My job has recently shifted to marketing parts of christmas trees, pools, inflatables and lighting (xmas trees) ect. In total we have roughly 1000 or so parts. The manufacturing company is in China (which is huge) and are major clients are B2B clients like Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart (heavy hitters). To those mega clients, we sell the full products (full above ground and inflatable pools, chrismas trees ect) but not the parts directly (filters, pool liners, christmas lights and bulbs and general replacement parts ect...).
We have done a case study and realized the "parts industry" is a huge untapped market and a potential billion dollar industry over the next 10 years. My bosses are now wanting to market all these 1000 or so parts ONLINE (via an online store) to the B2C (the regular person off the street).
HERE IS MY PROBLEM
Common sense wise, the regular customer off the street will typically only buy 1 replacement part (tops maybe 3) over their lifetime. As I look at this, there will be a huge marketing effort (and cost) to market 1000 or so parts (via an online store) with a target market that typically will not be a volume or "repeat buyer". The logistics to market all of these "parts" will be enormous and very costly....hence [in my opinion] will not get a good ROI for the company - which is my #1 concern.
YOUR SOLUTION, ADVICE AND OPINION?
Would your solution bealter the focus to small to medium size business owners (not the regular customer off the street)because they are more volume type of purchasers and more likely to be "repeat buyers"? For example, should we target small and medium size business owners that own Christmas specialty shops and pool and spa companies instead of the regular "Joe Shmo" customer?
ANOTHER ADDED NUGGET
When we sell our products to the major retailers, we include a warranty notification inside of the product itself. So if the customer has a problem with the product, they call a 1-800# which is here in the US. A strategy (which its in its infancy stage) is to use that first initial contact to solve their problem but also sell "parts" to them on the back end (filters and pool cleaners ect...) and capture that lead and contact. We have not have done so well in maximizing and training the staff to upsell on the back end. Perhaps it is better to focus on selling "these parts" via the major call centers rather than market all these parts online via the online store.
In closing, overall I don't want to take the company down the path of marketing these online parts as it appears to be costly and very time consuming and we won't get a good ROI. Any thoughts overall and any creative ideas to increase these part sales that will give us the more bang for your buck.