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Business Management

Point of Purchase Primer

Merchandising makes a difference. Even if you’re a neighborhood mom and pop, you need to invest the time and effort to professionally display your products.

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Merchandising makes a difference. Even if you’re a neighborhood mom and pop, you need to invest the time and effort to professionally display your products.

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As a motorcycle dealer, you aren’t just competing with the Honda dealership across town, but every other retail outlet your customers frequent. If you want your customers to take you seriously, you’ve gotta show them by the way you present your products.

Many manufactuers provide point of purchase materials (POP) to stocking dealers to help their products stand out, and I talked with a few such manufacturers to tap their POP wisdom.

"In the exhaust world, seeing and hearing the product on a bike makes the sale," says Vance & Hines’ John Potts. "I know many dealerships don’t have the space, but this is the year to make the time to display products. Make a display wall, setup a motorcycle, even bring your own motorcycle in as a display piece and make sure you have literature on display."

While everyone admires a chromed out aftermarket exhaust, some products present more of a merchandising challenge. "The line of site product placement and tactile advantage of a POP will more often than not increase sales substantially," says David Zemla, director of marketing at Progressive Suspension. "Our products are largely hidden on a bike, and therefore are not on most consumers’ radar. Anything we can do to increase that awareness is to the dealer’s benefit. We actually take it one step further and supply many dealers with display shocks so they can let potential buyers handle the product without impacting their inventory. Our POP also includes a small poster that changes out every few months to keep the display fresh and the dealer continually involved."

When it comes to apparel sales, consumers will compare your store apples-to-apples with the mall giants. "A properly displayed piece of apparel, boot or helmet will always reap greater sales results than an item that is left in the box or otherwise not cleanly displayed," says Motonation president Bill Berroth. "Customers are used to an easy shopping experience when they visit the mall and expect no less for their moto accessories, and as almost all distributors offer low- or no-cost merchandising displays, there really is no excuse for not doing it right."

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Finally, marketing expert Rick Menapace, president and creative director of the Menapace Group, believes POP displays serve a higher purpose. "Consumers don’t see a product on a shelf, they see it on themselves or on their bikes! A display can either complete the emotional connection between the product and consumer, neuter it or kill it. We have to look at our displays in that way. ‘Am I making it easier for my customer to see themselves owning this?’"

Ask yourself that question as you walk through your dealership today. If the answer is no, talk to your distributor’s and manufacturer’s reps to see how you can economically increase the appeal of your product displays. Think you’re knocking POP out of the park? Send me some snapshots of your showroom floor, and we might just make you the subject of MPN‘s next Destination Dealership!

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