Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Seasonality: How to Guard Yourself in the Winter Months



While in some ways we’re lucky in the RV industry because there are plenty of people who choose to RV all year long, you can’t deny there are less people heading outdoors in the dead of winter than there are in the warmer months. And since we all can’t head south for the winter, these tips will help you capitalize on these colder - and often slower - months of the year so you’re better prepared for the busy selling season that’s just around the corner (thank goodness).

Don’t stop your advertising campaigns

Just because the weather turns cold doesn’t mean that RVers stop dreaming about their next great adventure. If they can’t get outside - they are definitely thinking about when and where they’re headed next - and what unit is going to take them there. They are spending the long, cold months inside trying to decide what unit will best fit their lifestyle and budget come spring.

And here’s the cold hard truth - if you stop advertising during the winter months, you risk not being seen by them at all. Dealerships that choose to advertise all year long have continuous momentum - they continue to have their inventory online, continue to be found in searches, continue to connect with buyers, and continue to nurture sales. And it may seem as easy as turning your inventory back on to get back in the game - but in the interim, these buyers may have decided to work with another dealership, simply because you weren’t present during their online search.

Engage your current community

The off-season is a great time to build brand awareness and engagement within your current community. You know they won’t be distracted by an amazing trip they just can’t wait to take - so help build their passion for the industry and your dealership while you know you can capture their full attention.

Think about hosting an event with helpful tips and tricks any RVer could do on the road or have first time buyers come by the dealership for some advice on getting started in the RV community. This is a really powerful community for you to engage because they chose to buy from you - instead of someone else - making them more likely to become 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 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 quieter 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 it can create a gap between your and your competitors who chose to capitalize on seasonality. And as we all know, it’s hard to catch up once you’re behind - so, don’t risk it.
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Featured Resource: RV Owner's Guide



























We're incredibly proud to bring you our revamped RV Owner's Guide.

Check out these expert tips and tricks to share with both new and old RV owners that visit your dealership, including top destinations, fun travel games, ways to go green, and how to travel like a local. Plus, discover your smartphone and tablet app essentials, and find out how you can make your next RV-cation the best ever!

Click HERE to get your FREE copy of this exclusive owner's guide, and share the info you learn with your customers today!
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Importance of Employee Appreciation



With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect on what you’re thankful for this season. Friends, family, health are top of the list for most - and rightfully so - but we think your hardworking employees should also be included on this list as well. Your employees are the life of your business, big or small, and it’s important to make sure they feel valued. Employee appreciation is crucial in the workplace, and while we think it’s an amazing idea to honor your employees during the upcoming holiday season, it’s also important to keep that momentum going year-round. So, we’ll give you insights into why employee appreciation is so important and few ideas on how to show your team your gratitude. 

First off, why is employee appreciation so important?
Employee appreciation is important for a multitude of reasons, but one simple point stands out to us - happy people translate into happy employees. It may sound obvious, but when you facilitate a positive and productive working environment employees feel valued, safe, and motivated. According to a survey by Recruiter Box, the number one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. The same survey said, organizations with effective recognition programs have 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective programs. Does your team have a program in place? If not, you could start small and build upon your ideas. Below, we’ll show you a few easy ways to recognize employees year-round.

Public Praise - Everyone loves a deserved pat on the back, and praising your employees publicly provides a motivational boost to the entire dealership. This could be as simple as sending a company-wide email saying job well done or you can highlight the employee’s efforts at a staff meeting. A modern take on this idea is shouting out your team on your dealership’s social media page or website thanking them for their hard work.

Provide Fun Benefits - If employees are doing exceptional work, they should be rewarded. Providing bonus benefits to employees has the power to keep up morale and will ideally motivate your team to work harder in the long run. Hosting a team lunch or happy hour, providing a paid day off, or giving gift cards are just a few ideas on how to show employees your appreciation. Feel free to get creative with your ideas, after all, you know your employees best.

Get the Whole Team Involved - Letting team members recognize each other is a great way to increase employee appreciation in the workplace. Try asking employees to nominate their peers for employee of the month, or set up a board somewhere in the dealership where fellow coworkers can recognize other team members. It’s always great to hear from the boss, but getting peers to come together allows greater involvement in your recognition program.

Make Small Dealership Updates - If financially possible, making a few simple upgrades to your dealership can go a long way for employees. There’s no need for a full remodel, but adding a new state of the art coffee maker, or updating your break room can be a real motivational boost 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 at work.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, and if you haven’t started an employee appreciation program at your dealership, we encourage you to start small and see what works for best for your employees. Once you figure out what helps to motivate your team, you can build on that as time goes on.
Trader Online Web Developer

Winnebago Debuts New Products at Open House



It's getting to be a habit. Last year, Winnebago used the industry Open House in Elkhart to launch the sleek new Horizon and the ground-breaking 4WD Revel adventure van, as well as the Class A Intent and Minnie Plus fifth-wheel.

This year, Winnebago repeated the feat, revealing five more new products at the dealer-only event.

The motorhome side saw the launch of the all-new Class C Vita and Porto, as well as the return of a storied nameplate, the Class A gas Adventurer. At the same time, Winnebago Towables debuted the Micro Minnie fifth wheel and the Spyder toy hauler.

Vita

Porto

The Vita and Porto are compact Class C diesels built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. Each of the two floorplans features best-in-class galley, storage, solar power, and holding tank capacity. Also notable: the new SuperShell Sleeper Deck, which is quieter, lighter and stronger than typical cab-over sleepers.

Interior highlights include the panoramic galley window, expansive counter space, double-bowled sink, and user-configurable storage.

“At under 25 feet, the Vita and Porto allow you the freedom to explore everything from a major metropolitan area to a remote forest,” said Russ Garfin, product manager. “Throughout the coaches, we have implemented features for customers who are looking for a high-quality, easy to drive, durable and efficient base camp to support mobile and active lifestyles.”

