Making the best of seasonal challenges

We look at how dealerships embrace opportunities in times of leaner sales to make positive gains.

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Whilst getting ready for Christmas is an exciting time for most, the festive season has always been a tough trading period for car dealers. With budgets running out and spending focused elsewhere, the shorter days also have a negative impact on much needed dealership footfall.

Following a decline in new car retail during 2017, particularly in regard to diesel-engined models, this time of year demands smart thinking and compelling marketing campaigns from both the showroom and aftersales departments. Offers such as winter maintenance checks, discounted MOTs, wiper blades and tyres, for example, all tend to be the mainstay of dealers working hard to stay on their customers’ radar and influencing sales through promotions. In the showroom, more seasonally suited models, such as SUVs, 4x4s and estates will generally take centre stage as the weather deteriorates and thoughts turn to the need for transporting all the family. It’s therefore crucial that all activity is highly targeted so it has more chance of resonating with consumers, particularly so when it comes to time limited campaigns. Keeping tabs on the weather and reacting quickly in regard to digital advertising also shows customers that a business is on the ball. For example, a winter tyres promotion when ice is forecast often helps to drive additional revenue into the workshop. There’s been major growth in website search for winter tyres over the past few years in the UK, so this can be a great way to develop the customer base for both sides of the business.

LifeShine from Autoglym has proven to be a consistent performer for dealers all year round.

The advent of sophisticated digital data tools has enabled seasonal trends to be tracked with much greater accuracy, which also gives rise to predicted behaviour. Over Christmas 2017, for example, it’s thought that consumer demand will slow down later than usual as December 23rd falls on a Saturday. Similarly, it’s predicted that online car searches will start to build again from 5pm on Christmas Day, when families are slumped on the sofa with their mobile devices.

The concept of ‘seasonality’ is not just confined to Christmas, however. As well as capitalising on the best known calendar dates such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween, dealers are now looking to benefit from newer, tech-based events, such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Dealers that embrace these opportunities in traditionally leaner periods can make positive gains that can flatten out the profitability curve for the year.

Speaking of profitability, LifeShine from Autoglym has proven to be a consistent performer for dealers all year round. At this time of year, however, when the road conditions get worse and paintwork comes under attack from salt, protecting the customers’ vehicle becomes a compelling sales proposition.

As a leader in car care for over 50 years, we work with motor retailers across all sectors of the market to help them secure incremental business by taking advantage of the strength of the Autoglym brand. As a result, LifeShine can add real value to dealers, supporting their customer service ambitions by helping generate revenue from a highly-recognised and trusted brand.

To find out more about how LifeShine can boost your profitability, please call 01462 677766 or email lifeshine@autoglym.com.

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