Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) has introduced a new program into its arsenal of market data products, allowing dealers and manufacturers to pinpoint sales penetration and buying trends in specific geographic markets.
Tom Walworth, president of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm, explained that the new software – rolled out at the National RV Trade Show – adds a “mapping feature” to the Spotfire program installed by SSI in June.
“Spotfire was added by SSI to allow the user to receive data through a wide range of browsers, including Interent Explorer, Safari and Firefox to name a few,” Walworth said. “They can run the programs on PC and MAC products along with iPad and other tablets. There are also other benefits, including higher speed and a more user-friendly format.
“This new mapping application is a feature that customers were requesting. It provides companies with defined information on where RV buyers are located regionally, and what product they’re buying. Essentially, it ensures that dealers and manufacturers will be playing with the same deck of cards. We received tremendous response at the Louisville Show.”
For dealers, the new software will identify on a map the exact location of RV buyers in their marketplace. “It will tell dealers if they are maybe losing sales to the north, or in the next county over, because they don’t have a presence there,” Walworth said. “With that information, there are a lot of ways to reach that area, including billboards, e-mail blasts or direct mail. They may even want to set up a weekend show at a Walmart or another venue.”
Just as key, dealers will be able to track competitors that are selling units in their market. “This is particularly useful because of the growth in Internet sales,” Walworth said. “For instance, if a dealer is located in Texas, and they see a significant amount of sales in their area coming from a Colorado store, it’s obvious that people are buying over the Internet.”
Manufacturers will also have the capability to track buyers in their respective markets, providing a blueprint for improving sales by better reaching their target demographic. “OEMs can use the tool to analyze a specific market,” Walworth said. “If it’s a large area, like Dallas, and their goal is to capture a 10% market share, the mapping tool will help them determine how they can achieve that goal. In some cases, they may need to add another dealer location to penetrate an area where their products are not selling.”
He added, “The software will also be able to produce a map showing dealer ‘pump ins’ – other dealers that are selling into their market – or ‘pump outs,’ meaning dealers that are selling out of their marketplace. This will encompass the 34 dealer-level states.”
Walworth noted that another important feature of the mapping app is a control page allowing users to set criteria to provide customized specs on units being sold, including product type, price points, overall lengths and other key data.
While launching the new mapping tool in the RV sector, Walworth also reported that Statistical Surveys has entered the growing powersports industry, which includes motorcycles, quads, side-by-sides and scooters.
“This is a move that we’ve been thinking about for some time,” he said. “Powersports is a vibrant market, and is a nice fit for the market intelligence services we offer.”