Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words... And So Is A Description

Wanderlust, adventure, spontaneity all fuel the dreams of potential RV buyers. That’s why they are looking to purchase an RV, right? They want to get out on the road, spend more time with family and friends - and less time tied to a desk or computer. They have grand ideas of the trips they’ll take when they aren’t weighed down by mortgage payments, plane schedules, or defined plans.

They dream big - and you want to encourage that. These buyers know what they want to do with their unit - but they may not have a particular manufacturer in mind. And if they are first-time RVers - or even if they have owned before, but are looking to move into a new class of unit - they need your help deciphering what’s going to fit into their lifestyle and budget.

So when they come to RV Trader to search for that dream unit - are the pictures and descriptions you’re providing them helping to paint the picture of this great dream they’ve imagined? Most of the time - the answer is no.

While descriptions can be tedious to write - they are so important, particularly for the first time buyer. These buyers have no idea what they’re looking for when it comes to the more technical aspects of their next unit - so providing a detailed description, that explains this information in an easy to understand way is crucial. If you dive right into detailed information on the chassis, engine details, and on exactly how the warranty works - some buyers may immediately become overwhelmed and move on.

While you should absolutely include that type of information - ease buyers into it. Help them understand what this unit can do for them and their family. Point out perks of the unit that would differentiate it as compared to another unit that might look similar. Why should they buy your RV - this RV? You have to answer this question because they truly might not be able to tell the difference between your Class A and the next one. This is your time to help them understand what this unit will bring to their life. If they’ve never owned an RV before - or are moving into a new class - this will really help them decide. And as a reward for your efforts, this will help them build trust with your dealership because of the guidance and advice you’re offering them, even before they’ve come to see you.

As for pictures - buyers want to see them - and lots of them. Oh - and stock imagery isn’t going to cut it. They want to know exactly what the unit looks like - and if there is any damage they should expect. The reality is that most buyers really don’t mind a few imperfections here and there - they just want to be told about them up front. There’s no quicker way to lose trust with a buyer than to withhold pictures and information about any possible damage until they’re in your dealership. I know it might seem like you can explain it away in the moment - but just go ahead and be honest with them from the start.

These pictures and descriptions give them the first glimpse into how this unit could be right for them. They can start to imagine themselves in it and that’s what draws them in. They help to fuel their excitement - but in the end, you have to put the effort in and provide them with something to be excited about.
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Industry Spotlight: Winnebago Releases Newest Class C Coach

Only a few years ago, no one would have dreamed of paying hundreds of dollars for a cooler. Then along came Yeti. Light, strong, and exceptionally good at its primary function -- insulation -- Yeti coolers, along with a host of subsequent imitators, revolutionized the category.

Now, borrowing a page from that technology, Winnebago has developed what it calls the SuperShell Sleeper Deck, and is introducing it on its newest Class C coach, the Vita.

"We use a two-part mold filled with expandable foam to build the SuperShell," said Russ Garfin, Product Manager for Class C motorhomes. "The result is a shell that's stronger, lighter and much quieter than a typical shell, both on the road and in the campground. This also reduced the number of parts and processes necessary to build the cab-over, improving quality and durability for our owners."

But Winnebago didn't stop there. Built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Vita also incorporates numerous other advances and innovations, including:

Manifold-Based Plumbing and LP systems
Instead of the more common system of multiple joints and connections, the Vita uses separate, manifold style routings for its plumbing and LP systems. According to Product Manager Garfin, this "not only reduces the number of connections in the coach, it improves manufacturing quality and serviceability."

200-Watt Solar Panels (expandable to 475 watts)
Together with the two standard 105 AH AGM Batteries and 1,000-watt pure sine wave DC/AC inverter, the Vita's solar energy system boosts its boondocking capability and reduces demand for the 3,600-watt generator.

Roof wiring access port
Because so many RVers are adding Wi-Fi and cellular boosters to their coaches, Winnebago has included a roof access port that allows customers to add the system of their choice, without the hassle or risk of drilling into the motorhome roof.

Other advances
In addition to the innovations listed above, the Vita boasts a 7.3 cu. ft refrigerator, the largest Winnebago has ever put in a Sprinter-based motorhome. Careful use of space has also enabled the Vita to offer the largest galley and largest bed in its class.

