During his State of the Union address at AVB/BrandSource’s annual Summit show held March 23-25, 2021, CEO Jim Ristow busted “four big myths” about independent dealers: Consumers can’t find them; they can’t compete on price; their assortments are limited; and they don’t provide an omni-channel experience.
Joining Ristow on the virtual stage to dispel those myths was Chief Marketing Officer John White. By melding physical and digital retail through the group’s comprehensive marketing technology platform, or MarTech, members enjoyed triple-digit increases in transactions, order count, online conversions, and purchases through digital ads and social media year over year, he said.
Key to the group’s sales and share gains is the ability to present customers with an integrated and personalized omni-channel experience that lets them buy whenever and however they want — whether that’s shopping online, buying in store, arranging for delivery or picking up curbside.
To underscore the impact of retail’s new COVID-inflected paradigm, White pointed to box stores reducing their brick-and-mortar footprints — and e-tailers adding storefronts — in pursuit of an omni-channel presence that MarTech-enabled dealers already enjoy.
To keep the momentum going, White offered BrandSource members a digital “Checklist for Success” in 2021 that includes:
- A new website scoring tool to assess their sites’ effectiveness;
- A flipbook-style digital tab for use in emails, texts, online and in stores;
- Utilizing Google’s “Surfaces Across Google” showcase, which responds to product searches with store names, hours, contact info, website links and a selection of SKUs;
- Maximizing “every penny” of co-op ad funds; and
- Directing their advertising to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which “is how many customers are shopping today,” he said.
Indeed, nearly one-third of customers shopping via ads on social media say they would rather give their business to an independent dealer than a box store, White added. The unspoken message: Don’t disappoint them!