Vita

After an absence of several years, the Adventurer is returning with new styling and five floorplans designed to meet a variety of tastes and needs. Built with Winnebago’s renowned SuperStructure construction, the Adventurer comes fully equipped with premium features normally reserved for diesel pushers, including Corian countertops, a Versa driver seat and Primera furniture coverings. Standard exterior features include an entertainment center, pet leash tie down, and full-body paint with chrome mirrors.

Adventurer

“The Adventurer is packed with user-friendly features, and more value than ever before,” noted product manager Niles Whitehouse. “Family-friendly floorplans offer spacious living, and ample storage space to provide all the comforts of home.”

With the launch of the new Spyder line, Winnebago has reentered the toy hauler segment. The Spyder lineup comprises four travel trailer and two fifth-wheel floorplans. “The end user was our main focus. We included several functional features that will be appreciated long after the thrill of the purchase,” commented Ron Brown, engineering manager. Large windows provide increased ventilation, while the innovative ceiling-ducted air conditioning system provides a comfortable retreat when the thermometer spikes.

Spyder

Capitalizing on the success and growth of the 7-foot wide Micro Minnie travel trailer, Winnebago Towables has extended the concept into the fifth-wheel category with the launch of the Micro Minnie fifth-wheel. “While the industry promotes 7,000, 8,000, and even 9,000 pound fifth-wheels as half-ton towable, the new Micro Minnie fifth-wheel, which weighs in the 5,000-pound category, will not only be best in class, but will also pair well with the rapidly growing midsize truck category,” said Adam Christoffersen, product manager.

Microfifth

The new fifth-wheel is equipped with upgraded features more typically found only in premium-level towables, including the flush-mount cooktop with glass cover, and stainless-steel sink. Outside, the true gel-coat fiberglass sidewalls and large windows will amplify the appeal of the compact Micro Minnie fifth-wheel.
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Retargeting Explained



If we’re being honest, the sheer amount of technology available to us can feel quite daunting, and even overwhelming at times - especially in the business world. There are so many ways to reach customers, but it can be hard to figure out which strategy might work best for your specific business. The words retargeting and remarketing are flooding the digital space, and if you’re not familiar with those types of marketing strategies, we’re here to help. We’ll give an in-depth breakdown of the two strategies, review exactly what retargeting is, and talk about how it’s being used to best reach customers.

So, what is the difference between retargeting and remarketing?
Remarketing and retargeting can get a little confusing sometimes because people often use the terms interchangeably. And while they are similar, they do have one major difference - the actual strategy that’s used to reach consumers who have left your site. Retargeting is focused on engaging consumers that you may or may not be aware of, who have left your website without completing a desired action (ie: making a purchase, completing a form, etc.) and typically relies on cookies to serve them ads. Remarketing, on the other hand, usually relies on email to reach customers again, but it can also encompass any marketing to a consumer already known to your business. Both remarketing and retargeting strategies are great options, rather than just blind advertising, because the consumer has already shown that they are somewhat interested in your brand or product - upping your chances of a conversion down the road.

Let’s look into retargeting a bit more...
As we mentioned above, retargeting is a form of online advertising with the goal of reaching individuals who have visited and interacted with your website, but didn’t complete the desired call to action you had in mind. According to Outbrain, the average conversion rate for first-time site visitors is a staggering 2% - hence why retargeting strategies were created. Have you ever clicked on a website or product without making a purchase? It’s pretty common, if not a daily occurrence for most. Have you then seen that same product or website featured in an ad space while browsing other websites? That’s retargeting at work trying to reach the other 98% of people who didn’t originally convert while visiting your website.

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

Image: Retargeter.com

Is retargeting a successful strategy?
Retargeting is becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy for businesses, both large and small. 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 RV 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 RV Trader representative today at 1-877-354-4068 - they’d love to walk you through our various retargeting products to find which will best fit your needs.
Trader Online Web Developer

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tips for Hiring the Right People



Customer service is everything in the business world, and that’s why it’s becoming increasingly important to have a solid team in place at your dealership. The right team can either make or break your business - plain and simple. We do know finding the right employee for the job isn’t always easy, but we’ve got 5 quick tips on making a great choice for your next hire.

Be straightforward and honest about all job responsibilities - It all starts with a job posting, and it’s important to be crystal clear about all of the tasks, duties, and responsibilities in your initial post. We suggest including even some of the less glamorous tasks the position will require so the candidate won’t be surprised by these requests down the road. It’s also a good idea to include “other duties as assigned” just to make sure you leave some wiggle room for additional tasks not explicitly covered in the description.

Keep your options open - Don’t have a ton of applicants for your role? Don’t worry - it’s more than okay to hold out for the perfect candidate. Sometimes talking to candidates who might not be the right fit for your role can help show you what you are looking for. We also encourage you to interview more than one person for the position, even if you feel like the candidate you interviewed first would be a suitable option. You never know who could walk through your door next, so it’s important to keep an open mind and entertain a few options.

Know what you want - It can be a bit overwhelming when job applications come rolling in, but it’s important to keep a laser focus while weeding through potential candidates. It’s crucial to know exactly what you’re looking for in an employee and it’s a good idea to have a list of non-negotiable qualifications that you’d like to see on a resume (ie: sales experience, customer service experience, familiarity with the RV industry, etc.). If the applicant doesn’t have all of the qualifications you require, simply move on to the next. Remember, it’s okay to be picky.

Be prepared for the interview - The candidates shouldn’t be the only ones getting ready for their interview. As the interviewer, it’s a good idea to have questions you plan on asking candidates written down so you can easily keep track and compare answers later - this will ensure candidates remain on an even playing field throughout the interview process. We suggest asking a variety of different questions. For example, scenario questions are great options that can help you get a real feel for the candidate and to see exactly how they would react in a specific situation. We also like to mix the questions up by asking a few abstract questions - like what’s the best compliment you’ve ever received - to see how quickly a candidate can think on their feet.

