AVALA, a Rollick company, has released the results of its recent survey of 3,000 consumers engaged in the recreational product buying process. 

According to a press release, the results are included in a recent white paper, “The Recreation Shopping Experience: Why Customers Buy and How to Ensure They Buy from You.”

Four major themes were explored in the survey. They include:

  1. Brand consideration and switching
  2. Dealer and OEM follow-up.
  3. Satisfaction drivers
  4. Why people leave the market.

Brand Consideration and Switching

According to the study, 81.2% of respondents seriously consider purchasing other brands, 43.1% of dealers suggested other brands, and 67.6% of respondents purchased the brand they originally inquired about. 

Dealer and OEM Follow-Up

According to AVALA data, the average days to close from lead to purchase for 2017-2018 was 221 days in marine and 198 days in RV. However, dealers and OEMs are only following up with consumers about once after the consumer made contact. Only 57.5% of dealers continue to follow up after their initial contact with a potential buyer. 

Satisfaction Drivers

The survey showed that consumers were mostly satisfied with their dealer experience in all areas except for price. Price is a challenging topic because it can change frequently, and because of customization, it is hard to assess exactly how much a recreation product will cost the consumer. However, the survey results surfaced that dealers do a better job at communicating an accurate price early in the relationship so that consumers walk into a dealership with reasonable expectations.

Why People Leave the Market

The survey found the number one reason consumers decide to no longer purchase a recreation item or to purchase a different brand is because of price. The second most common reason is because they found another brand that better met their needs. On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest, consumers reported that when purchasing in the recreation space, the experience ranked a 3.2 — about the same as their experience shopping in similar industries (like automotive).

How to Improve the Purchase Journey

Optimizing consumer engagement with your brand is imperative to set yourself apart both within the industry and also as you compete with other industries. Some areas of focus that will move the needle in your favor include:

·        Using data-driven insights to deliver highly personalized messaging and interactions

·        SEO strategies

·        Pricing clarity 

How to Improve the Repurchase Journey 

According to a study by Paul W. Farris, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. And according to Bain and Company, returning customers spend an average of 67% more than first-time customers. Tips to keep customers coming back include:

·        Follow up with them

·        Thank them, provide them with great service and continue to grow the relationship

·        Provide meaningful content via email and social media

·        Use a post-purchase satisfaction survey like AVALA’s CSI program

To learn actionable ways you can improve the shopping experience at your dealership, register here for a special webinar presentation by Steve Pizzolato on Feb. 27 at 11 a,m. (CST). The Recreation Shopping Experience whitepaper is available for download here.