The Key to Setting Yourself Apart in the Automotive Industry

Los Angeles is home to almost four million people, but has a little over six million registered vehicles. 

It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest merchants in the automotive industry, Shock Surplus, is based out of Los Angeles County.

“We still haven’t even been able to take full advantage of the sheer volume of automotive vehicles in LA,” says Sean Reyes, Shock Surplus’s founder. 

Sean launched Shock Surplus back in 2014, offering a wide range of shock and suspension parts that allow people to truly customize their vehicles.

A blue Ram vehicle suited with Shock Surplus shocks and suspensions drives through the dirt.
Shock Surplus helps drivers with any of their specialization needs for their vehicles. Shock Surplus

Sean’s previous experience in the tech industry gave him an advantage when it came to creating original video content and showcasing products personally on social media. 

In 2019, Sean started an official Shock Surplus YouTube channel. “I basically recorded 20 videos in the span of 48 hours that have accumulated millions of views,” Sean says. 

“People want to buy from people, not faceless brands.” 

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Their viral success has led the company to reach more than $25 million in revenue annually, and it draws in loyal customers from all over the world. 

Founder Sean Reyes sitting in the driver seat of a car with the window down.
Shock Surplus founder Sean Reyes enjoys regular road trips to national parks and landmarks. Shock Surplus

As an outdoor enthusiast with a background in video game development, the ecommerce space was ideal for Sean. “I could take orders over the internet and be on a ski lift at the same time,” Sean says.

Sean’s viral content not only created buzz around the business, it brought in an engaged community that values and trusts any products they sell. 

“We do everything we can to build trust. Our product is knowledge and experience, so trust is a consequence of the content we make,” Sean says.

One of Shock Surplus’s performance series coilovers and shock sets on a tire.
Shock Surplus includes a video and written instruction set, as well as customer feedback for all of its products. Shock Surplus

Shock Surplus has been able to foster a passionate community through its genuine and personable approach to marketing.

“TikTok and Instagram have been completely saturated with beautiful pictures and crafted imagery, but what isn’t out there [enough] is brands actually delivering value to their audiences in one form or another,” Sean says. 

Tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode to learn how Shock Surplus continues to dominate in the automotive industry while still finding new ways to innovate and educate its customers.