Increase in first-time fishing participants may signal boost in fishing boat interest
With fishing as the second-most popular outdoor activity for adults over 25, fishing boat dealers must have live chat and SMS Text on their websites to connect with online shoppers. More than 15 percent of the U.S. population participating in fishing in 2015, and first-time participation increased from 2014. This data was reported by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and Outdoor Foundation in July.
“Recreational fishing is an essential piece of America’s outdoor tradition, often leading children to a love of the outdoors and a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation.
Fishing boat sales increased last year, according to Boating Industry. Boats over 40 feet, hit hard during the recession, have had some of the strongest sales growth this year, especially in the offshore fishing market, said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
“The saltwater category has been growing in double digits, the low teens, for three years running,” Dammrich said. “One of the things contributing to the sportfishing segment is a lot of product innovation and taking the hardcore fishing boat and making it a family dayboat than can also be used for hardcore fishing.”
As the interest in fishing transitions to interest in fishing boats, boat dealers should assume that most, if not all, boat shoppers will start their process online. When these potential boat buyers land on a dealer website, every effort must be made to capture contact information and begin the sales process. And dealers can’t just count on shoppers filling out forms.
“Today’s boat shopper has evolved and often prefers to chat or text with a dealer representative,” said Jeff Sterns, BoatChat Vice President of Sales. “With BoatChat operators available 24 hours a day, we can start the conversation for the dealer using chat or text and immediately hand off the lead.”
Fishing may be as old as time, but the clock is ticking on boat dealers to optimize their digital marketing with live chat and text. Call, text, or chat with us now to schedule a quick online demo.