Personality is important - Of course, you want your potential hire to have the experience and qualifications you desire, but it’s also important to keep in mind personality. When interviewing, make sure to get a feel for how the candidate’s personality traits align with the potential job, as well as the company culture. We also encourage you to get your team involved in the hiring process to make sure everyone meshes well together - and helping your current team feel more invested when their new co-worker starts.

Every dealership needs a strong team in place, and it all starts with the hiring process. We hope these tips will help you take a deeper look at your own process to see what’s working and what might need updating when it comes to hiring your future employees.



Trader Online Web Developer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Top Makes and Classes of Q3 2018



Can you believe we’re already in Q4 of 2018? This year has flown by, but to slow things down a bit, we’re going to take a look into what consumers were searching for in Q3 on RVTrader.com. We’ve seen some consistencies, as well as a few differences, from the previous quarter that we think you’ll find interesting. Check out our 2018 Top Makes and Classes of Q3 report.

Top 5 searched classes of Q3 2018:
  • Travel Trailer 
  • Class A 
  • Class C 
  • Fifth Wheel 
  • Class B 
Travel trailers took the top spot in Q3 with 23% of all total searches - this equates to more than 6.3 million consumers searching for this type of RV! With that in mind, it’s no surprise they have remained consistent in the top spot and we predict that trend will continue into next quarter. Class As came in second place making up 20% of total searches, while Class Cs took third with 14%. Fifth wheels came in fourth place with 12% and Class B rounded out fifth place with 9% of total searches. All top classes remain consistent in their rank as compared to Q2 2018 and Y.O.Y. comparisons are very similar as well.

Top 5 searched makes of Q3 2018:
  • Forest River 
  • Keystone 
  • Winnebago 
  • Jayco 
  • Coachmen 
Forest River remains in the top spot for top searched makes coming in at 13% - the exact percent they were at last quarter. Keystone came in second place with 7% of total searches - roughly 3.1 million consumers searched for the manufacturer. Winnebago isn’t far behind in third place with 6.4% of searches and Jayco comes in fourth with 6%. Last, but not least, Coachmen comes in fifth place representing 5% of total searches. These rankings also remain consistent with last quarter and numbers Y.OY. are similar. We are interested to see if and how the rankings change in Q4.

It looks like consumers have remained very consistent this quarter when it comes to their search habits. Stay tuned for our Q4 report coming this January and let us know how your dealership compares with our findings in the comments below.
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tips for Using Live Chat



We’ve covered the general benefits of live chat before, but now it’s time to take a deeper dive into a few useful tips on actually using this popular feature. And just to give a quick recap - live chat is beneficial in many ways because: 
  • It gives communication a more personal touch 
  • It lets consumers get a quick and instant response 
  • It builds customer relationships 
  • Last but not least, it’s easily accessible for consumers AND businesses 
We’ve heard it time and time again - customer service is everything in the business world, and live chat can give you the power to enhance that service in a new and easy way. We’ll give you a few quick tips to make sure both you and your customers get the most out of the online chat experience.
  • Be quick to answer your customers - No one likes to be kept waiting, so it’s important to keep in mind when a consumer chats you, they want a response quickly. They are more likely to move on to a dealer who will answer faster rather than waiting around for a response. Keep a vigilant eye on your chats and make yourself available to answer questions in a timely fashion. 
  • Introduce yourself - It’s so important that the consumer you’re speaking with feels like they are talking to a real person instead of an automated robot. So start by introducing yourself by stating your name, position, and how you’re going to assist them today. Building a consumers trust is vital and that can all start with a personal experience through online chat. 
  • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN - Some might think this sounds obvious, but it’s so important to really listen to the consumer and to stay attentive during the entirety of your conversation. Customers will notice if you’re just treating them as a sale, so make sure to continue to cultivate an authentic and helpful conversation. Also, make sure to read all questions or concerns thoroughly so you can avoid repeating questions throughout your chat. 
  • Be honest with the customer - If you don’t have an instant answer for the consumer - that’s okay. Sometimes you won’t have all the answers immediately, but it’s important to let the customer know you will look into their question and follow up immediately after you get the correct information. Yes, consumers love instant gratification, but they will appreciate you taking the time to get the answer correct in the long run. 
  • Steer away from Internet slang - Consumers want to know they are speaking with a professional so we suggest avoiding Internet slang in your live chat conversations. Even if a consumer is using slang we recommend keeping a professional tone. 
  • Avoid “pitching” during live chat conversations - While securing a sale is the ultimate goal, we recommend avoiding pitching customers via live chat. We do recommend voicing additional plugs about a specific unit, but only as it relates to their initial question. It’s important not to overwhelm consumers with too much information in the early stages, just see where the conversation takes you. 
We hope these tips will enhance your next live chat experience, and if you haven’t talked to your RV Trader representative about integrating live chat into your dealer page on our site, what are you waiting for? Our live chat product can be easily added to any package and offers you the chance to connect with potential buyer’s in a whole new way. Call your RV Trader representative at 1-877-354-4068 and get chatting today.



Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Guide to Making Your Listing Photos Great



It’s no secret that the buying process is changing, and with technology on the rise, online research is becoming increasingly important to consumers before they make a purchase - large or small. That’s why taking high-quality photos is crucial to get more eyes on your listings. Interested in upping your photo game? We’ve got 8 easy tips to make sure your listing photos are painting a clear picture to your potential buyers.

Make it Shine - We know cleaning an RV can take time depending on the size of a particular unit, but a deep cleaning can have the potential to make or break a sale. It’s important to know that buyers want to see their potential unit in tip-top shape not just before making a purchase, but before even stepping foot on your lot. New or used, you’ll want to make sure the outside of the unit is washed, and that the inside of the unit has had a full detailing. We suggest removing any clutter inside of the unit and if you do want to stage the RV, we suggest simple decorations.



