January '20

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56 • RV PRO • January 2020 rv-pro.com RV I N S I G H T S New Strategies for a Changing Market With RV shipments and sales slowing, it's imperative that dealers be aggressive in their marketing efforts and be open to other revenue sources, such as RV rentals. I t was not until late last year that signs emerged that things might be changing in the industry, as RV shipments started to slow after 10 years of consistent growth. The down- ward trend, year-over-year, continued through 2019, according to RV Industry Association shipment data. The industry appears to be entering a new market that we have not experienced in a decade. As a result, buyers may not be visiting dealerships as frequently as they were a few years ago, and things may be getting a bit more competitive. So, as a dealership, what should you be doing to continue to grow sales and capture new market share? Let's consider some strategies. Know Your Customers As the market tightens, it's more important than ever to get a firm understanding of who makes up the market, as well as how these consumers are changing. With that in mind, RV Trader recently surveyed more than 2,000 consumers who have shopped for RVs – either to rent or buy – in the past two years to better understand today's customers and how they became involved in the RV lifestyle. Through this research, RV Trader found that there are three distinct RV personas: the buyer, the renter, and the renter who will turn into a buyer. Diving into the demographic research, it only makes sense to start with the familiar: RV buyers. They are the dealership's classic con- sumers. Typically, they are married Boomers who are entering retirement and are looking for ways to spend their "second act". RV Trader survey data shows the majority of these customers are two-person households. Their kids are grown and RVing allows them the freedom to see the world, while still having someplace consistent to sleep at night. Here is a quick snapshot of The Buyer: • 47 percent are Baby Boomers • 51 percent only have two people in their household • 65 percent make less than $100,000 annually By Paige Bouma Serving as vice president for Trader Interactive's Recreational Brands, Paige Bouma brings nearly 15 years of experience in RV advertising media monitoring consumer trends and using that insight to develop comprehensive digital advertising solutions. For more information, visit www.RVTrader.com.

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