If there is one thing we know about our dealers, it is that they are resilient and creative when it comes to getting customers in their doors. We were curious about what our dealers thought about marketing and how they were utilizing it to drive traffic. To help us find out, we recently placed a survey on MemberNet and asked three basic questions:
- What is the most successful marketing activity you have done in the last year?
- Is there a new marketing tactic you have tried?
- If you could suggest something marketing related to another dealer, what would it be?
It was great to read some of the different things our dealers are doing, but there were some common themes among the responses. Among them:
- It is important to have a fully functioning, cart-enabled website.
- Digital advertising (AdRocket and social media) are key drivers of creating both website and foot traffic.
- “Traditional media” (ie. TV, radio, and print) are still viewed as important, but should be utilized alongside digital media.
- In-store events are great for driving foot traffic. One of our dealers even hosted a breakfast to generate high turnout.
While every retailer and every market is different, there are common underlying tactics that are highly effective. Take Pay-Less Furniture & Appliances.
For more than 28 years, Pay-Less has served the greater Jonesboro, Arkansas, community by offering high-quality furniture, appliances and electronics to credit-challenged customers through RTO, third party and outside finance companies. The company offers all of their customers flexible payment options including weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and 120-days-same-as-cash.
Independently owned and operated by Fred Pearson, the rent-to-own company has expanded into four showroom locations to better serve surrounding communities. Pearson says that what he loves most about being an Independent RTO business owner is the opportunity to provide ambitious young professionals with good careers and the interactions with his customers.
Pearson shares that while he couldn’t say for certain, he just knew in his gut that he was losing out on business because his company’s digital presence was weak.
“We weren’t presenting our company to younger buyers who were flocking to social media and going online to inquire about items they were considering purchasing,” Pearson explains. “Basically, we kept pouring money into traditional advertising plus various promotions I had used in the past.”
But those channels, which included radio, television, direct mail and newspaper were no longer delivering the same results as in years past.
To help, Pearson called on Nationwide Digital Rewards, powered by Retailer Web Services. Our integrated suite technology provides Independent rent-to-own dealers and traditional retailers with what they need to execute a complete digital marketing strategy. This affordable, bundled package is exclusive to Nationwide Members and includes RWS’s highest-performing digital offerings: a WebFronts® Level 4 website, WebFronts® Review™ reputation management software, Retail Deck® price monitoring tool and AdRocket™ digital advertising — all for as little as $999 per month.
While attending PrimeTime, Nationwide’s Member conference and buy fair, Fred Pearson was introduced to RWS’s full suite of RWS digital produ cts designed specifically for Independent dealers like himself. There, he was able to sign up to upgrade his digital marketing and boosted his savings through Nationwide Digital Rewards.
“It was at the Summer 2019 PrimeTime where it all came together,” Pearson says. “Our Member Support Manager had been after me to take a serious look at AdRocket and at the meeting, he got us to step from a Level 2 website to a Level 4 website with AdRocket. I feel our reach today is greater because of it.”
As the RWS team worked to upgrade his digital presence, Pearson was able to see how they walked him through the whole process in an understanding way.
“What impressed me most was that the RWS staff respected that I was a novice when it came to this stuff,” Pearson says. “They made the time to carefully walk me through everything and to answer all my questions.”
When the upgraded Level 4 website was launched along with AdRocket Boost, Pearson says it only took four weeks to begin seeing improved results. Pay-Less’s enhanced digital presence was reaching and bringing in new customers — first-time store visitors who discovered his local business through his new digital advertising.
While the reports received from RWS showed an increase in both impressions and clicks to the website, it was the sales Pearson had seen that were the biggest result.
“We have customers who had never even considered us before come in and that is exciting!” he says. “We’ve already had the best January and February we ever had!”
Amanda Evans is director of marketing for Nationwide Marketing Group