Shelter in Place

New phrases and terminology, like “Shelter in Place” seem to be popping up daily.  On the surface, they seem straight forward, but it’s not that simple. In short, we are seeing many dealers keep busy through their service departments. As the season progresses and customers grow antsier, people are finding ways to connect with dealers and business is moving forward. Service departments and hardware are two classifications that can be considered “essential business” in many areas.

Bottom Line – Get creative on how you connect with customers, transactions are still taking place!

To Advertise or Not?

TRM works with hundreds of dealers across the country which provides us a deep perspective on what is really happening. We are seeing a few critical trends impacting your business.

  • Dealer Website traffic is very high, even for this time of year
  • Engagement (attention level of customers) is also high, based on increased page views, and time spent on websites.
  • CTR (Click Through Rates) in advertising is a key indicator of how serious buyers are.  CTRs have gone from normal levels of around 1% in SEM to over 4% in the past week.
  • Better CTRs = More efficient media spend. That means each dollar you spend becomes more valuable.
  • Many in the industry are dialing back media spending. Because digital media platforms are bid-based, this drives down CPC (cost per clicks) = more bang for each dollar you invest.

Daily Clicks in BLUE, Click Through Rate in RED:

TRM Platform Dealer Traffic Metrics:

In a study comparing dealers on the TRM Platform vs. the same period last year we found:

  • 173.22% Increase in Clicks to site
  • 86.9% Increase in total Website Traffic
  • 468.62% Increase in High Intent On-Page Actions (clicks to call, form fills, direction requests)

Bottom Line – Unless you are shuttering your doors, you need to keep the gas pedal down when it comes to digital marketing.  You have already committed to your inventory, products are selling, and customers are finding you online at a higher rate than ever before.

The Importance of Being Available for Customers

In earlier posts, we have touched on different ways to stay connected during this crazy time. We can’t stress how important this is.

  • Lead Generation and Follow-Up – There are still customers out there, make sure you’re taking care of them
  • Active Outreach – Leverage your customer database, get employees on the phone, and stay connected. You never know when a check-in call might turn into a sale
  • Website Messaging – Advertise that your store is open, let customers know about pickup and delivery services, promotions, and service specials
  • Social Media – Post often, and don’t be afraid to address the situation. Alert customers of any precautionary steps your store is taking to keep them safe.
  • Chat and Video Chat – TRM has a chat tool for our website platform, along with a brand-new video chat option. Reach out to us for more information!

Bottom Line – Customers are shopping and your dealership has to be ready and proactive at making virtual connections. Call them, email them, chat with them, connect via social, but don’t let them leak off to a dealer who is more proactive.

Factory Shut Downs Lead to Supply and Demand Messaging

Less than a month ago most of us were planning for a very robust spring. Sales were tracking well, winter weather was breaking early in most parts of the country, and the economy was rocking. How things have changed! Or have they? The sun is up longer, and the grass is starting to green, you have a pile of inventory and customers are still shopping, just not as often in your store.  One thing changing is production lines across the country are coming to a halt. As strange as it may sound there may be a shortage of some popular products very soon. TRM will start to test messaging supporting this as soon as today and we will watch the results. There is no doubt many commercial and residential customers will have their hearts set on a particular model and the fear of having to settle may drive them to act sooner than later. Couple this with great incentives and low financing and there are sales waiting to be closed!

Bottom Line – Stay open-minded to messaging to secure customers now, even if they can’t get their equipment for another two weeks.  Also, stay tuned to TRM to see how this and other marketing tactics are playing out in the real world.