UPDATED - Briggs & Stratton's Snapper and Simplicity brands will begin selling certain lawnmower parts online to consumers. Briggs is citing increased demand from some consumers to shop for parts online, as opposed to the more traditional visit to an independently owned servicing dealership.
“Briggs & Stratton wants to assure that its consumers who prefer to shop online have access to original branded equipment parts for their Simplicity and Snapper products,” says Troy Blewett, director of dealer channel marketing for Briggs & Stratton.
Select parts will be available on both the Snapper and Simplicity websites starting July 17, 2013.
According to a memo to dealers from a Briggs representative, each website will provide the opportunity for consumers to find their nearest dealer, along with an online option to purchase OEM parts. The dealer locator search function will assure that consumers understand that they have a local dealer for all of their parts and service needs, the memo states.
“Briggs & Stratton continues to make every effort to drive consumers into its dealers’ brick and mortar stores,” says Blewett. “On each page of the online shopping module, a dealer locator is prominently displayed. In fact, it is our plan to use this selling tool to increase brand awareness thereby driving more footsteps into our dealerships.”
Generally speaking, dealers are not happy as they will likely lose some parts business; consumers already expressing a desire to buy parts online will forego the locate-a-dealer option.
Many dealers already have robust online parts selling capability, but many do not. Briggs assures there is faith in dealers to meet demand and tools made available to support their individual online sales efforts.
“We have great faith in our dealers’ abilities to sell our end products and our OEM parts in their local markets. Not all dealers, however, engage in online selling,” explains Blewett. “Additionally, for our dealers who are selling parts online (or who would like to start), Briggs & Stratton offers a variety of online tools they can use to increase their local search capabilities and drive more consumers to their own websites. In fact, our branded websites link directly to those of our dealers.”
Some suppliers, such as Toro and Rotary (aftermarket parts), do sell parts to consumers online, but filter sales through the appropriate dealers.
The Briggs memo also stated that it's important for the company to provide customers with the original branded equipment parts for trusted brands such as Snapper and Simplicity. Thus, an option to buy online is necessary. The company says dealers will maintain the most competitive pricing on parts.
“Prices are full list plus freight charges and tax where required,” says Blewett. “Dealers will always be more competitive in terms of price. Again, our goal is to provide an avenue for original equipment parts sales for online consumers.”