INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Dealer Expo announced that it is building an online marketplace that will extend the buying and selling experience beyond the three days of The Big Show.
The marketplace, called Shop The Floor, is set to launch around mid-year. It will allow qualified franchised and nonfranchised dealers to browse virtual showrooms set up by Dealer Expo exhibitors and then search by show, brand, lifestyle and product category.
"Shop The Floor is designed to add value to Dealer Expo by offering an extended window of buying and selling for the powersports community and facilitate the conversation before, during and after the show," said Alison Lombardo, vice president of marketing at Advanstar Communications, parent of Dealer Expo and Dealernews.
Shop The Floor is already a live, working online marketplace for Advanstar's Fashion business group, which includes the MAGIC exposition in Las Vegas.
Dealer Expo exhibitors will receive a customized brand profile and private showroom page to merchandise with products, descriptions and the lifestyle their brand represents. "It's a really simple, self-service process for our customers," said Lombardo. "It takes less than 30 minutes to upload all of your materials. We build the page, and exhibitors just have to merchandise it."
These “branded showroom” pages will be accessed only by registered and credentialed dealers. Exhibitors would not have access to each other’s showrooms, according to Lombardo. Exhibitors would have the opportunity to modify their showroom pages in line with seasonal shifts, she added.
Dealers will be able to browse the online showrooms, build “favorites” lists, and then compile order sheets and send them to manufacturers before, during and after Dealer Expo.
Only franchised dealers and nonfranchised retailers, PG&A stores and service shops who have gone through the Dealer Expo registration process would be able to access Shop The Floor; this ensures that only qualified buyers are accessing the showroom information, said Lombardo.
"Shop The Floor has default private access for registered and credentialed buyers only," she explained. "Advanstar has regular engagement with tens of thousands of qualified dealer [personnel] who have registered for or attended Dealer Expo, and every one of them goes through a rigorous qualification process to ensure and update their retailing status. Only these individuals [will be[ given member login access to the site, offering [exhibitors] confidence that only the most qualified and credentialed buyers can see their products."
As Dealer Expo 2014 gets closer, registered dealers will be able to access robust floorplans and other materials to enhance and organize their show site experience, she said.
Show-goers this weekend can view a demo of Shop The Floor in the Business Services Marketplace.