Garmin is known for its talent in building a wide range of navigation devices, for purposes from driving to fishing to flying to hiking. But its aptitude for direction-giving starts to weaken when it comes to pre-purchase research on the company website.
I was doing some research recently into GPS solutions for flying as my father is training for his sport pilot license in pursuit of piloting his new powered parachute. Surfing around Garmin’s site, I was surprised to see the lack of support it provides for making a shopping decision. It’s not easy to pick the right device — in the automotive category alone, there are at least 31 different GPS devices from which to choose.
Although not unique in its lapse, I believe this sort of marketing shortcoming is entirely inexcusable. The most advanced shopping feature is a side-by-side comparison tool. How about a product advisor that asks questions about how I’m going to use my GPS or what features are important and then recommends the best options?
I understand that Garmin does not retail its own products, but that shouldn’t keep it from helping me select the perfect product from its lineup at Garmin.com so I can go buy it at a nearby electronics store.
After all, who should be more helpful and knowledgeable regarding a product line than the company who designs and builds it? No doubt everyone in their marketing department could help me pick the right product if I met them over a beer at a local bar. But they can’t help me on their own company website?
This is a missed pre-sales opportunity, without a doubt. If I get to this site, I am already interested in Garmin’s products. Garmin needs to seize this opportunity and make sure that I find the right product from its lineup. Scaring me with a massive grid of options is as likely to send me clicking to a competitor as it is to present the best choice.
Keep the shopping simple. Don’t miss an opportunity to educate the customer on why they should by your product. 3 is better than 30 when it comes to encouraging the customer to make a decision and purchase.