Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 14

FABRICATORS WEIGH IN ON WHAT'S BETTER: ONLINE, ON-SITE OR BOTH?
by Michelle Miron
hether it's online or brick and mortar, a well-conceived
product showroom can make a substantial difference
in how customers perceive your company and its
offerings. Strategic improvements in both can help
your clients better understand their choices and smooth
your way toward easier, more profi table orders.
Location, location, location
When Greg Keeler first rented downtown
space for his marine fabrication
business, Oyster Creek Canvas Co. in
Bellingham, Wash., he didn't foresee that
the location would be so perfect for a
customer showroom.
Twenty-one years later, the harborside
spot has proven ideal for attracting
locals, tourists and clients. Oyster Creek
has become so well-recognized that it
does a brisk trade in scrap-fabric hoodies,
shirts and tote bags featuring the
company logo with the town name.
Keeler, who now owns the building,
has upgraded his showroom with new
windows, new displays and other features
that make it a welcoming spot to visit.
" It's not like people don't make special
trips here to choose boat materials, but
we're also in the heart of a vibrant downtown
area where people see the shop as
unique, " Keeler explains.
Where to invest time and money?
Visible location or not, these days
fabricators may be uncertain about how
many resources they should devote to their
brick-and-mortar customer showrooms,
given pandemic concerns and that material
choices can technically be made online.
When well-designed and fi lled with both
photos and helpful information, online
showrooms can be enormously helpful
for showing customers your capabilities
and range of products. Further, with the
ongoing uncertainty of COVID, many
consumers appreciate the general safety
and convenience of remote shopping.
That said, a website may be a poor substitute
for a comfortable, service-oriented
space that encourages customers to be
hands-on in comparing fabrics, colors,
shapes and designs before making their
fi nal investments. On-site showrooms
can also help customers understand how
materials will look and feel in real life.
14 Marine Fabricator | January/February 2022

Marine Fabricator January/February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Marine Fabricator January/February 2022

Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - Cover1
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - Cover2
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 1
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 2
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 3
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 4
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 5
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 6
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 7
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 8
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 9
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Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 13
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 14
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Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 46
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 47
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - 48
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - Cover3
Marine Fabricator January/February 2022 - Cover4
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