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Shoppers Prefer Local Retail Businesses over National Chains

Posted by Jesse Hellyer on August 31, 2015 at 12:09 PM
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According to eMarketer, online shoppers surveyed prefer to shop local retail businesses, primarily due to the level of personalization and customer experience. “More than nine in 10 said local businesses were more trustworthy and better at treating them fairly, and a similar percentage said they were better at customer service overall."

This bodes well for the independently owned outdoor power equipment dealer. However, are you taking full advantage of the growing preference to shop locally? 
Studies point to an ever-increasing trend of people researching online prior to making in-store purchases, especially for higher-priced goods. For the OPE industry, it’s important for dealers to
BrickAndMortar
showcase their product offering and related product benefits on their website. As important is the dealer’s ability to showcase online how they deliver better customer service, fair treatment, and higher quality than competing dealers in the area.

Typically, owners and dealership staff possess years of knowledge and first-hand experience dealing with outdoor power equipment. They understand what their customers are looking for and which products will best suit their needs. These are compelling reasons why customers choose certain dealerships, so be sure to promote your depth and breadth of experience and customer service successes on your website. After all, potential customers may validate or dismiss your business after an online search.

Simple ways to develop an effective web presence for your OPE dealership

If you don’t have a website or have an older one, now is a great time to improve your online presence. Many tools have been developed in the past few years to make the process of creating a website simple, intuitive and inexpensive. Content management systems, such as Wordpress, 1and1.com, and SquareSpace are all great places to start. These are tools that allow you to build a website without ever having to touch a piece of programming code. 1and1 and SquareSpace both offer built-in hosting for your new website too. This means no need to find a third-party provider to get your domain name and host your website.

Design trends play a role in the ease of website development too. Today’s websites lean towards simplicity, ease of use, and visual design. SquareSpace’s home page is simple with powerful images that convey to visitors what they can get by using their tool. Check out this link to see an example: http://www.squarespace.com/home/build-it-beautiful/.

What does this mean for an OPE dealer?  To me, it means that creating an effective website is simpler than ever.

An effective website includes:

  1. Images of your product mix

  2. Contact information, such physical address, hours of operation, phone number, fax number, and email address (if possible, include this information on every page of your site)

  3. Background on your dealership and key staff members

  4. Customer testimonials

  5. Reasons why customers should choose to purchase from you

  6. Strong call-to-action, such as promotional offering or free consultation, to invite prospective customers to contact you



At KPM, we recognize that not everyone has the resources or bandwidth to build their personalized website. That’s why we offer the services of a company that will build one for you. True Radius Marketing is the company we recommend to dealers who want to get things going quickly. They’ll build a website for you, complete with a content management system, and then give you the keys so you can login and make changes yourself.

Got some other tips that I missed?  Let's discuss.  Please feel free to post a comment using the form below.

Want to learn more about how KPM can help you? Feel free to contact us.


 

Topics: dealer, what do my customers want, business, website, customer attraction, ope, brick and mortar, technology

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