Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, Tom Cruise in Top Gun, Steve McQueen in, well just about anything, was there a certain film, celebrity, or moment that triggered your lust to swap four wheels for two? For our MD Dave, it was none of those things, it was actually because in a previous life he owned a motorcycle accessory brand. Selling motorcycle goods and not being able to actually ride a motorcycle don’t tend to mix, hence Dave taking the plunge to taking his CBT and transforming his love for four wheels into two.
Sally, our HR Manager and other half to Dave naturally started coming along for the ride, or as now calls them ‘bimbles’. After a while, Sally started looking into a motorcycle of her own, so that the pair can enjoy riding together and make awesome memories along the way. This naturally sparked the search for a 125cc motorcycle which fitted the pair’s needs and wants.
Below is an account from Dave and Sally documenting their entire journey, from initial search to ordering entirely online, with the aim to find out whether bike and car dealers are actually ready for the new ways in which potential customers purchase their next vehicle.
Let’s dive straight into it, and first we head to Dave and Sally’s research phase. The criteria was pretty straightforward:
Thankfully, Dave is pretty clued up when it comes to motorcycles, owning a stunning Triumph Speedmaster and a BMW 1200GS, so he knew that a cruiser or bobber style motorcycle would be best suited for Sally thanks to the low seating position.
This was it – the hunt was on!
The first Google search was as broad as possible ‘Best 125 cruiser Motorcycles 2021’ – the key for searchers here is the date, as whilst there might be a host of information regarding previous 125 cruiser motorcycles, adding 2021 ensures the bikes shown are available to purchase right now (hopefully, anyway).
Now anyone who knows the slightest thing about motorcycles will recognise brands like Honda, Suzuki, Triumph or BMW, but these four plucky 125s are all made by far lesser known brands, meaning the duo’s next task was to find out how their credibility is and whether the bikes are actually well made.
You can tell a lot about a business just from a few clicks online, and UM Motorcycles’ global website was (and still is) completely broken – making it almost impossible to navigate and find out more information on the Renegade. Not exactly the start they were hoping for! Next they tried a little more local, searching for UM Motorcycles UK, and were presented with a Google My Business listing. So far, so good.
But – they hit a problem, the listing has a ‘Shop Now’ button – but the link leads to a domain holding site that has nothing to do with UM Motorcycles – maybe it’s time to strike UM off the list?!
Okay – lets regroup and go again, they still have three more motorcycles to choose from and two brands to learn a little more about.
The pair then gave Sinnis Motorcycles a try – and what they found was mightily impressive. A quick Google search of ‘Sinnis Motorcycles’ and a click on the ad lead them to a slick looking landing page with a huge amount of information and content. The site also had plenty of reviews, as well as news on the latest models for 2021 too. Before they got too carried away though, Dave wanted to check the other option, Keeway Motorcycles. Here’s his account of the findings:
So Dave and Sally now have some pretty good options – so they head to Youtube to find out some more real reviews and information about the Keeway and Sinnis. Searching for ‘2021 Sinnis Hoodlum Review’, the first review is from an influencer team Dave recognised (Mr Darcy & the Ol’ Man) so click that. Very reassuring!
The second review is from Bikematters (another name Dave is familiar with), those two are the cornerstone reviews for him, but checks out four or five others to make sure!
They then go back to Youtube and search for “2021 Keeway K Light” and it’s the same process. Look for trusted sources first for the main view and then follow up with others. Same with the “Keeway Superlight”.
BUT… A last minute contender landed on the scene.
The Hyosung Aquila.
Dave found it by chance and returned fantastic reviews, so it looks like a very worthy option. They quickly found a dealer located in Western Super Mare that stocked Hyosung Motorcycles, so the next morning they made the 2 ½ hour trip to the showroom, Sally was giddy with excitement.
Only to find the showroom was closed to the public, and was only open for people collecting new bikes. The pair checked their GMB listing whilst outside the showroom to find no mention of the changes in opening hours – slightly annoying! Emailed them anyway with a few questions but still no answer.
Sally decided to check back the dealer website again as it says delivery is £10 and finance is available with Santander finance. Their website made it look like purchases can be made online but when you get to the checkout it says payment can’t be accepted.
At this point, Sally is getting fed up and questioning if she wants the Hyosung or any bike at all…
So what have we learnt so far?
We feel this article needs to be split into two parts, as frankly the process has been rather a long winded one. The duo spent plenty of time researching the pros and cons of each motorcycle, but when it actually came to moving a little further down the customer journey funnel the process came tedious and exhausting. This is mainly because of poor online presence, which left Dave and Sally searching for competitor brands, or sticking it out and not finding what they were looking for.
Whilst you can most definitely purchase a motorcycle entirely online, the research phase lends itself perfectly to web, social media and mobile marketing, where larger brands have the ability to deal with online enquiries with ease. Smaller brands however struggle with this, and rely heavily on customers actually taking the time to visit the showroom. Many people still do this, particularly with motorcycles as it has always had a club mentality, meaning you’d spend a sunny Saturday morning there with your friends talking bikes. This works for existing customers, but for the new ones who have no idea you exist and may be travelling some distance to get there, without a strong online presence this makes it impossible for people to fully believe and gain confidence in the business.
Stay tuned for part two coming soon!
Elliot is our resident tech-lover and petrolhead, who is in charge of spreading AdFeeder to the masses! Having previously worked with brands such as Porsche and BMW, Elliot specialises in content creation and social media.