Until now, brands had to rely on their local dealers to sell and market their products. Brands are aware that most dealers are multi-brand dealers so the opportunity to position their own brand and products strongly on a dealer website is usually not possible. Brands compete with their competitors on dealer websites and have no influence to control content proactively. Brands focus on guiding prospects through their online searches to an authorized local dealer in hopes to influence the buying decision for their own product. At this point in the consumer journey, brands are not only competing for market share, but they also rely on their local dealers to offer their products online. This raises the question of, how well-versed and committed are the dealers in handling their own digital presence?
The impact at the local level.
Say, for example, a customer is in the market for a chainsaw. After narrowing down his search to three products from different brands, he goes to each brands' website to compare product features, price information, and technical details. After examination, the customer decides the brand that is right for him. The customer clicks on the dealer search and finds a local dealer in his area. The first thing the customer sees on the dealers’ website is the logos, product images, and special promotions of competing brands. The customer then begins to question the brand he originally chose.
Although he made a preliminary decision via the brands’ website, he’s now considering the offers of competing brands after seeing them front and center on the dealers’ website. Although the prospective buyer had already chosen the chainsaw brand he wanted to move forward with, he was unintentionally influenced when he was offered attractive options from competitors on the dealers’ website. In the end, the customer bought a chainsaw from a competing brand that had a special promotion advertised on the local dealer website. Due to a lack of online consistency and an interrupted consumer journey, the brand lost its customer and indirectly helped their competitor make a sale.
What’s the solution?
The solution is to design the consumer journey in such a way that prospects do not have the chance to change their mind and purchase from a competitor.
Analyze your dealer network and view your brands' online representation on your dealer websites. If a brand passes on a prospect to a local dealer via the consumers’ dealer search, it is essential to maintain interest and attention for that brand. By eliminating any possibility of interruption or doubt during the buying process, brands not only speed up the sales process but also ensure that the brand experience remains positive. 0
Things to pay attention to:
- Are your competitors represented and present on your affiliated dealer websites?
- Are your products and your brand promoted on your dealer websites?
- Is your product information up-to-date (info, descriptions, pictures etc.)?
- Is it possible to improve the brand consistency in your online dealer network?
- Do all your dealers have their own websites and are they optimized for mobile devices (smartphones, etc.)?
- Are the dealer websites SEO optimized for your products?
Let us help you!
We will gladly evaluate your current dealer online situation. We can analyze your dealer websites and create a detailed overview of your local dealer network, free of charge! We give you recommendations on how you can achieve a consistent and uniform representation of your brand and products in your entire dealer network and offer your customers and prospects a consistent consumer journey. Many brands are already working successfully with us to solve this described problem. Schedule a free site audit today!