To adapt to a changing industry, Elka Suspension, a manufacturing company in Boucherville, collaborated with Exo B2B to transform its business model and embrace the digital age. The results went beyond Elka’s expectations and the numbers speak for themselves. In less than four months after the transformation, the investment already proved to be very profitable!
Elka Suspension was founded in 2000, with the mission to provide the fans of off-road motorized sports vehicles (ATV) the ultimate driving experience with shock absorbers already adapted and calibrated to the geometry of their vehicle. Not too long ago, their non-transactional WordPress was generating less than 5% of their monthly sales of high quality suspensions for snowmobiles and quads. Three-quarters of orders came from the United States, where the major market trends come from.
Elka also had a more traditional distribution network, through which distributors would order products to be sold in store by dealers. On Elka’s previous website, you could ask for a price quote by filling out an online form. However, following the financial crisis in 2008, the industry was severely affected and transformed. Numerous retailers had to close their doors, while some distributors consolidated their forces to take greater control of the market, increasing their margins and even going as far as producing their own line of performance pieces.
Facing this new paradigm, Elka was one of the first manufacturers to react and adapt to the trend. Especially since their products are customized for each order and are not stockable, there is little interest in continuing to go through several channels. Elka therefore took the strategic decision to better meet the needs of end customers through e-commerce. However, with no marketing team in place to face such challenges, Elka decided to call on Exo B2B to assist in the development and implementation of an effective strategy.
Analyzing the sales process highlighted several weaknesses. Elka realized with this analysis that their conversion rate was oscillating between 5% and 18%, which is more than disappointing. A very high volume of customers would not complete the sales process. The close collaboration between Exo B2B and Elka also highlighted the weaknesses of the old website and helped identify the bottlenecks (speed, page display time, etc.).
So, rather than just showing their product line, Elka opted for a B2B2C web strategy. The new ecommerce website would educate the consumers and guide them to the product they really need, inform them on the availability of the product, and ultimately get them to make a purchase online. By talking directly to the consumer, Elka would then convey the right message.
Online sales now represent 30% to 40% of their total monthly sales. Elka has fully leveraged its investment in less than four months. Even their retail sales and profit margins went up as a consequence, while seasonality stabilized across their market segments.
On the other hand, Elka’s sales network is still in place, but it has improved. Some retailers use the site to guide their own customers in the purchase process. The site has become an educational tool to generate sales in stores. Retailers have even asked to be able to buy directly on the site themselves as the process is simple.
Elka’s new site is under WooCommerce, a WordPress ecommerce solution, and offered in three languages. A separate site is especially adapted to its main markets: Canada, the United States and, in a pilot project, France. As a result of this digital shift, Elka now has better control over its sales network, as well as the image of its company, in addition to pushing its turnover to new heights.
To find out how the developed strategies have brought this company to new heights and to get all the details, download our case study here.
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