The migration to online commerce is a phenomenon that has transformed the marketplace over the last decade and has become a permanent fixture in the world of retailing. Like any change, there are disadvantages. Often times, in an effort to offer the widest variety of product choices, it can become a challenge as a buyer to make up your mind which way to go. Most customers, particularly in our world, historically had enough familiarity with their bikes and their preferences to make a sound decision between the OEM brand and maybe two or three options offered at a local dealer. Love it or hate it, we’re not in that world anymore. On the upside, you have tons of options; on the downside, you have TONS of options. So which way do you go? That’s the beauty of our product review section.
Now, the selection, merchandising and presentation of product is what I do. There is a concerted effort on our end to provide our customers with usable data and descriptions to enable an informed decision. On the sales end our technicians and reps work to stay up-to-date with product features and attributes in order to pass that on to you. However, at the end of the day sellers are selling. If you’re like me, you sometimes want a little more information than what a description write-up offers. Moreover, if you’re like me, you place great importance on your fellow riders’ experiences and what their experience has taught them. That’s why product reviews are so vital. If a previous customer thought so much or so little of a product they are moved to place feedback on our website, that’s powerful stuff.
Take mufflers as an example. I put our website search functions to work. I entered the year, make and model of my bike then chose “Exhaust.” The categories under exhaust told me that J&P Cycles has over 300 mufflers to choose from that would fit my bike. Once I clicked on “Mufflers,” the first benefit of customer product reviews comes to light, as the product offerings are sorted by what’s most popular. If you’re partial to another brand, you can choose that brand and again, the mufflers are sorted by popularity. Once I click to look at a particular muffler I can first read the description. I don’t want to minimize descriptions (better not do that, I write them!) they provide the vital basic information, like sizing, finish and design features. I can then verify model by model fitment, review specs and even see the product as it’s featured in the print catalog. I then click on Product Reviews and see that 30 other people took the time to share their experiences. Those reviews are like gold because it’s other riders telling me what I REALLY wanted to know beyond fitment and finish. How do they sound? What shape are they in when they arrive? How do they really look? How was the service before and after the sale? This is the kind of thing I rely on to make the best buying decision.
I want to urge, yet humbly request, you jump into the fray. It couldn’t be easier. You click on “Product Reviews” then on “Write a Product Review.” Full disclosure, we do review every submission. Primarily, we’re concerned about profanity, unproven biased negative comments, irrelevant responses to other reviews, slanderous comments and spam. That is not to say we won’t post a negative review, quite the opposite. A thoughtful and fair negative review can be useful as well. Being a part of the merchandising team I can vouch for the fact that we pay close attention to reviews. If a product is receiving a great deal of support or criticism, it helps drive future strategy when decisions on picking up or discontinuing product are on the table.
An added bonus for those who submit product reviews, and a reason to do so, is each month we randomly select two reviewers to receive a $50 gift card.
So, the next time that J&P Cycles box greets you at the door, you put your new item into service and couldn’t be happier, take a minute to tell us and your brothers and sisters what you think! Your boss or spouse should be as interested in your opinion as we are! Am I right?