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More bike photos add up to additional leads

Neil Pascale, Columnist
June 25, 2014
Filed under Columns

This is a no-brainer, but it’s a question each of us needs to consider.

If you could hire somebody at minimum wage to do a job that would likely result in very profitable returns for your dealership, would you do it?

Of course you would do it. Why wouldn’t you? Minimal risk. Tons of upside.

So why aren’t you doing it? I can’t figure it out.

You and I know our industry, like every other retail sector, is dominated by online influences. You can have the best consumer service in the biz, but if you’re flunking with online marketing, then your business isn’t growing. It might be staying afloat, but no more.

Eighty percent of us bike buyers start our shopping process online. This is where we first experience the unit. This is where we compare it to others. This is where we make our first decisions.

In this environment, there is no confusing, overthink-the-obvious philosophy to consider. Bike buyers want to shop, compare and decide based off visuals of the units. The more visuals, the better. Meaning, the more photographs of a unit you show me on an online listing, the more likely I as a bike buyer am going to shop your unit.

Period. It’s that simple.

Let me give you an example. In Texas last month, two dealerships within 60 miles of each other advertised the same dual sport model on CycleTrader.com. One dealership did what too many other stores do — they posted the unit online with two stock photos of the bike. They did no extra work other than to use the photos the OEM provided them.

Meanwhile, 60 miles down the road, another dealership took the same two stock photos plus shot an additional nine photos of that unit and posted all of these online on CycleTrader.com.

The second dealership — the one that invested time into their online marketing — had 17 shoppers check out that one unit.

The first dealership, the one who did nothing but post stock photos of the unit? They had one shopper view that unit.

17 potential leads vs. 1 potential lead.

Think about the ramifications of that, not just for the one unit but for the entire showroom. How many additional consumers would you reach every month simply for having additional photos of a unit? Hundreds? Thousands?

Many of you whom I’ve personally connected with online or in person, know this. You’ve heard me provide statistics much like what’s discussed above. This is not new information, but neither is it something most of us are taking advantage of. When I go to CycleTrader.com and view units, I’ll often find as many or more dealerships placing just two stock photos of that unit online vs. others who are placing 5, 10 or 20 or more photos of that same unit.

Why is this happening when we know more photos will result in more consumer interest in our product? Most of the time I’m told it’s a staffing issue: My sales guys were too busy and didn’t get to it this week.

As if that’s a valid excuse.

It’s not. It’s like saying, “Really Neil, I’m making more than enough money at my dealership now. I would prefer our business slows down next month.”

If this isn’t the case, and your sales guys aren’t getting the unit photos online, then make sure this is not an “oh by the way, if you have time this week …” request. This is — for you and the sales department’s paychecks! — way too important to be a request.

Or better yet, hire a part-timer at minimum wage to shoot and post photos. If they can wheel a unit outside and they know what a flash drive is, they’re perfect. Hire them, buy a decent camera ($200-$300 should be adequate) and see how many units the part-timer can post online in 20 hours of work per work.

The consumer activity you see on your units should absolutely increase.

It’s minimal risk. Tons of upside.

In a snap.

Neil Pascale is the industry communications manager for Dominion Powersports Solutions, a dealer solutions provider that includes DX1, ZiiOS, Traffic Log Pro, PowerSports Network and Cycle Trader. He can be reached at neil.pascale@dominionpowersports.com.

 

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