Website Providers Survey Results: PowerSports Network

Publish Date: 
Jun 25, 2009

Last Updated: June 25, 2009

PowerSports Network Inc.
N56 W24660 N. Corporate Circle
Sussex, WI 53089
800-556-0314 or 262-246-7900
sales@powersportsnetwork.com
www.powersportsnetwork.org

1. When was your company founded?

PowerSports Network was founded in 1998 by three entrepreneurs working out of a garage. From humble beginnings, PSN became one of the fastest-growing private companies in Wisconsin. In 2006 the company was listed at No. 316 on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America. In 2007 the company was acquired by Dominion Enterprises, a media and information services company based in Norfolk, Va. The acquisition has allowed PSN to continue to offer the service associated with a small business while leveraging the benefits afforded by being part of a larger company.

2. How many people does your company employ? How many are dedicated to powersports dealer services?

PSN employs over 90 people at their Sussex, Wis, location. Approximately 80 of those people are dedicated in some way to powersports dealer services.

3. When did your company start building websites for powersports dealers?

1999.

4. How many powersports dealers have a website built by your company? How many dealers of other types have a website built by you?

Powersports: 2,500.
Marine: 500.
RV: 250.
Agriculture: 150.
Heavy Equipment: 350.
Large Truck: 150.
Total: 3,900.

5. Can you estimate the total annual sales through all the powersports websites?

Annual sales for parts and accessories is approximately $30 million. Unit sales are not tracked by dollar figures.

6. How do dealers pay? Describe your pricing structure, including all options, setup costs, monthly fees, etc.

The initial setup fee (including graphics design and training) ranges from $500 to $1,500. The base monthly fee is $225/month. Since each dealer utilizes their web sites differently, PSN offers a wide array of optional products and services (such as Rider Reviews and Industry News), each available at varying monthly rates, that dealers are able to pick and choose from.

7. Do dealers get to keep their domain URL even if they discontinue their service with you?

Yes. PSN clearly states this policy in its dealer agreement.

8. How long does it typically take to build a site without e-commerce? About how long does it take to build a medium-sized site with e-commerce?

The initial setup, with or without e-commerce, takes about three weeks on average. However, PSN has been able to activate dealer sites within days in case of an emergency.

9. Do you offer initial training? If so, what is it and how long does it take?

Yes. This varies depending on the site functionality being utilized and the dealer’s Web-based knowledge. During training, dealers are walked through how to use their site maintenance environment, load inventory and content, manage leads and much more. Typically, the initial training is done over the phone and takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

10. What types of ongoing support do you offer? Phone, online, on-site, remote access? When is it available? How do dealers pay for the support?

PSN offers online videos for ongoing training, as well as phone and e-mail support. Support is available 7:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., CST, Monday — Thursday and 7:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., CST, Friday. There are no additional charges for support.

Also, PSN has recently launched a Dealer Reference Center to help dealers learn how to better utilize their website and the Internet. This resource is updated on a regular basis and is available 24/7/365 to all PSN dealers at no additional charge.

11. Can your sites integrate with any of the dealer management systems? If so, which ones, and are all the integrations one-way (meaning data can be downloaded off the site, but not uploaded)?

PSN currently integrates with SofTek, LightSpeedNXT and MIC Systems (Brainstorm) for e-commerce. Integration with V-SEPT, Traffic Log Pro, Higher Gear and H-D Connect also exists for lead management.

12. From how many vendors do you collect product information and images? Are there any major OEMs or suppliers from which you do not collect information?

The PSN Vehicles Department currently collects product information and images from over 200 OEMs across 380 product lines. The PSN Catalogs Department has 169 current catalogs available for dealers. These include:

  • 58 OEM catalogs (43 U.S. and 15 Canadian across 16 OEMs)
  • 40 distributor catalogs (32 U.S. from nine distributors, eight Canadian from three distributors — three or more Canadian catalogs will be added later this year)
  • 71 “Other” OEM catalogs (66 U.S. from 42 companies and five Canadian from one company)

Additionally, there are thousands of past catalogs that PSN has available in its archives.

