Assignment 2 Paper

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Assignment 2 Paper

  1. 1. South Wholesale Nursery<br />“ Inspiring the world to grow… one plant at a time.”<br />Jaime South<br />Fall 2009<br />AC 302 – Management Information Systems<br />Assignment 2: Competitive Website Evaluation<br />October 8, 2009<br />Introduction:<br />My name is Jaime South, and I am an accounting major. The business chosen for this assignment is a wholesale plant nursery. In this project, I have used the internet to research local businesses similar to the wholesale nursery that I would like to open. I researched them by looking at the following websites: www.huntsvillenursery.net, huntsvillewholesalenursery.com, www.swancreeknursery.com, and www.ssnurseries.com. The first two websites belong to the same business. <br />The name of my business is South Wholesale Nursery, which is a wholesale nursery business located on County Road 183 in Moulton. Here at South Wholesale Nursery, our mission is “inspiring the world to grow… one plant at a time.” Our primary clientele is retail nurseries and the general public. South Wholesale Nursery serves northwest Alabama, but makes deliveries anywhere in the southeast. The products we offer (but are not limited to) are perennials, annuals, shrubs, trees, soil, flowering plants, and mulch. Offered services include teaching customers how to care for plants, deliveries, and special orders.<br />Competition/ Similar Business:<br />Huntsville Wholesale Nursery:<br />The Huntsville Wholesale Nursery is a wholesale nursery and garden center located in Huntsville on Leeman Ferry Road. Both of their websites claim to “have great prices and great quality plants.” However, neither site provided a mission statement for the business. The primary clientele of this nursery is retail and wholesale nurseries and the general public. They specialize in trees, top soil, annuals, perennials, sodding, shrubs, stone, delivery, statuary, and bulk mulch. The URLs to their pages are www.huntsvillenursery.net and huntsvillewholesalenursery.com, which are the only places I found them on the web.<br />Swan Creek Nursery:<br />The Swan Creek Nursery is a wholesale nursery located on Holland Heights in Athens. They are located on the web at www.swancreeknursery.com. They have the same primary clientele as Huntsville Wholesale; and their website does not have a mission statement either. Their products and services are listed as: plants, house plants, flowers, fertilizers, equipment and supplies, and bedding plants. They are only found on this website; it appears they do not use the internet for marketing.<br />S & S Nurseries, Inc.:<br />They are in their 27th year of operation at S & S Nurseries, Inc., a wholesale nursery located on Huntsville- Browns Ferry Road in Athens. Their mission: “We continue to strive for excellence in our quality and service.” S & S has the same clientele as the others: the general public, retail and wholesale nurseries. The products and services they offer are the same as Swan Creek Nursery: plants, house plants, flowers, fertilizers, equipment and supplies, and bedding plants. They can be found online at www.ssnurseries.com, which seems to be their only marketing tool. <br />Website Features Comparison Table: <br />Information FeatureHuntsville Wholesale NurserySwan Creek NurseryS & S Nurseries, Inc.CommentsCorporate OverviewNoNoNoNone of the sites had this. I suspect they did not think of it as important.Product Catalog or Services ListingNoProduct catalog; but no picturesProduct catalog; but no picturesI think it’s important to have photos of the product, and none of these sites did.Driving DirectionsNo; but has mapNo; but has mapNoMaps are useful, if you know where you are.Contacts (mail, phone, email)Yes; all threeYes; all three plus faxYes; all threeJust because they have contacts doesn’t mean they will answer. None replied to my emails.Weekly SpecialsYes; but not updatedNoNoThis would help bring customers in, but they don’t use it.Hours ListedNoYesNoSome nurseries keep odd hours. Better post them!Weather ForecastYes; 4 dayNoNoIt’s nice to know, if you’re planning a trip to buy something!Terms & ConditionsNoYes; but the page is cut off so you can’t read it allYesIt’s always good to read return policies, and care policies.Links NoNoYesLinks can be a valuable way to spread the business name on the web.<br />Marketing: <br />Having searched all over the internet for signs of these businesses, I have concluded that the only places you can find them mentioned is on their own websites. Of course you can search key terms through a search engine like Google, but I would not consider the random occurrences of their names through a search to be very good marketing. The businesses I have chosen to research seem as though they do not know how to market themselves effectively on the internet. They may rely purely on word of mouth because the websites they have built for their businesses did not seem to have attention paid to them. I sent emails to all of the sites requesting information such as their missions, and not one of them has responded within a week’s time. I have faith in myself that I can build and operate a better website than the one’s I researched for this project. They could have used social networking sites such as facebook and myspace to help market themselves. That would at least be within their budget. It’s free! I was rather disappointed in all of the business websites that I researched.<br />

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