Use the Right Camera - Consumers are likely to move along to the next listing if your photos are grainy or blurry. So our question to you is, are you using a high-quality camera to take your listing photos? You’ll want to make sure that you have a fairly newer camera to ensure that your photos are crystal clear. Most smartphones have incredible cameras and can be great options for taking photos if you can’t splurge on a new camera. If you want to take your photos to the next level, consider buying an updated point and shoot camera. They are very simple to use and take extremely clear photos.

Shoot at the Right Time of Day - Ask any photographer and they’ll tell you, lighting is everything when it comes to taking photos. That’s why it’s so important to keep in mind the time of day you’re taking your listing photos. We recommend avoiding taking photos midday when the sun is at its brightest and lighting can come across as harsh. Shooting during the morning or late afternoon is ideal for capturing “warmer”, less washed out photos. As long as it’s not raining, cloudy days can also be great photoshoot days - just make sure it’s not too dark outside! While taking photos inside of the unit, highlight the natural light that the unit provides by opening up all of the windows while shooting. If there are darker areas inside, we suggest turning on the cabin lights as needed - avoid flash if at all possible.

Keep in Mind Positioning and Location - When taking listing photos, you’ll want to keep in mind where you’ve positioned and parked the RV. Make sure that the unit you are trying to sell is the focal point of your photo - you don’t want to confuse customers by taking a large shot with many RVs in the background. While inside the unit, stand in corners and point the camera outward while taking photos to make the unit feel larger and longer.



Take a Few Test Photos - It’s important to take your time while shooting your listing photos, as they are a crucial part of your listing. Take a few test photos of your unit to make sure the lighting is right, the images are clear, and that you are satisfied with the outcome. If you aren’t pleased with the photos you can take a step back and see what might need to change to enhance your photo (positioning, lighting, etc.).

Have a Variety of Photos - Consumers want to see photos and LOTS of them. Potential buyers want to see the entirety of the unit even before stepping foot on your lot - they want to picture themselves in their new RV on the road to their next destination. To paint your buyer a clear picture, we suggest taking a few full shots of the outside of the unit (showing the whole RV) as well as detailed, close-up shots. When taking indoor shots, we suggest showing all aspects of the unit. We recommend having a full outdoor RV shot as your main listing photo to grab the customer’s attention right off the bat, then they can explore more photo options as desired.

Be Honest and Authentic - For our used sellers out there, it’s extremely important to be honest and authentic with your customers. Don’t hide the imperfections of the unit you are trying to sell. If the unit has a few dings or scratches, or if there’s a tear in upholstery, consumers deserve to know before visiting your dealership. As for new RVs, it’s a good idea to stay away from using stock photos of your unit - consumers appreciate original photos and want to see exactly what their potential unit looks like.

Highlight Special Features - Does the unit you’re selling have any special features like extra storage, great natural lighting, or new technology? Make sure you are highlighting them in both your listing photos AND descriptions. As we mentioned earlier, consumers want to picture themselves in their new RV, and showing them unique features will having a higher chance of piquing their interest. 


We hope that these 8 tips have helped you realize taking listing photos doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking the right photo can take some practice, but your buyers will thank you in the end.



Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, August 23, 2018

What’s the Deal With Live Chat?



Customer service should be a top priority for your business, and as technology continues to evolve, it’s important to understand what your customers expect when it comes to communication and interaction. In recent years, we’ve learned that customers want detailed information and answers - and they want them fast. That’s why having a live chat feature has become increasingly important - it’s a fantastic way for customers to connect with you, and for you to provide them with a personal, real-time experience.

Live chat is an extremely comfortable and easy way for consumers and dealers to quickly communicate and problem solve when used properly. Many companies are adding this feature to their websites so they can answer questions in real-time - and their customers are LOVING it. According to a survey by Invesp, 73% of consumers find live chat to be the most satisfying way of communicating with a business. Phone calls used to be one of the most popular ways for consumers to receive quick answers, and though they are still crucial, it’s important for businesses to offer a variety of communication options to their customers.

And live chat doesn’t just benefit your customers, the feature can have a substantial impact on your business as well. In fact, according to a survey by Forrester, live chat can lead to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rate. Another report by Zoho claimed that 43% of companies have a better understanding of their customers after interacting with them in a live chat software system - and knowing your customer base is everything in the business world.

So, what are some additional benefits of live chat? 
  • Makes communication more personal - In a world of robots and auto responses, it’s rare to get to talk to a person in real-time when you have a question or problem - that’s where live chat comes in. While live chat is an online feature, it still lets the consumer talk to a real-life human and consumers love a personal touch. 
  • Instant customer satisfaction - Consumers hate waiting - don’t we all? Live chat gives you the ability to quickly answer any question a potential buyer might have on the spot. 
  • Easily accessible for customers - Live chat allows your customers to quickly and easily contact you wherever they might be with just a click of a button. 
  • Builds customer relationships - If you respond quickly and efficiently, consumers are bound to come back to your site if they have future questions they need answers to. 
Did you know you have the ability to integrate live chat into your dealer page on RV Trader? Our live chat product can be easily added to any package and offers you the chance to connect with potential buyer’s in a whole new way. The chat box appears on each of your RV Trader listings, so if consumers have questions about a specific unit, they can ask you in real-time. Call your RV Trader representative today at 1-877-354-4068 they’d love to walk you through this increasingly popular feature.

Stay tuned for more information on specific tips for using live chat, coming soon!
Trader Online Web Developer

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Check Out Our New TraderTrax App



Do you love TraderTraxx, but want to have the ability to take it with you wherever you go? Well you’re in luck. We’ve created a brand new app so you can access everything you know and love about TraderTraxx in a new way. Not exactly sure what TraderTraxx is? No problem - let’s break it down for you.

TraderTraxx is a completely free platform for RV Trader customers - you heard that right, free. It is already included in your membership and provides detailed reporting to show you how your inventory is performing, insight into what RV customers are looking for, and gives you the ability to easily manage your listings.

