Monterey, California based Pied Piper has rated Harley dealerships top for Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) in its 2019 Powersports and Outdoor Power Equipment industry study.
Seeking to answer the question, "What happens when UTV or motorcycle customers visit a dealer website and inquire about a vehicle?", scores ranged from zero to 100, with 21% of dealerships nationwide scoring above 60, demonstrating an effective website-response process.
However, 58% of dealerships scored below 40, "struggling to respond effectively to today's website customers. Customers nationally received a personal reply to their website inquiry within 24 hours only 47% of the time on average."
Dealerships selling BMW or Ducati motorcycles were tied for second, followed by Indian and Kawasaki. Brands which improved the most from year to year were Harley-Davidson, BRP's Can-Am brand, and Mahindra tractor dealers. Brands suffering the greatest decline from year to year were Bobcat, Kubota and Husqvarna.
Pied Piper sent customer inquiries through the individual websites of 4,208 dealerships, asking a question about a vehicle in inventory, and providing a customer name, email address and local telephone number. Pied Piper then evaluated how the dealerships responded by email and telephone over the next 24 hours - twenty different measurements generated a dealership's PSI-ILE score.
The most basic measurement is whether a customer received an email response of any type—even an automated reply—within 24 hours. Industrywide, on average 18% of customers received no email reply of any type. A more meaningful measurement is whether the customer received a personal email response within 24 hours. Ducati and BMW dealerships were the most likely to provide a personal email response within 24 hours, more than 60% of the time on average. In contrast, Bobcat, Toro, Zero, Kubota and HiSun dealerships provided a personal email response within 24 hours less than 35% of the time on average.
"Consider how dramatically retailing has changed over the past 15 years," said Pied Piper Management Company LLC President and CEO Fran O'Hagan. "If you wonder where all the traditional customers have gone, look instead for customers attempting to interact through dealer websites. Today customers visit dealer websites before visiting in person, and today the opportunity for dealers to 'meet' first-time customers often happens on-line."