SIP Launch New Website with Improved Search | NEWS
BG: Before Google
Years ago I heard about a new web search company that was going to take over from the likes of Yahoo. Tech writers explained that this hungry new company would soon become a household name. They were called Google.
For youngsters who now ‘Google’ for things, it is perhaps difficult to understand that there was once a world before Google. What made the company great was their understanding that finding stuff easily is a primary need of every human. Google understood that it’s not just internet searches people want to find but everything in life: maps, directions and most importantly products you may want to buy.
Just a SIP
SIP Scootershop’s rise has very much matched that of Google, through intelligent management and smart acquisitions they’ve grown to be the clear #1 online shop for classic and modern scooter parts.
SIP is primarily a web-based business but, let’s be frank, their old website let the side down; not just because the design was very dated but because the search function was clunkier than a PX gearchange.
Google would not approve.
We dropped into SIP’s flagship location in Germany where sales manager Stephan (above) showed us around their new window to the world.
What’s new on the website:
- Improved responsive layout designed to work on many different devices and screen layouts.
- Search box now uses ‘filters’ so you can separate the hundreds of results by type (e.g. ‘performance’) or by part manufacturer.
- Improved logical ‘alternative products’ presentation.
- A logged-on user’s shopping kart is remembered from session to session so it is possible to build up an order over several visits before completing the purchase.
- On each product page you can now ask a question; not only to SIP’s technical staff and sales team but also to their online community for rapid responses.
- You can now easily flag errors on listings or the technical description directly to SIP’s staff.
- A new ‘stock alarm’ feature allows you to receive automatic emails when out-of-stock items are available again (as an alternative to putting them on back-order).
- New payment methods are forthcoming (Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung, Amazon, Amex and some regional favourites as well).
If you’re used to Amazon’s website many of these features will be quite familiar, but it makes sense to adopt industry-standard layouts so users immediately feel ‘at home’.
If you are British then patiently queuing to Olympic standard will be second nature. As such your SIP order will arrive when it arrives.
Impatient people – especially anyone who drives an Audi – may require their parts more urgently, particularly if their order was placed over the weekend.
On Monday the SIP team typically have over 1,000 orders to process (it peaked at over 1,500 per day during lockdown) which may take a day or more to catch up with. If you really don’t want to wait, then SIP offers the option to queue-jump your order to the front for a small price and get it shipped ASAP.
Presumably, you have to hope that everyone else doesn’t pay a premium for ‘SIP Speed’ service too or you’ll just end up in that queue.
Finding it simpler
In our testing, it proved much easier to not only locate the parts that we wanted, but also to narrow down the selection to either a specific brand or type of item using the new filter options.
Of course there will be occasions where the system does not use the same terminology for a part as it might be called locally to you. In that case Stephan’s tip is to pick the main part that it attaches to and then use the exploded diagram feature to locate individual features.
As an example: In the case of looking for screws to fasten the front brake disk of an LML Star, we first found the exploded diagram for the LML front disc brake and then in the image you could select the screws and the washers.
This is probably the easiest method for small parts or those with many names.
Having witnessed quite how long it took some rivals to update their web-shops I appreciate what a mammoth task this is to swap to a new system. Customers will no doubt find many holes in the new system and some may even pine for the old one, but people are naturally resistant to change.
I’m pretty certain that once you’ve tried the new SIP Scootershop website a few times you’ll never want to go back to the old one.
Words and video: Sticky
Our online emporium isn’t quite a big as SIP’s – size isn’t everything!