June 21, 2021

Harley-Davidson Tops In Responding To Website Inquiries

MONTEREY, CA – Ever asked a motorcycle dealership a question via its website? If you got a response, you most likely inquired of a Harley-Davidson, Indian or BMW store. If you didn’t get an answer, you probably were reaching out to a Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph or Yamaha dealer.

That’s the conclusion of an industry study released earlier this week by Pied Piper Management Company, which submitted questions to the individual websites of 6,407 dealerships nationwide between July 2020 and March 2021.

Overall, though, the results were pretty dismal, especially when motorcycle dealers are stacked up against car dealerships.

But All Brands Could Stand To Bolster Performance

While Harley-Davidson came in first place, with Indian second and BMW third, the Pied Piper study revealed that those brands’ stores only responded via email or text about 50 percent of the time. That was an improvement from 2019 when those same dealers only responded about 35 percent of the time.

On the flip side, Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph and Yamaha dealers on answered website customers’ questions about 30 percent of the time in both 2019 and 2021.

The study noted, “Most dealers today understand that quickly responding to web customers is critical to sales success, but for most dealers there is still plenty of room to improve their dealership web response behaviors.”

Digital Tools Largely Lacking

Most lacking among motorcycle dealerships were helpful digital retail tools. Fewer than one percent of dealer websites had a “buy now” or “buy from home” button, compared to 25 percent for car dealers. Only 16 percent of motorcycle stores provided a “chat” option, compared to 76 percent for car stores.

A total of 76 percent of motorcycle dealerships offered a way to find out trade-in value, but that was still far less than the 89 percent of car dealerships that do so.

In announcing the results of the study, Pied Piper CEO and president Fran O’Hagan said, “Dealers who consistently respond to web customers by both email and phone within 60 minutes sell 50 percent more units on average to the same quantity of web customers than dealers who fail to respond within 24 hours.”

In the category of “Internet Lead Effectiveness,” brands above the industry average in the study included Harley-Davidson, Indian, BMW, Ducati, Zero, Aprilia, CF Moto, Moto Guzzi and Triumph. Brands below the industry average were Royal Enfield, Husqvarna, KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda.

Pied Piper was founded in 2003 to help brands and manufacturers improve retail performance.

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.

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