Suzuki Goes All Out on the Web

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Making The Purchase of a Suzuki Product Easier Than Ever

Let’s face it, selling any product or service is becoming increasingly difficult. Getting people to make larger purchases is a challenge and traditional splash_optmedia is changing as people skip over television commercials with PVRs. The challenge for Suzuki Canada was to embrace technology and offer customers a wealth of information online. PRN caught up with Ian McKinstray, National Advertising Manager of Suzuki Canada who was eager show us all of the features, information and innovations that have been included in the new www.suzuki.ca.

“The launch of our new website has been a large undertaking for Suzuki Canada,” says McKinstray. “It was a long development process, but the end result is something we feel is a vastly improved visual and information experience for the consumer.”

As McKinstray pointed out, the old site was antiquated and the company needed a new site that showcased their product line and the company. “The format was a win-win for everyone and the ability to showcase the products in this detail has never been available before,” says McKinstray. “Our new content management system allows us to easily make daily updates and keep the content as up to date as possible.”

“The power and reach of the internet is undeniable. It is documented that 75% of all Canadians have high speed internet access,” he continued, “any purchases over $50, consumers check it out thoroughly online first. Couple that with our advertising budget constraints, and we looked to online to augment our print and attract consumers to dealers and optimize our brand reach.”

- Ian McKinstray, National Advertising Manager of Suzuki Canada

The mission of Suzuki Canada was to make the site more intuitive. “Most sites out there assume you know everything about the products alreadym,” McKinstray points out. “We try to draw in all riders and would-be riders who show interest. Form there the site engages them in many different ways from simple, function items all the way to hardcore technical information for the seasoned riders.”

Potential customers can search bikes for some unconventional criteria as well. There are tabs in the products section that list the bikes with: low seat, large fuel tank and weights because purchases aren’t always about displacement and horsepower. From there it will narrow the search based on criteria since Suzuki’s lineup is just that expansive. The site offers more functionality than ever before and an expansive gallery includes high resolution photos. The largest photos are 1600x1200 should users want to print them or set them as a desktop.

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Beyond the main site, Suzuki rolled up their sleeves when it came to the flagship models and created micro-sites. The micro sites are linked to the main page but are all about one specific bike such as the B-King, Gladius, Burgman Scooters and the legendary GSXR1000. These sites integrate the same functionality but are all geared towards users who know what they are after but want to know everything about the specific model. The GSXR1000 site for example will soon have the complete history of the bike, photos dating back to the 1980s and profiles of all of the noted riders who pushed the S-badge to new heights. It is evident that Suzuki Canada has put in an extensive amount of work in offering a wealth of information and imagery not available before.

Back on the main site McKinstray is excited about the future potential of the site as an information tool. “We have updates everyday under the ‘Racing’ tab,” says McKinstray. “All of the events we are involved in including the Parts Canada Superbike Championship, CMRC, AMA, World Superbike, and Moto GP. Plus we have every single major Canadian event marked on our online calendar. It keeps the consumers up to date on our motorsports efforts yet the site offers practical functionality news on the bikes as well. The updates effectively get information out there that many people might not know about even after researching online.”

As McKinstray announced the site traffic has gone up dramatically. They refer to it in many of their TV and print ads to keep it on the forefront of their online push. Using the web itself enables McKinstray to establish more about his clientele. “I can track how many visitors arrive weekly and monthly, how many are first timers, or multiple visits, how long they are on the site and what they look at while there,” says McKinstray. ”It helps the tailoring of the product line and special promotions because Suzuki Canada identifies where they are coming from and where they navigate afterwards. For the most part they stick around five times more often than average websites.”

GRD_E19_R_optWhen I asked if the traffic corresponds with sales, McKinstray says it is too early to tell but the interest is there, especially in sport bikes. “The GSXR is still our best seller, the 600 more specifically with the 750 and 1000 close behind.” However, a review of the site shows that they have given the same attention to their other products. “Sure, we have flagship bikes like the GSXR1000s selling many 600s, that is why we back the bike so well. The GSX-R name is synonymous with winning and winning translates into sales.”

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