E-COMMERCE FOR MOTORSPORT, DOES IT WORK?
E-COMMERCE? Motorsport is the perfect scenario! Is your market global or at least international? Can your product/services be delivered easily? Are your customers used to buy from suppliers based abroad? Do you sell also to end users? If you have answered yes to some of these questions it means that you are very likely working in Motorsport. On the other hand, it also means that you are missing out on the many benefits of e-commerce. Surprisingly few motorsport suppliers have on-line shops. Quite surprisingly! Today we can pretty much buy everything from our smartphones. As an example the other day I was running late on a meeting and to save time while on a cab to the train station I bought a train ticket with the phone. Simple, fast and reassuring! The website was well built and let me complete my purchase without hiccups. Here clearly the ability to buy a ticket without queuing for the ticket is a massive advantage for travelers. Why would you not want your potential client to check your prices on-line and complete a purchase without contacting you? Talking to motorsport companies the two main answers are: we have only few products, our annual transactions are limited, it is not worth it to put together an on-line shop. Usually, companies will mention that their products have many options and variables, most of the time custom built: “how can we rely on a webpage to sell something that has got complicated specs?”
These two answers reflect very well why the Motorsport community is well behind when it comes to Digital Marketing. To understand exactly what e-commerce is today I think some figures maybe useful: in 2015 B2C e-commerce should reach a 1700 trillion target with a 15.6% growth year on year. For Europe we are looking at 24.6% growth. In other words 1 in 4 customer will prefer an on-line solution than not visit/call a real store. If we then take into account that 2 out of 3 internet users will also purchase on-line we can better understand the magnitude of this behavioural change. If we consider UK alone, where 77% of the population has got internet access we can easily calculate that more than 30 million Britons will buy online in 2015. What does it mean for us, motorsport companies? Taking into account that people in motorsport have got 100% access on internet and as we know they all buy on-line, we can comfortably say that our target market is one that buys on-line.
If this was not enough to convince sceptic motorsport companies. then we have another ace up our sleeve! Your e-commerce site is also your best promotional tool! Yes! To understand this you just need to look at the amazon website. The most common reason why people buy or not in Amazon is because of the review system. Customer leaving comments or good feedback is an extremely powerful tool to create that so much coveted good on-line reputation. Even if your product keep changing, being able to let your customers ask question and leave feedback can create a positive spin-off but also help you understanding what your clientele is after.
As we understand not having an e-commerce solution is currently damaging your brands, we always ask our customers to answer the following questions before jumping into e-commerce:
- Do you sell to the end user?
- Do you have a catalogue or produce custom only?
- Have you got stock or do you produce only on demand?
- Are your products ready to be sold abroad?
- Can you offer pre priced custom solution?
I would bet most of your answers are “yes”, not taking part into the e-commerce race is therefore literally slowing you down. No need to develop your on-line shop as there are companies that have done this for you. As mailchimp has created a simple and efficient tool for newsletter, magento and opencart are a good solution for e-commerce. Things are easier than you may think. In the next articles we will look at the way modern e-commerce is organised and delivered.