A clear 77% majority of those responding in the latest round of RVB’s All-Industry Survey feel the Internet has been more of a “boon” than a “bust” for their businesses. But those who regret some of the World Wide Web’s impact on their marketplace are pretty adamant in their views, judging by the essay answers submitted over the past two weeks in a survey administered by RVBusiness and sponsored by Pender, Neb.-based Blue Ox. Here’s a few examples:
• Better to embrace the Internet and profit from it because it is not going away.
• It helps level the playing field for small or more remotely located dealers.
• The Internet reaches more customers; more people are researching their product than ever before.
• Although we often feel tied to it in a negative way, the Internet does allow informational exchange and convenience at a pace well beyond most peoples’ capabilities. It’s a tremendous tool that has value, depending on how it’s used.
• You have to go with change or get left behind. We are seeing 60-70% of our sales coming from the Internet.
• The Internet’s great for the used market. BUT it has completely prostituted the new (unit) market. The Internet sales stores are beating out the brick-and-mortar stores because they don’t have to service what they sell and that will ultimately give ALL dealers a bad name and hurt the RV industry as a whole!!
• The Internet, used properly, should be a boon for any business, but, sadly, it is being used to steal business from local dealers based on price alone, and lack of margin will shrink our industry in the long haul.
• The Internet will destroy the free enterprise system as we know it. Internet stores have ruined the grosses on RVs nationwide without a great deal of volume going their way.
• The Internet has put local dealerships out of business and created a major issue for servicing retail customers.
OK, so here’s our next All-Industry Survey Question:
The buzz in some RV industry circles right now is that a rather impressive upturn may be at hand for 2012, despite mixed news reports on the U.S. economy. So, we’re asking you, North America’s RV sector, whether you think a more significant recovery is under way than you might have thought a few months ago?
Respond by clicking here. You can also vote, submit comments and monitor ongoing results by clicking on the survey banner on the RVBUSINESS.com home page.