Sears recently announced the closure of thousands of it’s stores becoming the latest casualty of failing to see ahead of the curve, and evolve accordingly with the fast-paced changes of our time.
Could dealerships suffer too?
Sears now joins the ranks of fallen-giants like:
-Toys R Us
Netflix should have been “BlockFlix”. Redbox should have been “BlueBox”. They missed the boat big time. Blockbuster should have been paying close attention to the changes that were happening. They didn’t. Instead of having their finger on the waves of technological change, they sat on their high throne all fat and happy, thinking they had made it to the top and would rule there forever. I remember making it a Blockbuster night, maybe they underestimated how lazy people are or how fun convenience would be for us all. They were wrong – and they paid dearly.
Circuit city made a huge mistake by thinking people didn’t care about value and great customer service. They decided that being the lowest price was the key to more business and profit. Sound familiar? They got rid of all their knowledgeable staff in exchange for lower cost employees – which Best Buy subsequently snatched up for their Geek Squad – and decided to be the low price leader and cater to “lowest price” seeking customers.
Half of the plan worked, they attracted a ton of shoppers looking for the lowest price. There was only one problem, they didn’t actually have the lowest prices. Walmart and others still had them beat. So what happens when you are using the “lowest price” method to attract customers but you aren’t actually the lowest price?
Customers browse you, and then buy elsewhere. And they did. A lot. Down went another giant.
The mistakes Toys R Us made sharply contrasts what could happen to dealerships if they don’t tune-in quick.
Around 2008 Toy’s R Us didn’t see what was so special about the internet and didn’t foresee online shopping being as huge as it has become.
They offloaded all of their online toy sales to Amazon. Oops. This move basically trained people to go to Amazon for their online toy purchasing. When Toys R Us finally woke up and launched their website, they were already way behind on marketshare because people were already accustomed to going to Amazon.com for the same products. Such was the death of Toy R Us, and along with it, a piece of our childhood.
Sears was once a staple of America. It shaped America and transformed the way we shopped. Their mail order catalog broke the mold and was something people waited at the mailbox for. Many Americans didn’t live close enough to a big city and because of the lack of stores, still made their own clothing. The Sears catalog became the first time they could easily buy clothes.
They originally only sold watches, but soon the catalog grew and people purchased everything from buggys to houses from it,
earning Sears over 2 billion in sales by 1946.
They even invested to help build modern day malls. They were untouchable. For a while, anyway.
Failure to evolve with the times, modernize their stores & online presence as well as big box rivals beating them on price and convenience brought about their demise. They fought back by cutting back on advertising – bad move.
You can not SAVE your way into a profit. It just doesn’t work.
Sears learned that the hard way. They’ve lost nearly 12 billion since 2010. This time, Goliath himself has fallen.
Many dealerships also thought that the internet was just a fad, and now most have large internet sales departments. Large parts of the ad budget are now going towards internet leads and digital marketing.
Lots of dealerships also cut back on spending when things are slow, or try to save into a profit.
And many miss getting on board with the technology changes that are shaping the future.
As Mail Ninjas, we pride ourselves on product development to ensure YOU don’t miss the boat.
In 2012 we launched Echo Video® which embeds a custom video message into our Direct Mail campaigns. That evolved into full on high-quality 30 second video spots for our clients – at a fraction of the price.
As 2013 hit we created PassChecks®, Smartphone integration of your direct mail offers. I know it sounds crazy, but at the time, most dealerships didn’t grasp how important getting on customers phones would be or how massive of a competitive-edge it would be to have push-notifications reminding customers of your dealership whenever they were nearby.
By 2015 PassChecks® put us on the map as one of the highest responding and revenue generating service products in the automotive industry.
Then came Ringless Voicemail Drops in 2017. We were all over it.
Early 2018 we developed Ninja Text® which is variable text response for your customers. Very cool. See it in action here.
You may notice a trend here. All of these features perfectly integrate with a customers smartphone.
There are now ways to purchase a car completely on your cell phone in a fraction of the time. If dealerships don’t get people used to interacting with them on their smartphones, they will interact with someone ELSE, from their smartphones.
Smartphones. You are glued to yours, I am glued to mine. We are all glued. This is the future. Engagement & interaction with customers on their smartphones.
The future is now, and our products embody it – and our products are at your disposal. Let our hard work and product development benefit you.
Times always change. They are changing faster now than ever. If you don’t jump on these changes you may get run over.
We know you have your hands full running dealerships and selling cars, but don’t worry, we are on the cutting-edge with all of these advances.
So if you want the latest and greatest and have a desire to keep your marketing and dealership relevant, we make it easy.
Connect with us today.
If 20-30 additional units per month or $10 back in new service revenue for every $1 invested sounds good to you, take a quick moment to drop us your info below and we will show you exactly how we can do that for you, too.