Service Providers

Under the Web-influence

It’s dangerous to shop and drive, but with smartphones, tablets, laptops with Wi-Fi and home and work computers, your customers can start the shopping process anywhere, even in their car. When they want to make a purchase, many of your customers will leave their computer to drive to your dealership.

Just consider a recent Forrester study that shows online consumers are transitioning from the global Web-based sale to “Web-influenced” sales — sales in local dealerships that are generated through online marketing and customer research.

According to the study, a majority of customers (51 percent) want to buy in their local store because they want the product now. They don’t want to wait for it to arrive in the mail. The second highest reason people shop at their local store (42 percent) is because they want to see the product in person before purchasing.

The trend is growing. Web-influenced sales are estimated to grow to five times the size of ecommerce sales by 2015, at which time they will represent nearly 44 percent of total retail sales.

Web-influence your customers

The most important step is to build a website with complete and accurate product information. Instead of traveling all over, asking friends, subscribing to consumer reports and paging through catalogs, a few clicks on a well-designed website yield all the information your customer needs to know about your product.

A website — stocked with pre-loaded catalogs, highlighting your sales and promotions and showing an accurate online representation of your dealership — provides the perfect place for your customers to research your products. Online research will lead many customers to ask, “Do you have this in stock?”

If you are not providing in-store availability on your website, a big chunk of your customers might be driving to another store. In fact, 88 percent of customers who research online and intend to buy in the store want to see inventory availability (Web/Store Cross-Channel Shopping Study, Krillion & E-Tailing Group). When you show inventory levels on your website, you give customers confidence that the product they want will be on your shelves or in your showroom.

When customers get to your dealership

A knowledgeable salesperson could be the difference between foot traffic that leads to sales and foot traffic that leads to a customer walking out empty handed.

Forty-five percent of Web-influenced customers will spend more on purchases they didn’t know they needed or wanted; on average they will spend $154 more than they had planned. A good sales person helps your customers find everything they want and need, and that means up-sales for you.

Like all members of the 50 Below team, Ben Borchert wants to help powersports dealers help their customers. Ben uses his skills as a Marketing Analyst and Writer to empower, educate, and advise dealers in the ever changing realm of online marketing. To view more of Ben’s articles visit



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