Thursday, November 29, 2018

Seasonality: How to Guard Yourself During the Winter Months

Seasonality is like a dirty word in our industry. The weather turns cold and riders across the country roll their bikes into the garage for the season. Not only are they not riding - they aren’t buying - which can put a strain on the bottom line of your dealership.

If we had a solution that could completely remove seasonality - we would definitely be your favorite people around. But since that magical power doesn’t exist yet - hopefully Elon Musk is working on it - we can at least provide you with some tips to help you get through the slower months of the year.

Don’t stop your advertising campaigns
We don’t have to tell you that buyers are passionate about riding - so they don’t stop thinking about it when the weather turns cold. They are shopping year round trying to decide what bike they want to be on come spring. And here’s the cold hard truth - if you stop advertising during the winter months, these buyers may have already decided on another dealership by the time you restart your campaigns - solely because they didn’t know your dealership existed since you weren’t present where they were searching.

Engage your current community
The off-season is a great time to build brand awareness within your current community. You know they won’t be distracted by nice weather or the promise of a great ride - so help fuel their passion for the industry and your dealership while you can capture their attention. Think about hosting a DIY workshop with one of your mechanics or have any first-time buyers come by the dealership for some riding advice. This is a really powerful community for you to engage because they chose to buy from you - instead of someone else - making them ideal candidates to be true brand advocates for your dealership. Spend the winter months showing them how much you appreciate their business and how you will continue to serve them post-purchase.

Plan for busier months
Once warmer months roll back around - your dealership will be busy and it gets harder and harder to continue with your engagement and marketing plans because you are focusing on sales. We get it - that’s what keeps your dealership afloat. Take advantage of the quieter season to build out as many plans as you can - so when the busy season rolls around, you can just “pop them open”, so to speak, and they’re ready to go.

Think about creating evergreen content that you can easily use when the time is right. You could write a number of generic unit descriptions for popular makes and models you carry so that they can be adjusted slightly for a specific piece of inventory - taking some of the work out of putting up listings during the busy season. Or work on developing a content repository for your social media efforts so you have some of your posts already scheduled.

You can also take this time to evaluate the pictures you’re using on your inventory. If most of your imagery is stock photography - take the time to update those with actual pictures of your units. Then as you receive new inventory in - you can photograph those on the fly. By doing this work ahead of time - it will alleviate some of the stress come high season - so you can focus on implementation and selling.

By viewing seasonality as a time to build and refine - you’ll see that these quiet months can actually be some of the most beneficial for your dealership. It’s your time to distinguish your dealership against the competition and get ready for the inevitably busy season to come. If you back off during the colder months - you’ll lose momentum - and that will put you behind the competitor who capitalized on seasonality come selling season. It’s hard to catch up once you’re behind. Don’t take the risk.

Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Importance of Employee Appreciation

It’s crazy to think Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the holiday season will soon be in full swing. It’s a time when people count all the things they are thankful for -- and friends, family, and health usually top that list. But, have you ever thought of including your employees in that list as well? Your team is the life of your business - that’s why it’s crucial to make sure they feel valued and appreciated year-round. We’ll dive into why employee appreciation is so vital to a business and give you a few ideas on how to step up your gratitude game. 

So, why is employee appreciation so important?
Happy people make happy employees - it’s as simple as that. It might sound obvious, but when your team feels valued, morale and motivation tend to rise. According to a survey by Recruiter Box, the number one reason most Americans leave their jobs is they don’t feel appreciated. It’s a sad fact that can be avoided. The same survey stated that organizations with effective recognition programs have 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective programs. So, if you’re trying to keep your employees around it may be time to start an employee recognition program. We’ll give you a few ideas on how to show gratitude for your employee's hard work year-round. 

Public Praise - There’s nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned recognition by simply telling your employees they are doing a great job, but if you want to go the extra mile, try sending a company-wide email or giving a shout out to your employees on your dealership’s social media pages or on the homepage of your website. When you show off your team’s hard work it shows that you are proud of them and that you value them as employees.

