With warm weather pushing its way into the U.S., outdoor season has arrived. Whether it’s farming, hunting or just blazing along a trail in the outdoors, side-by-side (SxS) riders are going to increasingly call upon their vehicles to get them where they need to go. Now is the time to make sure customers have the accessories they need to outfit their side-by-sides for their circumstances.
But what are the most popular accessories for these vehicles?
“Historically, popular items will fluctuate by season and region,” says Shane Wilson, vice president of Segway Powersports. “Areas that get a lot of snow will utilize accessories for their specific applications, like snowplows, cab enclosures and heaters. Front windshields and rear windscreens are pretty common across the board; spare tire carries are popular for the adventurist consumer where there are a lot of trail systems, and we see the heavy-duty front rack and bumpers being utilized in rural areas and during hunting season.”
With that in mind, let us look at some of the most universal upgrades/accessories and figure out how to play on the customer psyche to get the sale.
Traditionally, when customers first purchase their side-by-sides, they will invest in some primary accessories, such as roofs, winches or doors. However, with certain brands and models, these come standard. Take the Segway Utility and Sport models, for instance: the roof, winch, doors and access to the Smart Commanding System app come standard at the MSRP price.
For these types of vehicles that already have so many bells and whistles attached, it can be difficult to capitalize on accessories when the traditional ones are already taken. But here is where you have to leverage customers’ desires for comfort, technology and safety.
Humans do not like extreme temperatures. That is why full cab systems in side-by-sides are so popular. One of the key accessories to outfitting a full cab system is a windshield. Generally, front and rear options are available in both full and quarter versions. There are also lift kits available to pop windshields up if customers want to feel the breeze one day and keep the elements — rain, dust and wind — out. For utility customers, windshields are necessary for those days when the weather doesn’t cooperate but they still have to work.
Because of modern cars and the Internet of Things, riders are used to having all of their devices connected and having information at their fingertips anytime, anywhere. Premium models of many SxS, such as the Segway Utility and Sport Models, also come equipped with an infotainment touchscreen, which is a huge selling point. By upgrading customers to higher trim levels with these infotainment screens, they can have a hands-off experience in terms of navigation, phone calls and playing music. No more juggling that phone or buying a phone holder!
If you’ve bumped into a tree with your riding lawn mower and cracked the guard or even bumper-tapped someone with your car and walked away with nothing more than a scratch at most, you know how relieving it is to have something protect the front of your machine so that you don’t damage it — especially if it’s a sporty vehicle you’d like to keep in pristine condition. As such, heavy-duty front and rear bumpers are another prime accessory to sell — especially to those customers who take their vehicles into wooded or rocky areas or even just use and abuse them at work.
Sometimes, you also have to illustrate the importance of accessories customers cannot see — such as skid plates. If a customer is planning to take an SxS out in the mountains, for example, a skid plate will be crucial to make sure stray rocks, logs or other debris do not tear up the undercarriage. Impress on them what sort of disaster they could face if their vehicles get damaged in the middle of the wilderness.
In the end, another tactic you can use to sell SxS accessories is to utilize customers’ familiarity with driving cars. Cars come standard with everything — roofs, windshields, mirrors, and bumpers — that SxS OEMs and dealers sell as an upgrade. Have customers take a test drive in an SxS with none of the options … and then have them drive around in a fully outfitted model. When they feel the difference and realize how much more comfortable they will be with a roof protecting them from the sun, a windshield blocking the breeze and mirrors to check on their surroundings, it will resonate.
Segway recently released its full catalog of accessories and items, which are now available to order. For more information on Segway Powersports, visit www.segwaypowersports.us.