As part of its continued efforts to better market and sell products in North America, Miura Golf has introduced a direct-to-consumer platform, where consumers can build and purchase iron sets, wedges, and putters via its website.
The online menu includes Miura’s core equipment offerings and a limited selection of set make-ups, shaft choices, finishes, and grips. Online prices are the same as what golfers will find at any brick and mortar Miura dealer.
Miura’s President, Hoyt McGarity, says the move is a necessary evolution of the brand and a more efficient way to drive sales and create a more comprehensive customer experience, though the move is sure to rankle some Miura enthusiasts for whom exclusivity is a large part of Miura’s appeal.
The platform also gives Miura better positioning to deal with what McGarity defines as “third-party sites which sell grey-market goods across borders” which can be difficult to control. The best example of such is TourSpec Golf, which has essentially monopolized control over the e-commerce arm of Japanese equipment.
McGarity stated that roughly 100,000 people visit Miura’s website each month and before this endeavor, Miura had no way to monetize this. Admittedly, the website was at best a de facto landing page with little more than basic information on the Miura brand and equipment.
“Consumers are going to continue to see changes and improvements with the site over the next 2-3 months,” said McGarity. Part of competing against larger brands in the current market necessitates some type of e-commerce platform, which helps support a dealer network, rather than undercutting it.
McGarity said several dealers, though initially skeptical, have seen a slight uptick in business since the launch. Because the website doesn’t offer a price break, some consumers have elected to build a set online, but find a local dealer to confirm the decision and end up purchasing the product through the dealer.
What remains to be seen is how this endeavor impacts each component of the distribution system long term.
Will consumers, who otherwise would have purchased through a dealer, elect to go the online route (which would be a net loss to dealers) – or is Miura able to snag some sales simply because there’s now an e-commerce option (which would be a win for Miura in general, but not necessarily dealer outlets)?
Or, is it there a scenario where everyone wins?