The arrival of summer and its upcoming holidays present a unique opportunity for dealerships.
Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day can tend to be hit or miss for dealers.
Because these weekends are some of the biggest vacation weekends of the year, dealers can be hesitant to host an event. Why waste money on a sales event when everyone is out of town?!
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On the other side, some argue that sales increase because everyone is using the extra time to find and purchase their next vehicle. They’ve saved up since the holidays, added their tax returns, and recovered from the winter blues enough to head out to a dealership.
So, where should you stand?
Well, I have good news. The argument for and against these three-day weekend and summer holiday events has been settled!
Last year, over Memorial Day weekend, a study was conducted on mobile shoppers. The study surveyed 600 car shoppers who were on dealership lots during this popular car-shopping weekend.1
The goal was to attain insight into car-shopping behavior from unbiased and unknown sources.
Here’s what the study unveiled:
Mobile Shoppers Are Ready to buy
Last Memorial Day, 30 percent of the mobile shoppers surveyed chose to purchase a vehicle over the weekend.
Seventy-one percent of these shoppers were ready to buy when they went to the dealership and 26 percent were at the dealership for service!
Consider this: On a normal weekend, 40 percent of consumers visit a dealership to shop and 60 percent visit for service.
This means that shoppers were more active during the holiday and more motivated to buy than on a normal weekend!
They Want Special Offers
They want special offers – like any consumer – but they’d prefer them on their mobile devices!
The study revealed that roughly 60 percent of shoppers surveyed preferred for dealers to share their offers on mobile. They’re looking for their ideal vehicle at their ideal price and these offers could be the push they need to make a purchase.
The study also found that many of those who did not purchase that weekend indicated that they would make a purchase within the next three months – which means Independence Day and Labor Day are perfect follow-up opportunities!
What this Means for You
This means that these holiday weekends matter. Shoppers who are in the market are looking to buy over these weekends and you can influence them to purchase from your dealership by hosting a sales event and by making your special deals and offers available on mobile.
If shoppers are seeking special offers and want them to be available on their mobile phone, then your job is simple! All you have to do is have special offers and make them available on mobile through a digital ad or email.
You Should Start Now
Think With Google recently discovered that the average research timeline for a new car purchase can span months.2
A vehicle is rarely an impulse buy. People looking to buy a vehicle by the end of summer are starting their research now and they're no longer loyal to a dealer or a brand.3
You can influence these uncommitted shoppers to buy from you simply by “bribing” them with offers, events, and advertisements that they can’t refuse.
You need to get them early in their buying process, before they’ve made a decision, and long before they’ve visited another dealership. Because, the truth is, if you don’t influence them before then, you may never get the opportunity.
The key is to develop consistent and informative marketing from the beginning of their car-buying journey to the end. If you can accomplish this, you’ll have the reigns to a holiday marketing strategy that meets the needs of each customer – and you will sell more cars because of it.
You Should Have All the Answers
You’ve probably heard the following quote from another Google study:
“Being there and useful in consumers’ initial auto searches leads directly to dealership visits. The brands that want to win sales on the lot need to first win these early micro-moments.”4
Vehicle shoppers are trying to find answers. They want to know which vehicles are best, which of those vehicles will work for them, and which vehicles they can afford – and they start this research online. You have to be there to provide that information.
If they’re on Facebook, be on Facebook. If they’re on Google, make your information prevalent. How much more likely are they to visit your dealership on Independence Day if you’ve been answering their questions and solving their pain points throughout every step of their journey?
You’ll only be able to reach your customers every step of the way if your information is there every step of the way. Contextually relevant communication throughout each step of a buyer’s journey can only happen through omni-channel marketing – that’s display ads, social media ads, emails, direct mail, in-store experience, and more.
You Should Be Strategic
If you're going to spend marketing dollars (and you are), then holiday weekends are a great time to do so. But, there’s always the question of how you should spend your marketing dollars!
A good sales event is an incredibly effective marketing strategy. Especially if the marketing is available via direct mail and email. This type of marketing can respond to shoppers’ actions or non-actions and move them swiftly from shopping to buying.
Digital marketing and digital sales events can work individually or even alongside the traditional sales event to generate more leads and better results during normal weekends – imagine how effective they could be during these high-sale holiday weekends!
Don’t wait to implement your holiday marketing strategy. If they’re going to buy a car from someone, make sure it's you.