13. Do you collect information from any Canadian vehicle or aftermarket distributors?

Yes, PSN supports Canadian OEMs and distributors including: Alpinestars, Arctic Cat, BRP (Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo), Icon, KTM, OGIO, Polaris, ScorpionEXO, Thor, Triumph, Kimpex and Parts Canada.

14. How do the dealers receive the product information and images? Do they pay the same regardless of how many suppliers they have?

PSN loads and maintains all product information and images for the dealer sites. A dealer need only call to request an OEM or catalog be added to their site. From there the information can be made visible on the dealer’s site almost immediately.

Monthly fees vary depending upon the number of OEMs the dealer wishes to display. Similarly, there are different catalog packages available depending upon how many catalogs the dealer wants to offer.

15. Can dealers buy the product information and images only? If so, how much do they cost per vendor?

No. This data is only offered as part of PSN’s website solution.

16. Are OEM promotions automatically uploaded to the applicable sites (i.e., all Honda promotions uploaded to all Honda franchise dealers)?

Yes. OEM promotions are automatically uploaded to a dealer’s site (with the PSN “OEM Promotions” functionality). The dealer elects whether or not the promotion appears on their site. Promotions are displayed on their own page and are also integrated into the dealer’s showroom. Additionally, promotions are date-sensitive and extend or deactivate automatically. Currently, over 140 powersports promotions are available for PSN dealers.

17. What type of security do your websites use to protect customer information?

PSN uses Verisign’s SSL certificate with 1024-bit encryption technology to ensure secure communications between PSN and the customer during the purchasing process. After the purchase, the customer information is encrypted in the database.

PSN dealer sites do not allow customers to view their stored credit card information or automatically use it again for repeat purchases. This way, if someone were to compromise a customer’s username and password, they would still need to re-enter the credit card information to make any purchases. This makes it impossible to complete a fraudulent purchase with information a customer used on a PSN dealer’s site in the past.

Additionally, dealer sites have been scanned and approved by multiple third-party PCI compliance companies. If dealers use new scanners, or if the scanners find and add new vulnerabilities to their scans, PSN works with both the dealer and the scanners to get the vulnerabilities resolved quickly to ensure continued PCI compliance. PSN is in the process of finalizing multiple options that dealers can use to ensure 100 percent PCI compliance and provide a consistently up-to-date secure environment for consumers.

18. Do you offer any organic SEO or paid SEO services? If so, how much do they cost?

Yes. All the sites created by PSN are search-engine-friendly and are submitted twice a month to search engines for indexing. Additionally, PSN offers enhanced organic optimization and paid optimization services. The one-time setup fee for each is $500.

The Organic Optimization service costs $150 per month. This service includes Meta tag and online content management as well as monthly consultation and reporting (i.e., organic keyword performance, page view statistics and website marketing tips).

Paid Optimization starts at $250 per month. This number can increase depending on how much the dealer would like to budget for the pay-per-click campaign. This service includes the development and purchase of recommended keywords, optional geographic keyword optimization, monthly consultation and the reporting and analysis of the campaign performance.

19. Please note whether your standard website offering has the following features and answer applicable follow-up questions. Please note if the features are options that cost more. Feel free to make comments or (where applicable) to note the third-party company that provides the feature.

Yes, standard.

  • Shopping cart for P&A sales

  • Ability to market new/used vehicles

    Yes, standard.

  • Merchant account for credit card payment processing and the payment transaction software (which cards are accepted? can dealers use their own payment processor instead?)

    Currently dealers are able to use Authorize.net and PayPal for online transactions. Additional options are in development. All major credit cards are accepted and a dealer is free to use their own payment processor if they choose.

  • Proper tax calculations for all 50 states and Canada

    Yes, standard and can be defined by the dealer.

  • Shipping price quotes and tracking (which carriers?)

    Shipping carriers and prices are determined by the dealer. The dealer is able to set up shipping cost tiers in their maintenance environment if desired.

  • Shipping price estimator for used-vehicle purchases

    No.

  • “Other Customers Also Purchased” feature

    PSN is currently developing a similar feature (“Suggested Products” or “Related Items”) that would offer recommendations based on previous customer purchasing patterns as well as the brand and category of the product being purchased.

  • “Also Consider” recommendation feature

    PSN is currently developing a similar feature (“Suggested Products” or “Related Items”) that would offer recommendations based on previous customer purchasing patterns as well as the brand and category of the product being purchased.

