Dear Ma: I hope you’re doing well up there in Heaven, we are working hard and doing good down here in Dallas.
I have been thinking a lot about how business has changed over my 22 years in the Motorcycle Industry. The BEST thing that has happened to our industry in the last 20 years, is the popularity of the internet. But, the WORST thing that has happened to our industry in the last 20 years, is the popularity of the Internet!
I saw on the national news the other day that 30% of the malls in America have shut down & in the next 10 years they said over 50% of all malls in the United States will be gone! That’s crazy Ma. I remember when malls were exciting and new, and they were packed every weekend. Now they tell me that malls offer an obsolete way of shopping and they are slowly disappearing from our cities and fading into history.
There is one word that is changing the way business is done around the world and that word is – AMAZON! They make shopping so easy that people do not have to get out of their house to purchase anything anymore. Anything you could ever think of wanting can be yours with just a few clicks of the mouse and they will deliver it to your front door. They’ll even deliver your evening supper, and you can choose from a bevy of restaurants!
What it’s doing is making people even lazier than we already are. I mean, Ma, you can do all your shopping in your pajamas in the middle of the night if you are so inclined!
“Shopping on the internet is easy, but it has no atmosphere, it has no soul… it’s not really cool to shop on the internet, it’s just easy.”
So, yes, what Amazon is doing is great for the ease of shopping… but it’s changing the way people shop and the traditional brick and mortar stores are paying a heavy price. Think about it, it’s so much easier to “shop” on the internet than it is to drive to and from different stores.
So what can we traditional brick and mortar stores do to attract customers to our businesses? Well, the first thing I think we have to do is to have a very comprehensive website. Make it easier for those “pajama shoppers” to purchase from our business. It’s tough to keep up with all that internet stuff because it is constantly evolving. But, ya gotta hire some geek who keeps up with all that, they call them I.T. people!
The other thing that I think us traditional stores have to do is to give the customer an “experience” that they can’t get off the internet. We have to do something, anything that will attract people to our store. Look at it this way, shopping on the internet is easy, but it has no atmosphere, it has no soul.
I’ll go on to say that it’s not really cool to shop on the internet, it’s just easy. So what I try to do here at Strokers Dallas & Strokers Ice House is to make my place a destination. I try to give people/shoppers a reason to come visit me by giving them an “experience” that they can’t get off the stinkin’ internet. Strokers Dallas is not only a Motorcycle
Shop, it’s also a Bar & Grill as well as a Tattoo Shop. Also on my Strokers Dallas compound is my Insurance Agency as well as my Custom Parts Company. We are on 2.5 acres of land and we draw people from all over the country as well as internationally. But we, too, have felt the pain from America’s changing shopping habits.
It’s an ongoing battle, and I am always looking for different ways to entice people into my store! I’m always trying to improve the “experience” that a customer gets when they visit me at my Strokers Dallas compound!
I know I’m getting old, Ma, but why do things have to change? Why do we have to have cars that we can’t work on anymore? I have a 1969 Chevy C10 Pick-up truck that I feel very comfortable working on, but I also have a 2015 Ford F-350 Dually that I am extremely intimidated to even think about working on. Every time I open the hood on that Ford I get scared to death of anything going wrong because I have no idea how to work on it!
You have to have a computer degree in Auto Repair to work on the new vehicles these days. I get it that the new technology makes our lives easier, but does it make our lives better? That’s a question for another day, Ma. Right now I gotta go, I’ve got a couple of girls interviewing to be Beer Tub girls on the weekends at Strokers Ice House! Finally something that the internet hasn’t screwed up…YET!
Love ya, Ma!