Tue Jan 23, 2018
Author: Jeff Thomas
General Manager Bill Rogers set the stage at the NTP-STAG Expo Monday, by expounding on the need for education and training for the long-term health of the RV market, as well as outlining how important multi- or omni-channel marketing will become.
“We feel it is part of our company mission to coordinate industry resources to provide you with a quality curriculum filled with content you can take back to your business to improve the efficiencies and profits of your stores and service centers,” says Rogers at the Grapevine, Texas-based, expo, presented by Blue Ox. “My firm belief is that if independent, local dealers like you do not do well, then we will not do well. So, I hope you found this morning’s (RV University) sessions engaging, worthwhile and packed with ideas that if put to work result in generating improvements in your business.
While the RV industry has recently seen incredible growth, Nelson noted there are still challenges for the industry, including employee shortages, product demand from OEs and Distributors stretching supplier resources, and the increased demand for campsites. New technologies, including connectivity requirements, also will require significant investment in the future, Rogers said.
“The good, the bad and the ugly of media coverage is a double-edged sword for the RV industry,” Rogers says. “As RVing becomes more mainstream, our vehicles, users and the market will capture headlines in the press and social media that can sway public opinion about the lifestyle and the utility of RV ownership.
Perhaps receiving the most time during the luncheon meeting, sponsored by Valterra, was Roger’s acknowledgement of the changing landscape of marketing, in which brick-and-mortar dealerships, must intertwine traditional marketing efforts – such as print, radio and television – with mobile-ready digital outreach, email and social media. Citing an OP-ED article he wrote in the December Issue of RV News, referencing a 2017 Walker Sands study, Rogers noted:
• 46 percent of consumers prefer to shop online instead of in-store
• Free shipping (80 percent) and fast shipping (54 percent) are still the top incentives for
consumers to purchase more online.
• In the past year, 13 percent of consumers have ordered something for same-day delivery, up
from 9 percent in 2016.
• Despite the fact that 54 percent of consumers still prefer to shop in store, more than three-quarters of shoppers (77 percent) think the online customer experience will eventually
surpass the brick and mortar customer experience.
• In-store shopping seems to be making a comeback among younger shoppers: Among 18 to
25-year-old consumers, 58 percent prefer to shop in a physical sore, compared to less than
half (46 percent) of 26- to 45-year-old shoppers.
• In addition to discounts, consumers say unique experiences will cause them to shop more in
“The underlying story is that channels of shopping and channels of communication have become so intertwined that they are really more interdependent than ever before,” Rogers says.
“The whole idea of single channel selling is long gone. Now digital strategies need to be married with traditional advertising strategies, social media strategies and what goes on within the physical confines of a store to better engage and connect with consumers to promote sales and loyalty.”