SHREVEPORT, LA (12.30.18) Days 364 and 365 draw 2018 to a close. The first 363 days of 2018 certainly saw a lot of changes across the 12volt industry.
Most would say 2018 was not a banner year for many 12volt vendors, distributors, manufacturer reps, organizations and/or 12volt retailers. Many industry members feel we are being sold down the river…Amazon plus other online outlets.
12volt retailers are the industry members that drive retail sales. Those retailers, I feel, have some very unique and powerful tools in the bags. Many consumers today do not know all of the cool enhancement that they can do to their rides. Most consumers today, considering enhancements to their vehicles, are not looking to do their own automotive installations. Consumers can not feel the bass in their chest, experience the highs, when visiting a website. Consumers up north want to be warm in the winter. Consumers down south want to be cool in the summer. With the rise in popularity of marine and PowerSports there is a new group of consumers just waiting to rock and roll on the water or off-road.
Proactive 12volt retailers who connect with consumers, and deliver the in-store WOW experience, can drive sales.
Marketing has taken a seat way, way to the back in today’s retail environment. With all the emphasis on PRICE, PRICE, PRICE marketing funds have all but disappeared.
That said, something else has appeared….social media marketing. Proactive 12volt retailers who build a strong base of followers, and put their store’s message in front of those followers, saw increased business in 2018 and will continue to do well in 2019 and beyond.
I am asking that all 12volt retailers survey their store’s outside appearance and showroom look. Make the necessary changes. And by all means, since we are in the business of selling music, have a great sounding system playing as consumers enter your store and say WOW.
Looking forward to celebrating my 50th Anniversary in the 12volt industry in the year 2019.
Mike Van Horn