TraderTraxx also houses two incredible tools you don’t want to miss out on, the Price Analysis Tool (P.A.T.) and Market Insights. P.A.T. gives you the ability to quickly find the optimal price in your local marketplace, as well as nationwide for your listings based on their make, model and year - no more manual research. P.A.T. also helps you compare your pricing to determine if you are priced competitively in local and national markets.

The second tool TraderTraxx offers is called Market Insights. Market Insights is made up of three individual reports each designed to paint you a clear picture of the supply and demand for your inventory locally and nationwide. While navigating through each report, you check in on what units are interesting customers and you have the ability to view the top model years for each unit and how many are available on RVTrader.com.

Sounds awesome, right?


We think so too, and we’re excited to be able to offer all of the great things you are already familiar with plus some new features in our app like:
  • The option to add, remove, edit, and take pictures and videos of your listings without an internet connection, and then sync up later when you get back online. 
  • The ability to turn on push notifications so you can reach out to that interested buyer right away - don't worry, you can toggle this on or off when you need to. 
  • Lastly, you can listen to phone calls and reply to emails from within the app, giving you the ability to reply to your potential buyer right away. 
The app is now available for iOS & Android users today!
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Move to Digital



There’s no denying that advertising has changed dramatically over the years - and if we’re being honest, with the rise of the digital revolution, just about everything has changed. But why has digital advertising/marketing specifically taken the world by storm?

We’re glad you asked. Let’s dive in.

Take a look around - odds are you’ll see someone using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The truth is, the way we receive and pass along information has changed in recent years, therefore the way we put out information & promote ourselves has changed as well. Traditional advertising mediums such as print and radio have had a significant impact on consumers in previous years (and in some cases still do), but the reality is - the world is becoming increasingly digital. The Internet has drastically changed the advertising industry and will continue to evolve and grow as new platforms are being created - and we’ve seen that growth first-hand. According to the Technology Review, time spent online by the average American has grown from 9.4 hours to 23.6 hours every week since 2000. Of that, time spent on the Internet at home has risen from 3.3 to 17.6 hours a week. We aren’t surprised by those numbers - in fact, we expect to see those numbers rise as the digital world continues to expand.

So, why exactly is digital marketing gaining so much popularity in the advertising world?
  • It can be more cost-effective - Traditional marketing mediums such as print, radio, billboards, etc. all have higher price tags, while digital marketing lets businesses choose specific packages that would work best for their advertising goals - giving them the most bang for their buck. 
  • It can reach a more targeted audience - Digital marketing also allows businesses to tailor campaigns to certain segmented demographics for more effective marketing. 
  • It’s easily tracked & monitored - Digital marketing can help businesses easily see which advertising efforts are working best for their company, or where there could be room for improvement. 
  • It caters to the mobile consumer - People are glued to their phones - plain and simple. That’s why having a responsive digital marketing platform that works seamlessly on mobile devices is crucial. 
It levels the playing field with small businesses - In previous years, larger companies took over the marketplace. Digital marketing allows smaller and medium-sized businesses to compete and gain their share of the market.

But don’t get us wrong, digital advertising still has similar benefits to traditional advertising, just in more in-depth and advanced ways. For example, here at RV Trader we have the unique ability to track many facets of your dealership’s performance such as: customer behavior, inventory performance, and so much more through our Dealer Center platform. With traditional advertising/marketing mediums, it’s a bit harder to determine who exactly responded to your advertising and what impact it had on your business - that’s where easily tracked digital marketing comes in to play.

It’s important to realize your marketing mix should be diversified and varied - but digital should make up a decent portion of your overall strategy, and companies around the world are recognizing the need to have an increased online presence. Digital is undoubtedly the way of the future, and as a digital platform ourselves, we’re privileged to provide you with a wide array of modern and effective advertising/marketing solutions to best reach your customers.
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Top Searched Makes and Models for Q2 2018



We love keeping you in the know when it comes to the latest industry news and consumer trends, and in Q2 2018, we saw some interesting data. We’ll catch you up on the makes and models RV Trader consumers were searching for in the second quarter of 2018. The results might surprise you!

Top 5 searched models of Q2 2018: 
  • Travel Trailer 
  • Class A 
  • Class C 
  • Fifth Wheel 
  • Class B 
We continue to see Travel Trailers come in at the number one spot for top models of RVs on RV Trader, accounting for 25% of total searches in Q2 2018. Class A models came in second place and resulted in 19% of total searches, while Class C models came in third with 14%. Class B models placed fifth in Q2 2018, pushing Toy Haulers down to sixth place as compared to Q1 2018. We are interested to see how this data might change next quarter as buying season is still in full swing.

Top 5 searched makes of Q2 2018:
  • Forest River 
  • Keystone 
  • Winnebago 
  • Jayco 
  • Coachmen 
Forest River secures first place when it comes to most searched makes in Q2 2018 - accounting for a total of 13% of all searches on RV Trader, rising 2% from last quarter. They have consistently ranked highest in overall searches of makes, with more than 5.3 million searches in Q2 2018 alone. Keystone isn’t far behind in second place attracting 7.3% of all consumer searches, and Winnebago rounds out third place with a total of 6% of all searches on RV Trader.

We’re interested to see how these numbers fluctuate as the year progresses. As always, we love to hear how our findings compare to your dealership. Let us know in the comments below!



Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, June 28, 2018

KOA's 2018 North American Camping Report Might Surprise You



It’s no secret that RVing and camping go hand-in-hand. So when KOA released their 2018 North American Camping Report earlier this year, we were excited to see new camping trends and updated data - and they did not disappoint. We’ll give you a quick breakdown of KOA’s findings and how these numbers could potentially impact your business.

Right off the bat, KOA reported that since 2014 more than 6 million new North American households have started camping, and the number of campers who camp three times or more each year has increased by 64%. The length of time campers are spending camping is also increasing and 39% of new campers plan to camp more often in 2018. KOA reports that in 2017, there has been an increase of 2.6 million camping households, representing all ethnicities, and that there is a nearly even split between white and non-white campers. We’re encouraged to see these numbers on the rise and to see a more diverse group of campers enjoying the great outdoors. 


