Chubbies Shorts: The Challenges of e-Commerce
Before the Internet, there was competition, but it was nowhere near the amount of competition there is now. Where there were thousands of other businesses to compete with then, now there are millions. “Brand manufacturers face intense competition from domestic and foreign brands; at the same time, many strong brands are becoming mega-brands with considerable presence” (Kotler & Keller, 2008, p. 9). Because of this, companies have to be more inventive to stand out from the others. Chubbies Shorts has done just that and has done very well. This paper details the four infrastructures, the role of Internet regulations, and how these components affect e-commerce business practices.
The Four Infrastructures of E-Commerce
The four infrastructures of e-commerce include technology, capital, media, and public policy. All of these has their importance in marketing, and a good e-commerce manager should be familiar with each one. As technology continues to get more powerful, and easier to use, the competition gets even more intense. Chubbies use the technology available to advertise on Facebook and Twitter, which is where their customers are. Capital is the financial means to support the business and is the backbone of the company. The owners of Chubbies started out with just 20 pairs of shorts on a beach, which sold out in minutes, and they are still selling just as fast. Media is a vital source of success for all e-commerce businesses, which includes online advertising, interaction, website design, and much more. It is also essential to know the public policies to be sure the company is not breaking any rules or regulations.
The biggest challenge that e-commerce businesses face is traffic. Unlike a brick and mortar store, an online store is not something people just see or find on accident. The customers have to be led to the website to know that it exists. The easiest way to do this is with social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Chubbies have both, and they make sure their pages are always "on" so customers can get answers when they need them. These social media sites are free, so they are an excellent way to advertise the business and lead people to the website. The company encourages its customers to take a photo or video of themselves doing something crazy while wearing Chubbies, which may be featured on the website. Getting consumers to participate in an activity gives them a reason to stay on the website. The longer they are on the website, the better the chances of them buying something. Chubbies website has the fun kind of feel that their target market likes. “The company’s target audience is 18-to-30-year-old guys who like to have a good time on weekends. As it appears on the website: #ChubFacts: “Saturdays are meant for Barbecuing, Chubbies and beer. Not much else” (Domanska, 2014, para. 5). Chubbies have a very colorful and interactive website that takes customers from point A to point B easily. The easier it is for readers to get around the website, the better the sales.
Another plus is the “no questions asked” return policy. One of the biggest challenges e-commerce businesses face is trust. Spending money online is risky, and customers need to feel