  • Customer Relationship Management system including customer registration, an e-mail blaster and leads management

    PSN’s standard offering includes the features of most CRM systems (including customer registration, mass e-mails, lead management, etc.).

  • Ability to create a toll-free 800 tracking number to direct leads to the lead manager

    PSN offers optional toll-free 800 number call tracking for $30 per month. Available information including the caller’s name, address and phone

number are captured and automatically entered into the PSN Lead Manager program.

 

  • Customer Guest Book

    Yes, standard.

  • Auto response to customer e-mails

    Auto-response is standard for any e-commerce orders placed. PSN also offers an optional service in connection with “Quote Requests” for vehicles.

  • Ability to accept finance applications

    Yes, standard.

  • Payment calculator

    Yes, available at no charge.

  • Fuel savings calculator

    Yes, available at no charge.

  • Ability to create user accounts

    Yes, standard.

  • Instant messaging for customer support (on the dealer sites for their customers)

    PSN has partnered with ContactAtOnce! to create an optional live chat service available to PSN dealers for a monthly fee.

  • “Events” page

    Yes, standard.

  • “Testimonials” page

    Yes, standard.

  • Google Maps integration for “Contact Us” page

    Integration with Google Maps, MapQuest and/or other providers is available on the “Map/Hours” and/or “Contact Us” pages.

  • “Staff” page with photos

    Yes, standard.

  • Rotational graphic modules for the home page

    The PSN “Featured Inventory” and “Featured Items” rotating modules are available to dealers at no charge.

  • Ability to create and manage Internet advertising and coupons

    Yes, standard. PSN has recently launched the PSN BannerBuilder to allow dealers to create their own graphics for use on their website and newsletters as well as for any other marketing materials. The functionality is available to all dealers at no additional charge.

  • Search box

    Yes, standard.

  • Search box auto-complete

    While currently unavailable, plans exist to develop this feature in the future.

  • Search results help to correct spelling errors (i.e., “Did you mean?”)

    While currently unavailable, plans exist to develop this feature in the future.

  • Search by fitment (model, make, year) for OEM parts

    There is a monthly fee for parts fiche. Any PSN dealer offering fiche on their site will have this functionality included.

  • Search by fitment for aftermarket parts

    In development.

  • By-catalog shopping

    Yes, standard.

  • By-brand shopping

    Yes, standard. A “Featured Brands” module is also available for dealers to utilize on their site at no additional charge.

  • By-vehicle-type shopping

    Yes, standard.

  • By-promotions shopping (a “Specials” page)

    Yes, standard.

  • Aftermarket-category shopping

    Yes, standard.

  • By-price shopping (or by-price search refinement)

    In development

  • Parts fiche presentations

    PSN offers a search-engine-friendly parts fiche viewer at a monthly rate.

  • Configurable landing page

    Yes, standard.

  • Vehicle comparison function (how many units can be compared at once?)

    Yes, standard. The complete specs and features of two units can be compared side-by-side.

  • Craigslist integration

    Not at this time.

  • Google Base integration

    PSN’s Data Distribution program offers a selection of online classified sites (including Google Base) that dealers can choose to send their inventory to. The cost is 95 cents per vehicle per month regardless of the number of sites selected by the dealer to transmit the data to. Dealers are able to send one, some or their entire inventory and are able to make updates as needed.

  • CycleTrader integration

    This is standard for any PSN dealer with an active CycleTrader account. Also, discounted rates are available for any PSN dealers who wish to set up CycleTrader accounts.

  • eBay Motors integration

    Yes, standard.

  • Auction123 integration

    Not available.

  • Yahoo! Stores integration

    Not available.

  • Price book integrations (please specify which)

    PSN offers a Black Book pricing module at a discounted monthly fee. Automatic updates are provided to dealers throughout the year.

  • Compatibility with mobile devices

    Yes, standard. PSN’s Sales Assistant works on the iPhone and Blackberry. Plans are also in place to develop enhanced mobile functionality.

  • Website traffic analyzer

    Site statistics are available to dealers for $10 per month. The statistics package offers a general overview of a site's performance and visitor behavior as well as information about Web server activity, the type of data visitors accessed on the site, referrer information, search engine performance, visitors' geographic regions and visitors' browsers and platforms.

