March 8, 2010: A better dealer-consumer connection
March 8, 2010
Filed under Features
By Karin Gelschus
INDIANAPOLIS — Working to boost online sales and move inventory off dealers’ floors, Cycle Trader has released at least a half dozen new back-end products.
One of which is Business Intelligence reports, which enable dealers to see how their unit pricing compares with the local market. Another is a Scarcity Report, which allows dealers to see how many times certain vehicles are being searched.
These products were designed to further promote dealerships’ inventory and improve lead quality.
“Generally people on our site are looking to buy within the next three months,” said Paige Bouma, sales development manager for Cycle Trader. “Our goal is to help dealers move more units”
One of Cycle Trader’s main goals is to connect buyers with dealers, so the company created an application called Locator Leads. When a consumer goes on Cycle Trader, looks for a certain vehicle but can’t find it, there’s a button at the end of the search that says, “Can’t find what you’re looking for? Click here.” They then enter their contact information and keywords about the vehicle they want, such as model, color and year.
“We’ll take those leads and forward them over to the dealers based on set geographical parameters.” said Bouma. “It’s just another way to bring the dealer and the buyer together.”
In mid February, Cycle Trader was in the midst of testing the new application. Bouma notes they’re anticipating the application will be available by mid or end of March.
Other new applications include the Business Intelligence and Scarcity reports.
The Business Intelligence Reports allows dealers to see what’s being offered and for what price.
“Let’s say you have a Honda VFR1200F,” said Bouma. “This report allows dealers to compare prices of the same unit in their marketplace and be more competitive.”
Veering away from price, the Scarcity Report focuses on supply and demand. Bouma says dealers can see how many times vehicles are being searched.
Along with generating more leads for dealers, Cycle Trader is working to help the dealerships promote their brick and mortar store and inventory. Cycle Trader created an Ad Detail Page, which gives all of the highlights about an individual unit as well as the dealers’ stores.
“We call it the meat and potatoes,” Bouma said. “It’s everything about your inventory like bike descriptions, pictures. You can have a map to your dealership, advertising for open houses or other events. It also keeps track of how many views each vehicle has received.”
Dealers also can have various videos, some of which Cycle Trader will do for them.
“Video is a big initiative this year because customers like dynamic content,” commented Bouma. “We’ve added three types of videos to our site.
“One is a dealer video promoting the dealership,” she added. “We’re telling dealers to have fun with it. Have some of your sponsored riders talk. Introduce your service department if that’s what you’re trying to push. Talk about your competitive advantages and what your dealership has to offer.”
Another one of the video options is Ride Show, which focuses on inventory, and requires little to no involvement from the dealership to create.
“We understand dealers have less time these days to take pictures or video,” noted Bouma. “Ride Show is a slide show of all the dealer’s vehicle photos and has a voiceover describing each unit.”
Cycle Trader will take all the vehicle pictures the dealer already has on their site and put it into a slide show with a voiceover.
There are creative ways dealers can make their units stand out amongst others. Bouma says for example, one dealer has a price blinking at the bottom of one of his vehicle videos.
Another way for dealers to get exposure is through co-op with the OEMs, which Cycle Trader handles the claim paperwork for the dealers. “We have a co-op department for the dealers,” said Bouma. “We ensure what we’re putting on our site is pre-approved and correct. That way there aren’t any rejected claims.”
An additional application allows dealers to record phone calls coming into the shop. Dealers can listen to all of their actual phone calls and also read and track their e-mails through their inventory management tool.
The application breaks the number of calls down by day and hour as well as what zip code the caller is calling from.
“The application will allow you to export the callers’ contact information into Excel,” Bouma said, “so you can do direct mailings to them.”
Cycle Trader is aiming to help dealers better understand their customers wants. Bouma says the back-end products should help them do that, and in turn, generate more sales.