Click For Orders
As the Internet was beginning to flourish, many of us were under the impression that the dot coms would steal all of our brick and mortar sales. Those who saw the Internet as a new marketing tool and worked to develop their own virtual identity did well and continue to do so.
Most dealers are now web savvy, and if you aren’t, it’s time to get with the program.
Providing information via the Internet about not only the products you sell but about your brand as a dealership is crucial.
Developing a site isn’t a one and done proposition; you should update the site frequently enough to keep your regular customers clicking on your URL and new customers intrigued enough to make the pilgrimage to your brick and mortar shop.
It’s also important to have everyone who interacts with customers in your store know exactly what’s on your site today. I hate it when I call a shop regarding something I’ve seen on their site, only to find the employee hasn’t a clue what I’m talking about.
More than just a window into your world, the Internet is an amazing asset for your store. How much easier is it for parts and service to find critical information quickly and easily using a search engine?
Today’s customer needs a quick response, and the Internet helps you provide it. And yes, there are websites offering bargain-basement pricing. If that price shopper walks into your store demanding a bargain and doesn’t care about the benefits you offer at a fair price, ask him to update you on the service provided by his Internet outlet, better yet call him and ask — he’ll be your customer sooner than later.
Technophobe Logs In
While I’m admittedly not exactly Mr. Internet, in the past ten years, I have picked up a few things here and there, and one of them is the notion that if you want to succeed as a dealer or manufacturer in this industry, you better have a website and a good one at that!
I can count the number of purchases I have made over the Internet on one hand, but don’t for one moment think that I don’t use the Internet to research whatever I am interested in (like 70 percent of shoppers nationwide). Whether it’s a new or used motorcycle, or a pair of sunglasses, I want to compare the features and benefits of the products I’m about to see. And before I make the drive to a dealership to check it out, I always like to see the dealer’s website to check out the inventory or perhaps just to see what the place may look like. If the site looks bad or it’s not very well done, I assume, right or wrong, that they don’t really know what they are doing in business. Wouldn’t you agree? How many of you dealers have looked up a manufacturers website and come up with nothing, or seen a poorly designed website and thought to yourself, “I’m not sure if I want to do business with these guys?” Are your customers having those thoughts about you, or are they having them about your competitors? I don’t believe the Internet or your website will sell units for you; that’s what trained salespeople are for. But I do think it is one of the best tools to get people in front of your salespeople — and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Take it from the motorcycle guy who would much rather shop brick and mortar than click and order, it’s still definitely worth the time and effort to make sure you are taking advantage of the Internet; it is probably here to stay!