Business Growth

Got Pre-Orders? Don’t Forget the Back End

The results of the Q1 2022 Powersports Business/BMO Capital Markets Dealer Survey have been released, reflecting a distinct change in sales. For the third consecutive quarter, 27 percent of responding dealers indicated their business was below plan, 12 percent were ahead of plan and 61 percent were on plan.

The February CDK Lightspeed Dealer Management System report showed a bit of a bright spot with major unit sales up 13.4 percent versus February 2021. Revenue also increased 11.3 percent as compared to the three percent gain in January 2022. But these numbers are a far cry from the roaring revenue generated during the height of the pandemic.

The primary culprit of these below-plan numbers is lack of new unit inventory. The supply chain continues to wreak havoc on manufacturing, prompting OEMs to ship bare bones chassis to dealers in order to have something to fill the showroom. The continued microchip shortage coupled with rising inflation and gas prices is impacting everything from gauges to sensors for new units. As these items trickle in, dealers are quickly installing parts to move completed units out the door.


Winning with Excellence

As we close out the first quarter of 2022, powersports dealers are seeing some positive signals, mixed with some areas of concern. According to CDK Lightspeed DMS, revenue from new and used units grew 3.4 percent in January 2022, versus January 2021. Service saw a 1.4 percent decline as compared to a 13.2 percent increase in December. Overall, average dealer revenue was up 3.0 percent for the month. While this is down notably from the high-flying days at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s still a positive.

Areas of concern continue to be available inventory for both new and used units as well as the rate of inflation. Speaking of inflation, a new wrinkle popped up this month as the Federal Reserve raised their interest rate a quarter of a point and signaled six more increases planned for 2022. While these moves are made to tame the rise of inflation, the impact the average consumer can expect to see includes increases in the interest charged on credit card revolving debt, higher mortgage rates, as well as auto and powersports loans.

This monetary tightening may not affect powersports customers immediately. But there is one area that dealers can boost right away….and it might even be free. Dealers can ensure that the entire ownership experience for their customers is one filled with excellence. This intangible, anecdotal attribute will lock in the sale today and for every repeat interaction. It can even bring new customers to the store in the form of referrals and stellar reviews. All it takes is the commitment from every team member and business partner to ensure that each customer engagement is performed with excellence!

Business Growth

Digital Sales Drive 2022 Success

Does it feel like aside from news on the pandemic and supply chain challenges, the mantra for the last two years has been digital sales? Even at the 2022 AIMExpo, “digital” was the word on everyone’s lips. Panelists stated that the bulk of powersports customers have spent significant time online researching bikes and financing before they ever set foot in the dealership. Analysts report that 90 percent of powersports sales begins online, yet nearly 85 percent complete the sale at the dealership.

If you are not using an omnichannel approach to engage the customer on the digital platform of their choice, with accurate, easy-to-navigate information, then chances are that customer will never make it to your dealership.

Train for digital sales

Engaging with a potential customer in a digital setting is very different than the dealer floor.  Understanding the customer’s needs and moving them through the sales process in a virtual platform requires certain skillsets.