Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stores Need to Have a website

It's important in this day and age to have a website. I talk to stores all day that don't have fax machines so I know that sounds stupid to some people, more than likely if you're reading this you are already technically savy.

It's the way the world works, it amazes me how backwards some stores are in the fact that most of them still don't have an e-commerce store. The scooter industry in the US is dominated by a few distributors and now larger companies are getting in on it. So its important for the small shop owner to sell online more now than ever. It's a source of income and if you're in a snow state you will need it.

Having a website with parts is your lifeblood. It gives you free advertising and allows you to connect to the consumer. Internet advertising is more targeted to a specific audience in this case scooter riders, buggy riders, and the group that you want to be talking to anyways. The clients who visit your website are there because they have a specific interest in your company’s product or service, which you can use to your advantage. You can allow customers or potential customers to sign up for a newsletter or sales flyer, which you can send to them via e-mail. Why wouldn't you want this? So in this day and age all the scooter shops need to have a website up.

I encourage all the small shops to open up a website. Some never will, I had a discussion with a pretty interesting dealer that despite the odds has had some success in the business, but refuses to deal with Chinese units or sell online. Not every market can support such a claim and to be honest as companies like Piaggio/Aprilia source more and manufacture more on the mainland saying "I dont sell Chinese scooters" just sounds plain stupid. The whole world is integrated now into one long assembly line with parts coming from everywhere. Even if someone made a product in the US it would still likely have Asian components. SYM, KYMCO, PGO all source in the mainland for parts and both SYM / KYMCO have factories there that produce units sold in the US. So in this day in age no scooter dealer in the US can say they dont sell Chinese scooters. New Piaggio units are made by Zongshen, new Aprilias under 500cc are made by Jincheng. So there thats the reality.

When it comes to the winter all scooter stores need to be ready. If we have a long winter the lack of a message board, online marketing, and the ability to drop ship could kill a seasonal business. There is no training for opening a small scooter shop, most people I meet get sold on the "Vespa" store idea and after a few months of low returns finally change and realize this doesn't work.

I will tell you what does and thats working with your customer and helping them find the part they need. For that you need a website. If you have a shop and would like a site, contact us and we will help you.

The Scooter Maven

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