Cliptomania, LLC, is a web store that is owned and operated by the Santo family. The family operated business specializes in selling clip-on earrings on the Internet from their home. Their non pierced earrings are sold throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand (Brown, DeHayes, Hoffer, Martin, & Perkins, 2012). The Santo family found an ideal position in the market that was underserved and essentially turned it into a feasible e-business. My analysis of Cliptomania reveals that it achieved a lot of success – from the Santos proactivity in identifying a gap in the market to offering high quality products and services to customers.
Although the Santos had initial success they, however, faced a few strategic issues in the beginning. One of the initial issues they faced was their lack of experience in setting up a web store. When Jim and Candy first got the idea of Cliptomania going they thought it would be, sort of, a side-line activity – one that they could tend to in their spare time. Little did they know that they would have to devote a lot of time and effort in just setting up the web site. Jim found several alternatives and they went with contracting with a vendor to host the store. According to Brown et, al (2012), the Santos contracted with Yahoo to establish their Cliptomania Yahoo store. Yahoo provided templates for the homepage and the items being sold, navigation of the site, and basically making it easy for the customers to add or delete items from their shopping cart. Another initial problem that the Santos were face with was finding “sources from which they could get earrings to offer in the Cliptomania store” (Brown, et al, 2012, pp. 310). Many of such sources were not available and some were just not helpful. Eventually they were able to build some mutually beneficial relationships, which ultimately evolved. In 2006 when the Santos decided to change their website they encountered issues such as a drop in the search engine rankings. The drop was also as a result of a drop in customers; customers no longer found it easy to locate Cliptomania when they searched clip-on earrings (Rosen, 2000). When Cliptomania switched to the new URL Cliptomania.net it caused major confusion with the search engines and they fell far off the relevancy ranking for the search engines. Cliptomania was losing sales so they eventually went back to the original name of Cliptomania.com.
I found a few recommendations and analysis that could have solved some of the issues the Santos faced. The Santos needed to identify who will buy their products online and make it easy for those consumers to locate their website. They also needed to ensure that their website had high visibility online and that could go hand in hand with making it easier for customers to locate their website. Their marketing plan lacked the essentials to reach their target market. In a effort to cut cost (in every way possible), they Santos opted for cheaper way of doing business, which proved disastrous for a period of time. The Santos can also ensure that the content of their website are updated more frequently.
Brown, C. V., DeHayes, D. W., Hoffer, J. A., Martin, E. W., & Perkins, W. C. (2012). Managing information technology (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Rosen, A. (2000). The E-commerce question and answer book a survival guide for business managers. New York, N.Y.: AMACOM.