  • Ability to upload videos

    Yes, standard.

  • Ability to create a blog

    PSN does not provide this service as a large number of free and well-crafted blogging services are already available. Dealers are encouraged to utilize such a blogging service and link to it from their website. Or, if available, a blog’s embeddable code can be placed within the dealer’s site.

  • Ability to list seminars and courses offered to customers

    An optional “Rider Course Application” function (tied into e-commerce) is available for a monthly fee. Dealers can use the course maintenance area to manage class listings, class calendars, applications and waiting lists as well as offer coupons and create survey questions. Customers are then able to register for the courses online.

  • Ability to manage a rentals business

    The rentals module (tied into e-commerce) is available for a monthly fee. Dealers can manage their rental options, reservations and pricing structures in their Dealer Maintenance environment. Customers are then able to request a rental and put a deposit down right from the dealer’s website.

  • Ability to create a forum

    Similar to blogs, PSN does not provide this service as a large number of free forum creation tools are already available. Dealers are encouraged to utilize a forum service and link to it from their website.

  • Ability to conduct surveys

    Yes, standard. PSN provides dealers with the tools to gather customer surveys and present these surveys in their dealer maintenance environment. This provides the dealership insight into it its overall position. The dealer can then focus its resources to enhance service in specific areas if needed.

    Additionally, many of PSN’s optional services (HTML newsletter, rentals module, rider course application) also offer dealers the ability to create and conduct surveys.

  • A customizable Privacy Policy page

    Yes, standard.

  • Ability to allow customers to schedule service appointments

    Yes, standard.

20. Are there any other features you’d like to note?

In addition to the features mentioned previously, PSN also provides dealers with a Specials page that dealers can use to advertise any discounts or offers they may have available.

Dealers also have the ability to create and display coupons to be used with online purchases or for in-store promotions.

All PSN dealer sites enjoy the benefits of being integrated with PSN’s portal site, www.powersportsnetwork.com. The dealership’s information, along with links to the dealer’s site, is listed in the Dealer Locator. All dealer-loaded inventory and eBay auction items are also listed for the hundreds of thousands of portal site visitors to search.

Dealers should contact PSN to learn more about “Featured” modules for inventory, products and brands, PSN’s integrated electronic newsletter product and PSN’s two new, exclusive features — the PSN Dealer Reference Center and BannerBuilder.

 

21. What features could many of your dealers make better use of?

PSN encourages its dealers to fully utilize every page offered on the site. This is especially important for dealer-loaded inventory, the specials page and the events calendar.

More directly related to sales, dealers should use the tools provided in the Lead Manager to quickly respond to quote requests and manage leads throughout the sales process. Additionally, the Sales Assistant should be leveraged for vehicle and OEM promotion comparisons.

To increase their visibility, dealers should use their Guest Book to encourage visitors to sign up for future dealer e-mails. From there, the dealer can use text-based e-mail blasts or PSN HTML newsletter to stay in contact with their customers.

22. Do you offer live demos?

PSN offers live demonstrations as well as website evaluations.

23. Do you have a referral program?

PSN does have a referral program which provides a credit to the referring dealer if the referred dealer signs up for PSN’s services.

24. Any suggestions for dealers looking to improve their website?

Dealers should look at their site and answer these questions:

  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Does the site provide valuable information?
  • Is the information on the site current and regularly updated?
  • Is the home page organized to drive traffic deeper into the site?
  • Do images serve a purpose to promote the dealership’s offerings? Are they optimally used to link deeper into the site?
  • Are current sales, promotions and events listed and easy to find on the site?
  • Are customers encouraged to provide their e-mail addresses for newsletters and e-mail blasts?
  • Are customer testimonials promoted?
  • Is dealer inventory loaded to the site and current?

 

These are just a few questions dealers can use to assess their current site. PSN representatives are available to evaluate and discuss a dealer’s current site, as well as to provide insight on how a PSN website solution, backed by powersports industry experts, can help them reach their sales goals. Representatives can be contacted toll-free at 800-556-0314, ext. 503, or via e-mail at sales@powersportsnetwork.com. More information about PSN’s offerings can be found at www.powersportsnetwork.org.