various platforms such as Apple and Android. Once there is significant growth and brand recognition of ALFA, a physical store would be set up in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore, in 313 Somerset. Orchard Road is considered to be the fashion retail hub of Singapore, the opportunity of increasing customer base via foot traffic can potentially be high for ALFA.
A stakeholder is a party that has an interest in an organization and it either can affect or be affected by the business operations. The primary stakeholders involve employees, investors, customers, and suppliers. They can be divided into 2 types of Internal &External (LumenLearning, 2016)
Some of the stakeholders of ALFA are as follows –
Employees – They are the most important part of any organization & are also the primary internal stakeholders of the company. They can play a vital role in making strategies and carrying out the operations for the company. Well established companies also take into consideration the opinions of the employee & concerns. (LumenLearning, 2016)
Marketing Staff – Marketing is arguably the most important aspect for a new company for it to take off and sustain the longevity of the business. ALFA will be hiring 2 Marketing staff who are responsible to develop strategies to reach revenue and growth targets. They will be utilizing analytic tools to track trends as well as conceptualize digital marketing initiatives. The marketing staff would also be required to observe the marketing initiatives of our competitors to gain an edge.
Business Development Executive- Our business development executives will be responsible for acquiring partnerships with fashion brands. They will be working closely with marketing staff to obtain information regarding market trends and report back to the marketing staff on the evaluation of marketing strategies performances. They will be responsible to manage product listing, product price points, and inventory level. Other than the aforementioned responsibilities, our business development executives are to strike a deal with payment vendors such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Paypal, GrabPay, FavePay and collaborate in bringing in promotions.
Software Engineers- With our Vision that aims to deliver an unforgettable shopping experience that is supported by technology, we plan to hire 2 software engineers. They will be responsible to design, build, evaluate, and maintain ALFA’s website and applications. We are to ensure that customers can shop and checkout their purchases smoothly at all times. Our software engineers are also responsible to keep our website and applications safe from hackers to prevent data privacy breaches as we are subjected to the Personal Data Protection Act in Singapore.
Fulfilment Officers- Fulfillment is a part of the sales cycle where sellers are required to get items purchased to the hand of the customers. ALFA would be hiring 2 fulfillment officers that would be stationed at the warehouse as they would be responsible for packaging, labeling, and shipping customers’ orders.
Customer Service Officer- Customer Service Officers are the middle-man between the company and customers as they would be handling customer inquiries regarding product and in the case of ALFA would include item whereabouts, item sizes, product features. Hence, our Customer Service officer would require training to enable them to handle customer inquiries in a polite and timely manner. In the initial stage, ALFA would be employing 1 Customer Service Officer and subsequently add more as the customer base grows which directly affects customer queries.
In-house designer- We will be hiring 1 in-house designer to design our ByALFA clothing line. He or she will have to possess a diploma from a recognized fashion institute.
Legal- Having to deal with the licensing issues and future legal problems, every company needs to have a legal advisor. We have our contact Mr. Liam Chan who possesses more than 25 years of legal experience.
Accountant- Accountants help organizations in Financial Risk Management, Audit, Taxation, etc. ALFA is looking to hire Baker Tilly TFW to handle the company’s risk analysis & financial model.
As the employee structure has been showcased in the above section of the Operational plan, Below shown is the management structure of ALFA:-
ALFA’s Founder & Owner, Aradhya Atul Kaul is to be responsible for the below-mentioned job scopes due to his educational background and working experience:
- Operational Management
- Purchasing in tandem with our in-house Designer with the input from our Marketing team
- Staff Recruitment
- Finance Control
- Part-Time Marketing Representative of ALFA
- Other administrative duties
Having worked for an e-commerce start-up as Marketing cum Business Development Manager previously as well as undertaking Entrepreneurship studies in his MBA, the owner would be capable of the take-off of ALFA and ensuring long-term sustainability.
|Total Fixed Costs||$|
|Payment for Software||5000|
|Total Fixed Costs||41000|
Fixed costs are the costs that do not change regardless of the increase or decrease in the production of the products and sale. Fixed expenses are the permanent expenses that are needed to be paid by the company, autonomous of any organizational activity (Kenton, 2020). Above mentioned are the Total Fixed costs of ALFAtotaling up to $41000.
|Total Variable Cost||$|
|Total Variable Cost||64800|
Variable costs fluctuate depending on the production and sales of the company. It increases as production increases and decreases as production falls (Kenton, 2020). Above mentioned are the Total Variable Costs of ALFA which is $64800.
|Cashflow||Year 1||Year 2|
|Total Cash Inflow||850000||1245400|
Cash-Flow Statement (CFS) is a financial statement that measures how an organization manages its cash positioning. It includes Cash inflows & Cash outflows (Expenses). Above shown are ALFA’s 2 years of Cash-Flow statement, in Year 1 the total cash inflow is $850000, and the total expenses amount to $103300. In the year the Total balance of cash inflow increased to $1245400, forecasting an increase in the sale of products and increasing the profitability of ALFA. The total expenses of the company would also increase to $106000.
|Total Fixed Cost||41000|
|Total Variable Cost||64800|
|Impaired Variable Cost %||61.25%|
|Selling Price/ Unit||35|
|Breakeven in Units||3021|
|Dollar Costs per Unit|
|Estimated Variable Cost/Unit||21|
|Variable Cost %||61.25%|
|Breakeven in Units||3021|
|Breakeven in Price||105748|
The break-Even analysis helps you detect at which stage, the organization or the product/service will be deemed profitable. It has been analysed that the company needs to evaluate how many of the products should be sold by the company to cover its costs. To reach the breakeven point ALFA would have to generate a revenue of S$105748 by selling 3021 units. The unit selling price is similar for all the clothing as per the strategy of the company. It is important to fix the selling price as it helps customers to compare the products with other company goods. By this, they can easily buy desirable products and services in proper manner.
After conducting various analyses for ALFA using WISPA, PEST, SWOT, Crimson Blade, PEAS & 4 P’s of marketing, I can safely conclude that ALFA is certain to achieve profitability. ALFA caters to both men and women of the age group 18 to 45 years old although we would be dividing them into 2 age-group segmentation for marketing strategy purposes. The first age group would be 18 to 30 years old which we will be targeting via digital marketing which includes Social Media advertising, Influencer Marketing, and Celebrity Endorsement. Whereby for the second age group which is those in their 30s to mid-40s will be targeted via traditional marketing such as advertisements in fashion magazines and radio advertisements.
Financially, ALFA would break even in the 2nd year of operation, and with the hopes of no force majeure event happening, the profit will be increasing from then on. ALFA will be partnering up with various fashion brands from low to high end to increase our variety of offerings. ALFA will also be banking on its high-tech fashion line ByALFA for its uniqueness which is hoped to increase brand equity and new customers. Another unique selling point of ours which is the Augmented Reality feature that allows our customers to virtually try on products before purchasing is also hoped to bring in sales and revenue.
In conclusion, ALFA is a tech-centric apparel e-commerce company that operates with technology being kept close in mind to offer a novel shopping experience as we offer an array of fashion apparel for men and women for any occasion, for any budget.
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