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Understanding Your Dealership’s Prospects | The Statistics on Buying Decisions

Understanding Your Dealership’s Prospects | The Statistics on Buying Decisions

Have you ever wondered why your dealership’s prospects choose to buy one product over another? We all know there are lots of factors that can affect purchasing – emotional factors as well as the facts themselves. In today’s world where everything is about your customer, it would really help to know what draws them toward your dealership, your trucks or your construction equipment when they’re making buying decisions.

linchpin graphic dealership's prospectsAn organization called BigCommerce recently analyzed a variety of eCommerce websites to gain greater insight into what drives customer behavior. Now, before you say to yourself that has nothing to do with our dealership, we don’t do online sales, let’s consider the bigger picture.

You do, indeed, have a website that is a linchpin of your sales and marketing. If you’re thinking innovatively, your website may enable customers to interact with you by arranging rental equipment, scheduling maintenance appointments, buying parts and so on. That’s online sales. And you do communicate with your dealership’s prospects and customers in many web-based ways, via email and social media.

So what if you don’t sell shoes or camping gear online? There’s a lot for dealership marketers to learn from this study.

Product quality is number one.

quality product and customer service | your dealership's prospectsQuality is the foremost factor in making a purchasing decision, for 56% of people. Of the top ten factors, six more suggest opportunities to improve your website to attract prospects and enhance their shopping (information-gathering) experience:

  • Customer reviews available via the website.
  • Visual search – pictures attract instant interest and say more at-a-glance than text.
  • Great navigation.
  • Multiple options – making it easy for website visitors to understand all the ways they can customize their truck or construction equipment, how they can instantly access extended insurance coverage for their machines, etc.
  • Special size – making it easy to compare various models of trucks, skid steers, etc.
  • New products.

What can you learn from in-store preferences?

Competitive pricing is the most important factor for 80% of people shopping in a store. You could safely assume that’s true wherever they are. What else matters?

  • Delivery speed – UPS won’t deliver their tractor or excavator to their door, but your dealership’s prospects do want to know how long it will take to get the equipment they’re ordering. If you aren’t competitive here, you could lose the sale.
  • PEER Strategy | Retain | Customer Loyalty | Loyalty BoundLoyalty rewards – you do have a meaningful program in place, don’t you?
  • Online reviews – while it’s unlikely your in-person prospects will be checking their smartphone for online reviews, you’d be smart to print quotes from reviews and post them in your showroom, at your service shop desk and waiting room. Show your sense of humor and post one on the bathroom wall.
  • How-tos and demos – short videos are pure gold when they’re linked to your website, blog articles, social media posts, etc., but having a monitor with useful videos available in-store is a great way to sell – or upsell – customers. 90% of people watch videos about technical products they’re considering purchasing.
  • Social advice – you can bet your dealership’s prospects are taking into consideration comments from their fellow drivers, operators, fleet managers and business owners. 81% of people say posts from friends directly influence their decision to buy.

And what about social media?

When you’re creating branded content to post on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., consider these statistics that speak to prospect engagement:

PEER Strategy | Evolve | Social Media | Loyalty Bound

          • 44% of people gravitate to posts that include pictures.
          • 40% gravitate to posts that include status updates.
          • 37% gravitate to posts that include videos.

So what did we learn from this? Your website – your “online store” – has to underscore the quality of your products and your dealership. It has to be easy to use and present information that has “choice” written all over it. And it has to include lots of visuals. Those are the factors most likely to increase your sales.

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