It's time to 'like' technology

Publish Date: 
Feb 13, 2012
By Dennis Johnson

OH, HOW I LAMENT the failure of powersports retailers to embrace technology in any meaningful way.

There’s strong technogeek blood running through my veins, and it bothers me to see how few motophiles on the selling side share and exercise this love. Perhaps they do, but this wasn’t reflected in the recent stack of 2012 Top 100 Dealer competition entries — at least not in most of the descriptions of the services dealers offer.

Sure, there were some bright spots shining through the haze, but what they’re doing seems like it should be industry standard at this point because many of these features are available on the website templates and DMS programs used by most dealerships, such as:

  • the ability to schedule service online,
  • offer email pickup notification,
  • promotions via text messages,
  • strong and well-maintained Facebook fan pages,
  • an e-commerce platform (or even an online distributor or OEM catalog),
  • online wishlist,
  • order monitoring, and
  • regularly updated video and/or photo galleries.

It seems that the bulk of this industry moves slowly to embrace change; not a good thing as its customers and competing businesses shift and evolve at an ever quickening pace.

Rise of the micro-influencer. I understand that the recession has forced many to focus on other things, but technology is a quick-moving target and can quickly pass us by. Eric Anderson’s column this month addresses the business of Likenomics and the rise of the microinfluencer. The gist? Yelpers and Facebookers are diluting the power and drastically changing the worlds of traditional advertising and marketing. This shift affects how customers view your brand — your store. It means working hard to gain a deeper understanding of the changes afoot.