I already saw on a few companies website that they offer to buy accessories or tuning kits for their products directly.
I think this is a very good thing to do to have an even better customer service.
Doing a shop myself I know that a shop can't always stock all the lines, kits, parts etc for all the products. And if you stock, you don't always sell all and then it is just worth nothing and you made a loss.
So for really special and small accessories in my opinion a webshop would add a great customer service.
e.g. http://www.flysurfer.de offers a webshop for accessories and I really like the idea.
So maybe that is an idea for the companies.
Would be good to hear comments from othe people as well.
Last edited by Toby on Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
the idea of catalog and on-line orders for accessory is very good and we run it since 3 months with good results. Expecially because no one shop will buy everything of a brand but just a few of them; expecially screws and retainer are very hard to find around.
what to say about complete online-shops? like http://www.gunsails.de (for windsurf)or the new Wipika or best site who provide complete range of boards and kites? I understand completely that this is a bad thing for the normal shop, but the fact that there is no shop taking profits reduces the prices (a lot) and makes the sport more accesible for any-one. Is this the future of the sport? I am not saying that this is a good thing- they can never deliver the personal service of a real shop in terms of repairment, advice etc.
1. the company gets to give better support to customers and links directly to them, selling items dealers might not stock anyway. they also get to dummy run trading online without letting their dealers know what they are looking at doing next, and of course the online trading will be more profitable than retail if run correctly.
2. the customer gets availability of difficult to source items. so gets more time on the water and more bang for his buck,that is if the manufacturer drops the price.
3. the dealer looses more of his ability to turn a profit. but can concentrate his money on high frequency turnover lines rather than wasting it on spares stock.
it's an interesting thing.
you could say manufacturers are looking to broaden their sales reach and increase their margins by taking business back from the dealers, you could say they are tesing the water, getting ready to dump dealers, you could say they are improving customer service.
Some companies are selling everything directly. It is a different marketing strategy.
Only for the companies who are selling their products through distribution channels it would be a good thing to do in my opinion.