During the holiday season, I’m reminded of walking down the streets of Old Colorado City as a kid. I was enticed by the window displays in each little store. The best stores had exciting displays that did a great job featuring many products, while not overwhelming my senses. It was these windows that drew people into those stores. Other stores had standard signage and basic information like hours of operation. Those were the stores people passed by.
Now, as an adult, I watch my own teenage children do the same thing, but their window is a little computer they carry everywhere they go: their phone. The popularity of mobile “window shopping” has taken the world by storm. The big question for dealers now is what their “window display” looks like in this new online shopping world. Are the newest snowmobiles and ATVs displayed alongside the newest riding gear? Or is the online window one that could easily be passed by?
The fine line between online shoppers and in-store shoppers
Some dealers are concerned the Internet will drive them out of business. The reality is that the web is creating more foot traffic for their stores. The same people who use their phone to read movie reviews, find restaurants and buy music online are actually your customers. Many of them are researching and doing their homework before they step foot into your store.
How can your mobile destination appeal to customers the way that big box retailers do?
Mobile devices are now most people’s primary mode of communication, entertainment and research. In order to harness the power that’s at their fingertips, you have to take as much care with your online destination as you do with your brick-and-mortar store. For the “window shoppers,” the mobile display is equally as important as your physical store’s display.
Ask yourself this question: Have you ever caught yourself staring up at the aisle signs in the grocery store as you try to find what you’re looking for? That can happen online, too. As the owner of a dealership, you want your staff to offer assistance to a customer wandering around confused in your store. Well, when that same customer is on their phone looking at your business, you don’t have the same luxury to step in and offer guidance. Simple, clear functionality is essential for your customers to find what they’re looking for.
What are customers looking to do when they are browsing from their mobile device?
Research shows a lot of consumers use a mobile site to get in contact with a dealer. They want to find your phone number or your address. Are customers able to call you with a click of a button? Can they easily pull up a map? Do they know the hours that you are open?
Visit your store’s website on a mobile device today. If your mobile storefront isn’t enticing, make upgrading your window appeal a number one priority.
Aubrey Amborn is sales manager, powersports, at ARI Network Services, Inc. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage their website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff! Aubrey can be reached at Aubrey.Amborn@arinet.com or 866/724-3714.