Thursday, April 27, 2017

Capturing the Millennial Market: It’s all in the value story you’re telling

Millennials. The great white whale of the motorcycle industry. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that the industry has been feeling a little flat recently - with more and more consumers turning to off-road units, rather than the traditional bike their dad rode. But by 2020, millennial consumers will make up 30% of all retail sales in the US - and we want to make sure that audience is buying motorcycles.1 So how do we attract and engage this slightly finicky bunch of consumers who will soon play a huge part in the US economy?

Play to their interests.

Motorcycles are actually the perfect vehicle for the millennials consumer, even if they don’t know it yet. And here’s why:
  • Millennials are all about their tribe and the experience — particularly on a local level. They are looking for a way to find other like-minded people in their community — why do you think craft breweries and one-location restaurants have become so popular recently? They promote a fun, family friendly environment that allows millennials to support a local business — and riding a motorcycle has those same values at the core of our industry. Make sure to highlight this to potential millennial customers from the beginning and consider having some ways they can get involved right from the initial point of purchase. You could host a first time riders night, have weekly meet-ups at a local brewery for existing customers or host a motorcycle licensing class to help them get started. 
  • When it comes to finances - they are nervous to commit to too much debt. The millennial generation is the product of a recession and the first generation that might not make more than their parents did, which makes them hesitant to take on too much debt. Motorcycles are often less expensive than cars and gives these buyers a way to get around, without tying them down to huge monthly payments. While helping a buyer understand the full purchase price of a unit is important, make sure to highlight how low their possible monthly payment would be to help them see the affordability of their new ride. 
  • They are environmentally conscious - and motorcycles are the original smart car. They are gas friendly and definitely easier on the environment than a huge SUV or even a four-door sedan. Even if they aren’t the millennials primary commuter vehicle, a motorcycle could be a great in-town car that lets them sub-out their regular car on the weekends or in the evenings. Many consumers might not think about the environmental impact of owning a motorcycle as opposed to a traditional car - so make sure to point it out to them. Also - you’re more than welcome to borrow one of our marketing messages - Motorcycles: The Original Smart Car. 
Millennials, despite their quirks, are going to play a huge part in the future of our economy, both within the motorcycle industry and beyond. Test out a couple of these strategies and see how they work for your dealership when it comes to engaging this audience. Millennials can be a brand loyal group, so by playing into their interests, positioning your product in a way that meets their core values and providing them with a positive brand experience, you can gain a lifelong customer.
Trader Online Web Developer

Two New Trader Apps Available for Powersports Dealers and Customers

The Cycle Trader team recently released the Snowmobile Trader and PWC Trader apps to complement our industry-leading sites. Available on iTunes and Google Play, these new powersports apps cater to the 250,000+ monthly consumers preferring to search for their next unit from a mobile device and round out the Cycle Trader portfolio of mobile apps, which also includes Cycle Trader and ATV Trader.

The Cycle Trader suite of apps make it easy for users to browse geo-located search results, save searches and keep track of vehicles they are interested in, all from the ease of their homescreen. Users can also calculate payments and compare shipping options, further helping them determine the unit and dealer that best fit their needs.

With these apps, dealers can now simply use their phones to easily and efficiently post PWC and snowmobile inventory to their Trader listings in a matter of minutes. Whether it’s answering inquiries from prospective customers or simply updating the status of your units, these apps will save you valuable time — time that you can spend out on the lot or ni the shop with customers, spending your hours on what’s important: building your business and making connections, not tediously checking your inventory online with a desktop computer.

“Our mobile apps are designed to put our inventory in front of consumers whenever and wherever they are searching,” said Paige Bouma, vice president of Cycle Trader. “These apps not only make it easier for consumers to find their dream unit, but also significantly expand the online marketplace for powersports sellers.”

Available on Android and iOS devices, the apps can be downloaded with the following links:

Snowmobile Trader: iOS // Google Play

PWC Trader: iOS // Google Play

Other apps in Cycle Trader’s powersports portfolio include:

Cycle Trader: iOS // Google Play

ATV Trader: iOS // Google Play

Trader Online Web Developer

Top Searched: March 2017

As your marketing partner in the powersports or motorcycle industry, we want to keep you up-to-date on trends we are seeing with your potential buyers. With more consumers visiting our site than any other classified site in the industry, we have insights into consumer search habits that may help shape your marketing strategy. In this first edition of our Top Searched, we’ve listed the top 5 motorcycle makes and models on our site for the month of March.

Top Searched Types:
  1. Trike
  2. Dirt Bike
  3. Sport Bike
  4. Cruiser
  5. Dual Sport
Not typically viewed as a ‘classic’ motorcycle design, the Trike has earned its name as the top searched category on Cycle Trader, with only about a 2% difference in pageviews compared to dirt bikes last month. The growth in popularity of these bikes is likely explained the low barrier to entry they offer new riders, especially when aligned with classes and education courses available to new bikers.

Trikes come with virtually no learning curve, offering riders a mix of comfort and increased stability. The model is becoming popular with several key demographics, including both beginner and aging riders. As motorcyclists grow older and need more stability, trikes can serve as a gentler, more easy-to-use and efficient machine for them to still enjoy journeys out on the road. New riders, on the other hand, can be introduced to the motorcycle world with ease, and move to other types of bikes when they’re ready for maintaining more stability on their own. It’s important to highlight these features to potential buyers and help them see how this type of unconventional motorcycle could fit into their lifestyle.

As for the top searched makes, interbrand competition has heated up significantly. Harley-Davidson continues to lead the pack with 30% more pageviews than their closest competitors, which are Honda and Yamaha respectively. Kawasaki and Suzuki remain neck-and-neck, catering largely to similar audiences, particularly the sportbike niche. While whispers of sales decline for Harley have been heard across the industry, its dominance in searches and pageviews on Cycle Trader suggests a loyal and motivated customer base that is not as wavering as some have suggested. 

To recap, the top 5 makes for March are:
  1. Harley-Davidson
  2. Honda
  3. Yamaha
  4. Kawasaki
  5. Suzuki
Despite an often steadily competitive motorcycle marketplace, OEM marketshare is still there for the taking — so this list may change in the coming months as consumers discover new units that fit their transportation and lifestyle. How does this data line up with what you’re seeing at your dealership? Comment below and let us know.
Trader Online Web Developer