Web Marketing Strategies in Agro Food SMEs: Evidence from Greek and Italian Wine SMEs

Web Marketing Strategies in Agro Food SMEs: Evidence from Greek and Italian Wine SMEs

Aspasia Vlachvei (Technological Educational Institute of West Macedonia, Greece), Ourania Notta (Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece), Francesco Diotallevi (University of Perugia, Italy) and Andrea Marchini (University of Perugia, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4550-9.ch015
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In this chapter, the authors study agro food SMEs and especially SMEs in the wine sector, which combine several common characteristics, and they make a comparison between e-marketing strategies and e-commerce adoption in wine SMEs in two European countries: Italy and Greece. Taking into account the existing literature about the use of the Internet for wine marketing, this study identifies the online marketing strategies and the Website features used by the Greek and Italian wine producers.
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The potential of Internet applications to enhance the effectiveness of agro food marketing operations was identified and discussed by many authors. The main opportunities are described by Hsieh and Lin (1998) as: 1) the lack of differences between small and large companies in the space occupied on the Web and the same freedom to adopt multiple Internet strategies; 2) the low cost of marketing goods and services globally; 3) the possibilities to implement globalization strategies; 4) the opportunity to maintain efficient after-sales customer services at low costs; 5) networking with business partners. The new risk factor which effects the competitiveness of SMEs is the lower costs for bigger companies when entering (through Internet) niche markets dominated by SMEs (Kleindl, 2000).

SMEs, however, are not adopting e-commerce with same speed as their larger counterparts due to various adoption barriers (Kartiwi and MacGregor 2008). Drew (2003) argued that SMEs in different industries may adopt different strategies for e-commerce and have different needs for training and support. Also the Internet can pose both a threat and an opportunity for SME business strategies.

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