iPhone 5 – Do you want the box?

Apple is releasing the iPhone 5 today and I’m sure lots of you are dying to get your hands on one. Maybe some of you even camped out last night to be the first of your friends to have the latest and greatest edition!

Lots of our customers are diehard Apple fans and I own several Apple products myself. I remember when I bought my first iPod (a mini) and the mind-blowing impression I had when I opened the box. I thought, Wow! Someone really put some thought into this presentation. Apple had it nailed; they understood that the user experience started well before you plugged it in.

I still have that box and the impression it made in my mind and even though the mini has been replaced by a nano and the technology is now “ancient”, that box is still in my closet. Sound familiar?

But who likes paying extra for fancy packaging?

Do you want your performance mods presented with the same sort of over the top presentation that Apple offers? Initially the answer seems like an easy yes, but before you make any hasty decisions, let’s looks at the facts.

First, let’s do some math using some highly debatable internet factoids. Let’s say 79% of people living in the US own a mobile phone, 46.9% are smartphone users and Apple has 34% of smartphone marketshare. So let’s see, that’s 311,591,917 people, 246,157,614 total mobile phone users, 115,447,921 smartphone users, of which 39,252,293 are iPhone users…in the US alone! The cost of the packaging they use is probably minimal with that sort of volume.

Now let’s scale that in terms of Mazda which represents 1-2% of automobile sales with a fraction of owners ever actually modifying their car. A big hit for a Mazda performance part may sell a few thousand units. The cost of that iPhone packaging suddenly becomes massively expensive to do it for a part that sells 5000 units. It may amount to $25-$50 or more.

Parts on your car, fancy boxes in your closet

Now let’s say we are set to release a short shifter kit for the Mazda 2 (hint). We could sell it for $50 in a plain brown box that makes sure the kit arrives to your house safely or we could design some fancy packaging to box it up in and ship to you. Let’s say that fancy packaging bumps the retail to $60. Is this worth it to you? Elaborate, custom packaging can easily add 10-20% to the retail price of a part when you consider the type of volume that can reasonably be expected to sell of a typical of Mazda performance part.

If you were to buy $1000 in parts per year, this could mean an extra $100 you would spend on the boxes your parts come in instead of parts to for your car!

So… do you want your Mazda performance parts in expensive, showy packaging or do you want more money in your pocket for parts?

Let us know what you think!

P.S. We happen to have some products that are presented pretty well (not iPhone well though). We sell enough of those specific parts to bring the cost of the packaging down so it doesn’t substantially affect the price of our products.