Somewhat surprisingly, even with all of these innovations, the Vita is expected to retail for thousands less than other Sprinter-based Class C coaches. And that may be the biggest innovation of all.
Trader Online Web Developer

Did You Know You Have Two Dealerships?

It’s true. As you can guess - there’s your physical location - but you also have an online dealership. While you’ve spent countless hours nurturing your physical dealership - pouring your efforts into building and maintaining it - the reality is that your online presence, and the way you present your dealership in that space, requires just as much time and attention. When you stop to think about how consumers are searching - realizing that they are relying more on the Internet now than ever before - it’s clear why you should be putting just as much time into your online dealership.

Potential buyers are checking out your inventory online as they research - weighing their options for this big purchase. They are spending time online looking at your units long before they step through the doors of your dealership - meaning they know all about you, your brand, and your offerings before you even know they exist.

Really think about how that could impact your business.
If you don’t put the effort into really building out your listings, making an effort to help the buyer imagine themselves in that unit, it will show. And then - sadly - no matter how good your customer experience is at your physical dealership, buyers may never choose to experience it, because they might never walk through your front doors.

Shoppers are becoming more and more savvy and their expectations for your online presence is increasing with their online researching skills. They are turning to places such as your website, your presence on social, or your online listings to judge what their experience might be like when they come to your shop - and maybe that feels unfair, but it’s true. This means you should be putting just as much effort, if not more, into your online presence - making sure you’re putting forward an experience that’s just as good as they one they’ll get in store. That way - when they do come to do business with you - they’ll have already seen a glimmer of the experience they can expect.

There are a lot of ways to make sure your online presence is up to snuff - but let’s just start with the basics. You should always:

1. Include a price (when you can)
Everyone has a budget - and RVs are a big purchase - so I’m positive your potential buyers have a price range in mind when they start searching. Sometimes it can be hard to guess what a particular RV might cost - and it’s a frustrating experience to find what seems like the perfect unit and then find out it’s much more than they can afford.

We understand that manufacturers have rules about how to price new models - but it’s important to always include something - even if it’s MSRP. As for used inventory - there’s no reason not to include a price. I understand the thought that by not having a price - a consumer may call to get that information - but that’s not really a qualified lead. If you go ahead and tell them the price - when they do call, not only will the have an innate trust for you and your dealership - but they are calling because they are actually ready to buy.

2. Put up real pictures
People are visual - and they have been dreaming about the perfect RV for their adventures for a while. They like to see what they are going to be getting for their money - including the best things about a unit and the worst. If an RV has some issues - whether it’s cosmetic or functional - go ahead and tell the buyer that in the listing. Even though it might not seem like it - by being honest up front with a buyer about any issues they might notice on a unit - you’ll go a long way in gaining their trust. If you aren’t upfront with them - you’re setting yourself up for a bad experience when they come on the lot to see the unit and are frustrated by your lack of transparency.

Now, we understand that this can be easier said than done - because, let’s be honest, getting detailed pictures takes manpower. So while we don’t encourage stock photos, we would say that they are better than none at all.

3. Remember that descriptions are actually important
Again, these buyers are dreaming about this RV and where it will take them. They want to make the RV lifestyle their passion - if it isn’t already. So encourage their dreams. As you write your descriptions - provide them with a nice mix of practical and lifestyle. If this RVer is a first-timer, technical descriptions might overwhelming - so it’s best to stay away from the canned manufacturer descriptions. Of course, including some of those practical details is important - but remember, you can explain those nitty-gritty details to them in person when they are truly ready to buy. For now, spend some time telling them why this RV is the one to take them on their dream adventure and why they can’t miss out on it. The goal of your description should be to make it impossible for the buyer to not come see this unit for themselves.

We realize that by following this advice is no easy task. You will have more work to do as you build out your listings and online presence - but we promise you it will be worth it. Your consumers will know before they step on your lot what type of experience to expect and already have a basic level of trust for your dealership - and that is worth all the time and effort you’ll put in.

If you want something to guide you as you go - download our Listing Success Checklist for quick reference on how to build strong and attractive listings.

Trader Online Web Developer