Delivery or curb-side pickup?

While most of us would never buy a motorcycle without seeing it in person, plenty of people are completely turned off by the in-person sales experience. That feeling has only grown stronger since the pandemic changed the way we all shop. Moto Guzzi is banking on the growth in automotive and motorcycle e-commerce, having just announced a new online motorcycle retail platform in the US. 

According to, Piaggio Group has built a US-only e-commerce system for subsidiary Moto Guzzi. This new platform should allow customers to buy motorcycles in their pajamas from the breakfast table. The announcement comes shortly after Piaggio introduced an e-comm platform for Aprilia in March, so the basic framework is already there. On the Aprilia site, you can now purchase a bike the same way you’d buy a new couch: add item to cart, apply promos, enter customer billing and shipping info, and proceed to checkout.  

2021 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber - Left Side

Over the last decade, OEMs have slowly integrated more online sales components into their business models. Today, manufacturer websites commonly offer not just parts and accessory sales, but also demo-ride bookings and early-deposit programs on high-demand models. Allowing customers to buy motorcycles online is a logical next step.  

The pandemic has turned many of us into online shopping experts comfortable with making big-ticket home purchases online, so why shouldn’t this work with motorcycles? Sure, not too many people will put down $22k on an MGX-21 without at least sitting on it, but Piaggio is banking on web-savvy customers to click “add to cart” on, say, a V7.  

Local dealerships will be involved in the process, ensuring the brick-and-mortar business owners aren’t completely cannibalized by their own brand. It isn’t clear, however, at which point in the sales process the baton is passed over to the dealer. Might the dealership of the future offer curb-side pickup unrelated to the in-person shopping experience? Will e-comm bring less people in the dealership, or will online shopping equate to more total units going out the door?


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