Here’s an interesting fact: 25 percent of all consumer electronics sales are now conducted on the web, according to MIT’s Technology Review.
And here’s a few more facts that can be instructive for 12 volt specialists.
Cyber Monday sales jumped 19 percent over last year, according to IBM, in a direct hit to brick and mortar stores, which saw the first decline in Black Friday sales since the recession in 2009, said the Bloomberg news site.
And shopping from a smartphone or tablet increased by 58 percent on Cyber Monday to 30 percent of all the online shopping, said IBM.
Too much business is on the web for a specialist to ignore.
Leading retailers like 16-store Custom Sounds in Texas said it will start taking advantage of Cyber Monday next year. Stores that performed well over the Black Friday weekend increased their web presence through Pandora ads or spent more on Google ad words. Specialty brand JL Audio just opened a store on eBay, with prices at MAP to cater to a growing number of customers who want to shop online. As JL Audio told us, there is a certain customer who is only going to shop online and if you don’t have a presence there, you are missing out on the market.
Similarly Best Buy swung back to profitability this year, in part by improving its web presence. An interesting fact is that 40 percent of Bestbuy.com traffic uses in-store pick up. So not all web traffic excludes store traffic.
For a small specialist near a mid-sized city, a suggested online media budget is 3 to 5 percent of sales. At the very least, retailers should buy some Google Ad words so that when a local person searches for “subwoofer,” his store name pops up. Also, retailers should offer an incentive to get the email address of every customer. Revenew offers a service that converts your customer list into an email list. Retailers can also buy an email list of prospective customers in their area. Then the idea is to send out emails announcing sales to keep your store, top of mind.
The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA) works with Revenew to offer a simple program to launch a web marketing campaign. Avidworx also offers a program that requires little work on the part of the dealer. Both set you up with Facebook banners, and easy to build emails to send to customers plus other marketing tools.
Retailers may also want to think about joining buying/marketing groups like ICE or MESA, which each have their own methods of driving traffic to their dealers and which claim to be very successful at doing so.
As you know, there are ways to be the car technology expert on the web, not just the lowest priced shop on the web. Posting videos of installs and running a short article on tips for buying a remote start in Pittsburgh can go a long way.
The takeaway here is that if you are doing next to nothing on the web, it’s time to do something.
Graphic: Car Toys