The diversity seen among campers was not only in ethnicity, but in age range as well. According to the report, Millennials and Gen Xers make up three-quarters of all campers, with Millennials accounting for 40%. Millennials are beginning to follow in their parent’s footsteps by enjoying the camping experience and many are choosing to RV, with 37% making up all RVers.

As we know, camping doesn't always need to be in a tent, and new campers seem to agree. While 53% of new campers say they still camp in tents, 25% chose cabins and 19% chose RVs, but those numbers are on the rise. RVers spent the most nights camping in 2017, and it was reported that there is a strong desire among non-RV owners to try RVing, with more than half saying they would consider renting from a peer-to-peer service. These buyers are your perfect potential customer - they are already interested in the lifestyle, so show them specifically how RVing can improve their already great camping experience. Focus on things like affordability and amenities because those are likely big barriers to entry for tent campers looking to make the jump into the RV life.


As the number of campers continues to rise, we are encouraged to see them exploring different accommodations, such as RVs. As we mentioned before, many people want to “try before they buy” and it’s important to stay in front of these potential buyers so when they are ready to make the big purchase, your dealership is top of mind. We all know the power of the camping and adventure lifestyle, and we’re excited to see the future growth of the industry - according to these numbers, it doesn't look like it’s slowing down any time soon.

To read the full report, click here.
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Building Your Business on Instagram: 3 Tips to Expand Your Audience



It’s no secret that Instagram has become one of the most prominent digital marketing outlets utilized by thousands of businesses today, from small local markets to multi-million dollar corporations. The idea behind the social media application is actually pretty simple - a digital online scrapbook. With nearly 800 million users, if you’re not already interacting with your audience on Instagram, it’s probable that you’re doing your business a disservice.

Just like you market yourself on RV Trader and on local print and media advertisements, marketing your company on social is now just as crucial. However, it’s not just about “being” on Instagram. It’s about growing and engaging an audience of interested, loyal audience members. It might sound easy- but getting started with this digital business expansion can often be the hardest part.

To help you hone your social strategy on Instagram, we’ve come up with three key tips to grow your following, engage your audience, and get customers interested all through the simple use of this social platform.
  • Get your company's profile completely filled out. Nothing is worse than a customer receiving a follower request or getting a picture liked by a ‘business’ with no profile photo or a missing website link. Though many companies may feel that Instagram is “just a social profile” that doesn’t need the same attention as a website, users may think that your activity without a full profile on Instagram could be regarded as spam. Not only could you be blocked, unfollowed, or turned down for a following, you could even be reported- just because users think you look suspicious. Don’t let that happen. Be sure your Instagram profile includes all of the following elements in full:
    • A clear profile image, featuring the most simplistic version of your logo possible. The amount of space provided for a profile photo is incredibly small, so you want people to be able to identify your business identity easily and without straining their eyes.
    • A link to your website. Now that Instagram has a section on your profile where you can include a website or link, take advantage of that space! If a user notices you on Instagram and visits your profile, that is your chance to introduce yourself to them as who you really are. This way, they aren’t having to exit out of the app, open a browser, and search you on Google- they are directly linked to your website for information.
    • A short bio, perhaps even with a clever or motivational spin. You have a very limited number of characters to fill the “About” section of your profile before people either (a) become annoyed at you for talking too much about yourself, or (b) decide not to read the rest of your description, because they are distracted or get bored. Grab their attention. Include something about yourself being a business (“Family RV Dealer located in Sunny Southwest Florida”), but add something to help them remember you by. Try not to be too corny, but whether it’s your company slogan or a quote, this can help draw your audience in and get them scrolling through your feed.
  • Engage with your followers to grow your audience. The thing about Instagram for business is that it isn’t an exact science - is more of an art, with stable practice over time. You’re not going to grow by 20,000 followers overnight, but you definitely can grow by at least 20 a day with the proper tricks on hand. Try a few of these strategies known to grow business’ follower numbers exponentially over time:
    • Use hashtags in your posts. When people are searching for something on instagram, such as a travel trailer, they will type into the searchbar “#traveltrailer.” Obviously, you want your dealership’s profile and related posts to show up in their search, so use that hashtag to help that customer find you. The most successful and engaging posts include at least 11 hashtags, so depending on your niche, primary models carried, etc., choose the best ones that work for you. At least one should be focused on your company name, and most of the rest should be focused on the type of model/RV experience in your photo or at your dealership.
    • Whether you have a specified social media specialist or you’re the director and handle social yourself, you should be engaging with Instagram users regularly as though they were all your prospects. One way to do this is by searching one of your target hashtags (i.e., “#traveltrailer”) and liking posts related to that hashtag. It may sound tedious, but liking at least 50 posts a day - focusing on the most recent posts, which have less likes - will get your name on a user’s notifications as someone who liked their photo.  
    • Another way to do this - scroll through those hashtags, and when you see a photo you find especially interesting, comment on it! Even if it’s just a statement such as “Great photo!”, users love engagement. Talk to them, and whether it’s through a like, follow, or simple response back, you are putting your name out there - and once you comment on their photo, it’s now in front of that individual’s followers, too. Much more simple than it sounds at first!
  • Pay special attention to the quality and type of photos you post. Don’t take the same photos of different units over and over again. Rather, try to mix your messages. Take this idea for a sample strategy: 
    • One day, take a photo of a special rate sign in your dealership. 
    • The next day, go ahead and share a photo of a unit for sale- but aim to do so every other day, mixing these photos with other types of media. 
    • This will communicate to your audience that yes, you are a dealership, and your goal is to get units sold, but you also care about the experience the have with your company- both online, and in person. 
We hope these tips have helped you gain a clearer vision of what steps you can take to refine and develop your presence on Instagram - be sure to tag @rvtrader and hashtag #rvtrader to gain the most exposure possible for your photos - and possibly even get featured on our own Instagram page!


Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Looking Ahead: Big Changes Coming to Small Business



The world of technology is bringing change to pretty much every aspect of our lives - from how we interact with one another; to how and where we shop, eat, or catch a cab; to how businesses compete for market share. Small businesses, particularly, are constantly faced with the growing challenge of making a name for themselves in the digital space. So how do you deal with it?

At RV Trader, we have the pleasure of working with thousands of dealers all over the country. While business goals or obstacles may vary, among our dealers, the underlying concern we hear remains consistent - how can I stay in front of my audience and truly compete in the marketplace? What will really make an impact and help drive the exposure, conversion, and ultimately revenue to make it all worth it? Keeping up with trends, having a high rank with various search engines, and having a social media presence doesn’t even scratch the surface, making this whole digital marketing thing a pretty big undertaking.

According to Google, Forbes Business, and other industry leaders, these are the top digital tools, techniques, and trends that have been and are going to help small businesses grow their presence well into the future:
  • Think Mobile First: Savvy consumers have been spoiled by quick, easy, and informative web experiences in the palm of their hand - and the RV industry is no exception. According to socPub, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site, so between the rise in millennial buyers and the tech takeover, having a responsive site a must have for any business to thrive. In fact, according to a survey of over 350 small businesses conducted by The Manifest, one in five small businesses have identified updating and upgrading their users’ experience as a top priority in 2018. We imagine these numbers will continue to grow as the way we send and receive information continues to evolve into more digital platforms.
  • Video Engagement Drives Results: That very same survey by The Manifest, also determined that video content is becoming a large part of their overall business strategy. Cisco even predicts that video traffic will account for 82% of all internet traffic in just four years. By now we understand that the amount of research buyers conduct before a purchase (and even before contacting a dealer) is vast, and consumers love to view videos as a part of that research. Video has the ability to greatly increase the likelihood of conversion just by adding that personal touch. Many dealers are already using video through YouTube, Facebook, and on their own sites to engage and inform their visitors, convey transparency, and establish validity all while greatly improving search rankings. Check out our recent blog on how to use video for your business.
  • Content is King: Not unlike video, consumers and search engines really love content. In fact, 22% of the 350+ businesses surveyed by The Manifest said they were expanding their content strategy in 2018. Content not only gives a large boost to a site’s SEO, but it goes even further by informing and even persuading consumers to engage - whether it’s buying, clicking on a link, sharing, and more. Hootsuite identified that small businesses are leveraging video, blogs, infographics, and more to reach their buyers and have them coming back for more. So what is the key to good content? Keep it concise, relevant, localized, and conversational.
  • Security and HTTPS: It’s no surprise, but with the increase in overall internet traffic and the ability to send/share sensitive information, consumers and businesses are more focused on security than ever before. Not having an secure website will not only impact SEO (Google announced in 2016 that sites lacking HTTPS certificates will be flagged as untrustworthy), but could damage a business’ reputation, raise concerns that consumer information may be compromised, and more.
While these ideas might sound simple, few small/independent businesses are actively working towards them. If you want to grow your marketshare and secure the sustainability of your business, it is crucial to stay up on the latest trends in the digital marketing world to see which tools might work best for your business.
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Deeper Dive Into Search Engine Marketing (SEM)



Have you read the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 101 article and still want to know more? Well, no worries, RV Trader is here to help. Since you’ve gotten the SEM basics down, we thought we’d dive a little deeper and give you more insight into how the search engines work and how ad placement is decided. We’ll also explore a few other campaign types and opportunities that you may be eager to take advantage of.

Remember the PPC or Pay-Per-Click campaigns? They allow advertisers to create and manage the text ads that show up at the top and bottom of the Google search results pages. Here’s an example. Say I’m looking for a new vehicle and have decided that I’d like to test drive a SUV; I will likely search something like “new SUV for sale near me”. There are multiple ads that show up for that query, so how is the placement determined if many businesses would like to show up for that search?


 Google treats this situation like an auction – each advertiser sets a bid amount on that keyword. The highest bidder definitely gets a boost, but there is another part to this equation, the quality score. Having a good quality campaign and a great website that delivers the expected experience to the searcher makes a difference.

What other things go into creating a good quality PPC campaign? Ad extensions, for one. In our car shopping example, you might notice that some of the ads include locations with map links, model lists, other clickable links, etc. Ad extensions beef up the core content of the PPC ads and allow advertisers to share more information about their businesses that will benefit searchers.

We’ve covered the Pay-Per-Click campaigns, but what else can we do to improve our online presence? Google offers a variety of other campaigns designed to promote businesses via ads in Gmail and YouTube. For instance, once you’ve logged in to check your email, Gmail ads display on the Promotions tab. A Gmail ad opens like an e-mail message and allows the user to click over to the business’ website. 


Also - YouTube ads traditionally play prior to viewing your selected video and were previously referred to as “pre-roll” ads. Google now offers multiple other ways to promote your videos including ads within the YouTube search results or alongside related videos.  And there are various other opportunities to reach potential buyers through ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but we’ll be exploring those in a separate article coming next month.


The world wide web is wide indeed, but that’s why we’re here to help you! As new advertising methods pop up, the RV Trader search team investigates it all. We’re asking all of the right questions - what are your customers searching for and what information can we present in our ads that will pique their interest? This is where our expertise in optimizing PPC campaigns comes in. Plus, our website is designed to offer a great experience to anyone who clicks on one of our search ads. We’re always looking for new ways to grow our audience as well, which means testing different ad platforms and types that appeal to an RV buyer at all points on their path to purchase, even when they are performing day-to-day online activities like checking social media or watching videos on YouTube. All of this to get more eyes on your listings and connect you with an eager RV buyer!
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Top Searched Makes and Models From Q1 2018



As your partner in the industry, it’s our goal to keep you informed and up-to-date with the latest consumer trends you need to know. With millions of consumers visiting our site monthly, we have the unique ability to provide you with useful insights into the search habits of your potential customers. We’ve seen some interesting RV data in the first quarter of 2018 that we’d like to break down for you. Check out our top searched makes and models of Q1 2018.

