Web Site Management, Inc., (WSM), a Tempe, Arizona, based Internet development company, recently introduced a new Marine parts and accessories e-commerce store for boat dealers in association with Marine One, a national network of independent marine distributors.
Don Magary, WSM president, said, "Looking at most bolt-on online parts and accessory stores, boat dealers have no control over the products in the store, no control over the pricing, and frankly they make very little profit from products sold on their web sites.
"We wanted to take a fresh approach and develop a program that would benefit the dealer. By that I mean offering them a program that would let them control pricing and make the full mark up on products sold. Not only that, but also allow the dealer to include in their online store, products they sold in their physical store but not available in the standard online catalog."
Magary met with MarineOne President Mike Keller (Keller Marine) and Kit Rehm, president of Marine 1One LLC, to explore creating an alliance to develop the concept. Rehm said, "When we heard Web Site Management's idea, I said that's exactly what our dealers have been asking for."
MarineOne is a marketing group selling under the BoatSmart® trade name designed to give dealers a popular line of products at discount prices, a full color catalog, point-of-sale merchandising aids and an optional BoatSmart® on line presence.
Rehm acknowledged the original online program had not met expectations for the MarineOne partnership nor for participating dealers. He said, "Our dealers wanted more. They wanted to offer more products than were available through the BoatSmart program, have some control over pricing, be able to sell items they carry in the store but not available through the MarineOne network and promote the sale of new and used boats and
"So we were delighted to hear Web Site Management's plan and decided to work with them through an informal strategic partnership."
According to Magary, WSM is a pioneer in developing the total package concept for dealers. In 1995 WSM developed RV America Online (www.rvamerica.com), one of the most successful portal sites in that industry. When RV America was eventually sold to Trader Publishing Co. (Dominion Enterprises) in 2005, WSM hosted nearly 200 RV dealer web sites and had developed more than ten additional portal sites such as rv-dealers.com, firstrv.com, rvmanufacturers.com, rv-rentals.net, rvaccessories.net, rv-classifiedads.com all designed to drive traffic to their clients sites.
"Our philosophy has always been that we had to do more for our customers than simply build them a web site and provide hosting services," Magary explained. "If these dealers were going to be successful on the Internet, they needed visitors who were interested in buying the products and services they sold. It worked in the RV industry and it will work in the boat industry as well."
Magary added that the program is much more than an enhanced e-commerce parts and accessories store. Yes, the online store now has over 15,000 items opposed to only 1,500 in the original BoatSmart program. Our program allows dealers to identify specials, set prices, include additional items in their store and make full markup on items sold on their web sites. He said, "It's a total Internet strategy for the entire dealership, not just parts and accessories."
The WSM program is designed to promote traffic to the dealer site and give wide exposure to their new and used boat products through a series of marine portal sites such as Marine1Online, BoatSmart Online, and Marine Industry News Online.
"This is not only a total package concept for boat dealers, it is also very flexible," Magary said. "It works whether the dealer is hosted with WSM (see Coast Chandlery Marine) or if they have their web sites hosted with other providers (see Cope Marine). The program is also available to all BoatSmart program dealer or those who or not. The difference is that only BoatSmart dealers will be listed on the BoatSmart web site and the BoatSmart products lines will only show on BoatSmart dealer sites.
"We're excited about the program and believe it will enhance any boat dealer's Internet effectiveness."
For more information contact Susan White (404-969-4664) 39