Provide Fun Benefits - If your employees are going above and beyond and are exceeding their goals there’s no doubt they should be rewarded. Providing fun benefits to your team can boost morale and can provide motivation. Hosting a happy hour or team lunch, leaving them a small gift, or letting your employees leave early are just a few ideas on how to show your gratitude. Get creative with the benefits you provide, after all, you know your employees best.

Get Your Team Involved - It’s always nice to hear praises from the boss, but it’s also a great idea to get your team involved in your appreciation program. Ask employees to nominate their peers for employee of the month or start a kudos board in your break room where your team can praise each other's efforts.

Make Small Dealership Updates - If your dealership has the financial means, making a few small updates to your space can go a long way for employees. You could start small by buying an updated coffee maker or adding a variety of snacks, tea and coffee options for your employees. Creating a dedicated space for your employees to gather and relax shows your team that you care about their well being and enjoyment in the workplace.

These are just a few ideas to get the wheels turning on ways you can show your employees how much you care about and value them at work. Do you have an employee appreciation program at your dealership? Share your ideas in the comment section below.
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Retargeting Explained

There’s a ton of technology out there focused on marketing to people who have already been in contact with your brand online. And if we’re being honest, the sheer amount of technology we have access to can be overwhelming at times. But we’re here to help. Do the terms remarketing or retargeting sound familiar? These strategies are becoming increasingly popular ways for brands to connect with consumers. So let's break down the difference between the two strategies, review exactly what retargeting is, and talk about how it’s being used to reach customers.

So, what is the difference between retargeting and remarketing?
Glad you asked. A lot of people get confused about retargeting and remarketing because the terms are often used interchangeably, but they are different. The biggest difference between retargeting and remarketing is the strategy that's used to reach potential customers who have left your website. Retargeting works to engage consumers who have left your website without making a purchase or completing a desired action, and typically relies on cookies to drop ads. Remarketing, on the other hand, usually relies on email - but can also encompass any marketing to a consumer known to your business. It’s a great option rather than blind advertising because the consumer has already shown some kind of interest in your dealership, heightening your chance of a conversion.

But, let’s dive into retargeting..
As we mentioned, retargeting is a form of online targeted advertising where the goal is to reach the large percent of people who might have interacted with your website but left without completing the desired call to action (making a purchase, completing a form, submitting a lead, etc.). According to Outbrain, the average conversion rate for first-time site visitors is just 2%, so retargeting was designed to help reach the other 98% by following website visitors through either online or placement ads after they have left your website. Have you ever visited a website and clicked on a product without purchasing? We all have. Have you seen that same product in ad space on a different website? That’s retargeting, and it’s all possible thanks to cookies - which is a small piece of data sent from a website that’s stored in the browser of the user which allows tracking of the websites they visit.

Check out the image below to see the flow of retargeting:


Has retargeting seen positive results?
Retargeting has been a huge success for many businesses and is becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy. In fact, according to a survey by Invespcro, retargeting customers are three times more likely to click on your ad than people who haven’t interacted with your business before. In the same survey, 26% of customers said they will return to a site through retargeting and these numbers are expected to grow as 50% of marketers say their retargeting budget will increase in the next six months.

Are you interesting in retargeting?
If so, you’re in luck. We’ve just released brand new retargeting offerings for our dealers, and many have already seen huge success. We are offering the following retargeting product offerings:
  • Display Retargeting 
  • Dynamic Retargeting - Unit Ad Listing 
  • Dynamic Retargeting - Social Unit Ad Listing (Facebook & Instagram specific) 
If you haven’t talked to your Cycle Trader representative about integrating retargeting into your package, what are you waiting for? The best part of our retargeting product is that we do all the work for you. Call your Cycle Trader representative today at 888.747.1192 - they’d love to walk you through our various retargeting products to find which will best fit your needs.
Trader Online Web Developer