Top 5 searched models of Q1 2018:
  • Travel Trailer 
  • Class A 
  • Class C 
  • Fifth Wheel 
  • Toy Hauler 
Travel trailers continue to dominate our most searched models with 15% of total searches in Q1 2018, dropping just 2% from Q1 2017. Class A models come in as a close second, resulting in 13% of all searches in Q1 2018. The numbers for the top five searched models of this quarter remain comparable Y.O.Y - consumers seem to know what they like and they’re sticking to it!

Top 5 searched makes of Q1 2018:
  • Forest River 
  • Keystone 
  • Winnebago 
  • Jayco 
  • Coachmen 
Forest River takes first place when it comes to most searched makes in Q1 2018 - accounting for a total of 11% of all searches on RV Trader. Keystone isn’t far behind in second place with attracting 6.5% of all consumer searches. The numbers are also fairly comparable Y.O.Y, with Forest River still taking the top spot in Q1 2017 at 10% of all searches and all other makes claiming the same general ranking. We’re interested to see if any manufacturers shake up this list next quarter.

It’s hard to believe Q1 has already come and gone, and as the RV community continues to grow we are excited to see what the rest of the year will bring. How did your dealership compare with these findings? Did you see similar trends? Let us know in the comments below!
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Using Video for Your Business







It’s not a surprise that we are in an almost totally digital age and we will undoubtedly see that trend continue to grow in years to come. As consumers evolve, it is important that, as businesses, we evolve as well. So while having a video strategy might not have been an integral part of your business a few years back - with the rise of YouTube (did you know it’s the third most visited site behind Google and Facebook?!*) - more and more buyers rely on video as a crucial part of their search.

Video has been an increasingly popular way for businesses to share their content, and YouTube is a great (and extremely popular) platform that you should be taking advantage of. Not only will it enhance your listings, but consumers love video - plain and simple. In fact, video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019, and 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions, according to Forbes. Consumers love to research and want to actually see what they are considering buying before walking into a dealership. It’s important to offer them everything you can content-wise, both on your website and in your listing - and this includes video.

So, what exactly do consumers expect from your video presence? We asked them. If you are putting these videos on your listings (and we think you should), 82% are hoping to see a detailed walk around and an in-depth review of the unit. Pictures are always great, and definitely necessary, but video takes a user's experience to a new level. Your video doesn’t have to be extremely fancy or over the top, but should clearly highlight every aspect of the unit. While videoing, you also have the opportunity to talk about its perks and any features that make the specific model unique.

We know consumers want to see tours of the units (especially in your listing videos), but what else do they hope to find on your YouTube channel? By hosting a variety of videos on your YouTube page, you have the opportunity for consumers to engage with your dealership even before stepping through the doors. When building out your video library consider that:
  • 38% of people said they’d like to see product reviews and testimonials videos 
  • 27% would like to see how-to videos 
  • 18% want to see RV tips and tricks
It’s important to realize that while listing videos are great (and should be included), it’s crucial to have a variety of different types of videos on your YouTube channel to keep consumers coming back for more. By providing a wide range of videos you assure consumers that you are a true expert in your field.

Plus, these videos are a great way to get continued engagement from your potential buyers. 52% of RV Trader consumers said they would watch more than one video, and 60% they are more likely to view your website after viewing your videos.

If you’ve been curious about creating videos and making a YouTube channel, but haven’t taken the plunge, we encourage you to dive right in. Once you upload your video to YouTube, the website makes it so easy for you to add the link to your listings, your dealership website as well as other social media platforms to encourage engagement with your brand - what have you got to lose?

*https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/39-youtube-stats/


Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, March 29, 2018

What Facebook’s Newest Updates Mean for Your Business



Social media is constantly changing, and as business owners, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date with the latest news and trends. We all know Facebook is a huge marketing tool for businesses (both large and small), but with their ever-changing algorithms and updates, it’s often hard to keep up. We have broken down some of Facebook’s most recent updates and have provided a few useful tips to help your business succeed in new ways in the social media space.

Facebook’s latest news feed algorithm update is undoubtedly a big change for businesses. The social media giant recently announced that they will now prioritize public content from your friends and family rather than promoting businesses, brands, and media in an effort to maximize more “meaningful and positive” content. This means both brands and businesses are going to need to work harder to get in front of their customers. 

So, the main question for a lot of business owners is, “How will I continue to reach new and existing customers on Facebook with all of these changes?” Glad you asked! We have some useful tips to make sure all eyes are still on you despite these recent changes. 
  • Get Your Customers to Engage With Your Facebook Posts - This means posting engaging content that users will respond to. Now, it’s not all about how much you are posting - it’s about the quality of your posts. The more people that comment on your post, the more people who are going to see it show in their news feed. Comments are king - aim to get a conversation started! The split should be about 80/20 with 80% of the time focusing on the consumer, the industry, and the units they might be interested in buying - and 20% focusing on your dealership and what you can offer them. 
  • Go Live - Going live on Facebook is another great way to increase engagement, as these videos are favored under the new algorithm and often lead to discussions among users. One of your main goals should be to get your customers talking and some great ways to do this on Facebook Live is to share videos highlighting your inventory, have a Q&A session, or even make a big announcement that will spark excitement and ultimately conversation and comments. 
  • Get Users to “Follow” Your Page - Facebook didn’t change the ability for users to follow your page - so encourage users to! When a user follows your page they are more likely to see your posts pop up on their news feed. Users can even sign up for notifications to get an alert each time you post. This could be a great conversation to have when buyers come into your dealership! 
We hope these tips have helped you realize that even if/when there are changes on various social media platforms - there’s always a way to reach your customers - it just might take a bit more effort than it used to.
Trader Online Web Developer