Remember when we thought 2021 was going to be the year everything goes back to how it once was? Instead, what is and isn’t “normal” has remained in a constant state of flux for both consumers and businesses. We may not know what major changes 2022 holds, if any, but we do know one thing—this year has shifted the high-end appliance landscape, forcing dealers to reassess their strengths and weaknesses and adjust their strategies accordingly. This holiday season, we’re taking a look back at some of the most important lessons we’ve learned throughout yet another unpredictable year.
Digital Is Where It’s At
The pandemic accelerated a shift in consumer behavior to online shopping, and even if they eventually come to your showroom to shop in person, consumers are starting their search online. Combined with the fact that more and more manufacturers expect you to have data on how their money is spent, online advertising is a must for high-end dealers. Whether it’s paid search, display, or paid social (and there’s probably a place for each in your plan), digital advertising has become a key tactic in a high-end marketing strategy.
The last two years have been hard on small businesses—and small business owners. Even when business is booming, as it is for many high-end appliance dealers, navigating the pandemic-related challenges has made for more than a few sleepless nights. For some family-owned businesses, this season has been the push the owners needed to pass the baton to the next generation and step away from the daily grind. If you’re stepping into that leadership role, congratulations! Lean into the wisdom and experience that’s already around you, and remember that while your location may be the same as it was when your parents or grandparents opened the store, a lot of things in the appliance industry have changed.
We talk to dealers around the country, and one of the things we hear regularly is how frustrated customers are about the current backorder situation. And unfortunately, that frustration is often directed at your sales team. Your team is on the front lines, and dealing with challenging customers can leave even the most stalwart salesperson deflated. Don’t forget to take some extra steps to encourage your team – and not just because it’s the holiday season. Investing those small acts of kindness in your team will be paid forward to your customers.
As we put 2021 behind us, we raise a glass to the lessons we’ve learned, the clients we’ve served, and the opportunities we’ve had to help appliance dealers grow. From all of us at Riley & You, we hope you have a joyful holiday season with family and friends!