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Your Web/E-commerce questions answered

April 12, 2010
Filed under From the Editors

On Saturday Night Live last weekend an “anchorman” said the iPad was just another thing people were buying so they could figure out how it worked.

Between the latest technological devices and what to do with them, many dealers have specific questions they would like answered, but don’t have time to seek out answers.

Powersports Business will take the top FAQ and get answers from Web experts in the industry. Questions will include anything from DMS to social networking pages to Web sites. We’ll put the Q&As in the magazine and on PowersportsBusiness.com.

Anyone can post their questions on here or e-mail me directly at kgelschus@affinitygroup.com. (Please note if you don’t want your name and/or company printed).

A couple questions I’ve already received are: “How do I upload a shopping cart to my Web site?” Another dealer asked if there has ever been a consumer report-type comparison of Dealer Management Systems, and if so, where can they find it?

If you have a question, other dealers are most likely wondering the same thing, so throw out anything you can think of!

Comments

4 Responses to “Your Web/E-commerce questions answered”

  1. Mike Jackson on April 13th, 2010 8:07 am

    – How can websites like http://www.powersportsuperstore.com/ offer product from Tucker Rocky so cheap and still make money?
    — How does JC Whitney now qualify as a ‘Powersport dealer’ for Tucker Rocky when 2 years ago Gander Mountain didn’t (and they were actually dealers for Arctic Cat).
    — With all the warnings about the ‘Big Box’ companies getting into Powersports; it looks to me like ‘Powersports’ is trying to get into Big Box.

    The above is just an example. Scorpion now sells direct to Amazon; distributors are fulfilling their own orders through Shopatron (but only if a dealer can’t)

    Tough economic times have made manufacturers and distributors enter into deals they never would have considered 5 years ago.

    Watch out – if we (the dealers) don’t supply our customers with the product; the product will find someone that can. Time to step up your game – or get out…

    [Reply]

  2. Dave Johnson on April 13th, 2010 7:49 pm

    Mike I think you are right about the current economic conditions influencing the deals being made in what I would consider outside of our industry. Obviously every company deserves the right to make a profit but what about the overall damage a short term quick buck could cause? It also seems inequitable as dealers are now facing more restrictions on where they can sell parts and what they can list them for, while at the same time manufacturers and suppliers are reaching out and exploring more options. Where does the dealer fit in all of this? I think the focus needs to be on getting the consumer in the store or at least on the dealer’s web site.

    [Reply]

  3. Alan Gratland on April 14th, 2010 3:44 am

    Is discounting hurting your business ?

    One of my clients told me that discounting is killing his bottom line. What began as a practice to reward and retain high volume customers has become a curse.

    He says that now all of his customers expect discounts on everything, parts, service, clothing and major unit sales ! He says that he is discounting 8 to 10% on average, sometimes as high as 20% to keep customers happy. I can’t imagine how he is going to stay in business at this rate.

    Are you experiencing this problem ?

    What are you doing to combat this issue ?

    [Reply]

  4. Mike Jackson on April 25th, 2010 8:29 am

    Discounting has always been around; and always been a concern, the internet has just made it easier for our customers to find. Unfortunately discounting has hurt our business some; but it has been overcome by our marketing efforts to reach more customers that are looking for great service. Discounters CAN NOT provide the same level of service as a full priced supplier. They just don’t have the margin to pay the restock fees on returns, pay the call center staff to answer questions, and stock the inventory needed to provide quick delivery times.

    My economics professor told me that when an industry begins to compete on price it is time to find another industry. I don’t think we are there yet, but there are a few discounters that were selling lots of product in 2008 that are no longer in business today. All the research I see shows that less than 10% of consumers are true price shoppers. Most are ‘Value’ shoppers – so adding value to your product and showing your customer that the price difference is justified due to your service, availability and location are all very important factors in making your customer feel like they are getting the best value.

    My experience is that people buy from people – not companies; so teach your guys how to ‘add value’ instead of discounting and you’ll keep your customer happy and keep the bottom line black for a long time to come. If a customer is willing to go to someone else for a 20% discount was he really your customer to begin with?

    We will always have to put up with discount operations – we just need to educate our customers on how we are a better long-term choice.

    [Reply]

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