Thursday, February 22, 2018

Consumers & Their Never-Ending Research Process

If we’re being honest, we would all love for the buyer’s path to purchase to be as short as possible, right? The sooner we can get them into the dealership, the sooner you can close the deal. But because there is so much information available online, consumers are now putting off that trip to the dealership, turning online to research and decide what’s going to work for them. The questions is, how long should you realistically expect to wait for a consumer to complete their pre-purchase research?

A while.

64% of consumers shared that they research for more than four months before buying - and of those consumers, 36% will research for more than a year. A year! But this is a big purchase for them so they are willing to take their time.

And if they are planning to research for more than a year, you can bet they aren’t just looking in the spring and summer months. That would be impossible based on that timeline. In fact, 90% of consumers said they search throughout the year for their next unit. This statistic is really important to keep in mind because we often hear from dealers that consumers are not in the market in the winter months, but the research shows they are.They are searching and thinking about that purchase they plan to make in the next 4-12 months.

And because we work in a passion industry, consumers genuinely like looking at units at all the time, which is why 84% said they search available inventory even when they aren’t ready to buy. They’re just seeing what’s out there, and while that might not seem like the most motivated buyer - 83% said they would buy if they found the right unit. These are buyers who weren’t planning to purchase, but because you have the unit they’ve been dreaming of, they decide to go ahead and pull the trigger. That’s powerful! They are like bonus customers.

The path to purchase can be long, and it’s hard to be patient waiting for the right customer to come along.
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How & What Consumers Are Searching For

Once a buyer walks through the front door - everything gets easier. At that point - you know who they are and can ask them directly about their search habits, what they are looking for, etc. It’s trying to figure out what they are up to before they come into your dealership that can feel impossible.

The reality is that the majority of RV buyers don’t know exactly what they want when they start the research process. So when they come to RV Trader - what is driving their search? No surprise - a big part of it is price - with 28% of buyers saying it’s the most important in their purchase decision - but what are they searching for if they choosing to narrow their search? Well, in 2017, the top most searched manufacturers were:

Forest River - 9.8%
Keystone - 4.8%
Winnebago - 4.7%
Jayco - 4.2% 
Fleetwood - 3.5% 

Another important thing to note is that just over 19% of buyers chose not to use a manufacturer in their search at all - which isn’t a huge surprise because 84% first and second-time buyers told us that they aren’t brand loyal to a manufacturer. Instead, they depend on other search criteria - or maybe just searching generally by location. And as they move around RV Trader - the majority visit:

Search Results pages
Ad Detail pages
RV Trader Homepage
Private Party - Sell Your RV 
Dealer Gallery pages

Many RV buyers are more focused on amenities and budget - searching to find the unit that will fit best into their lifestyle and budget. For those who did choose to include a keyword - the top ones were: 

Bunk and/or bunkhouse
Toy Hauler
King Bed

These buyers need guidance. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, they are price conscious and aren’t brand loyal - so make sure you are catering your listings to be sensitive to these search habits. We’ve put together some tips in our Listing Success Checklist to help you build out your listings, if you want to check that out - or if you want to learn more about why it’s important to include a price, photos, and a description - you can check out these two recent articles:

Trader Online Web Developer