Many car dealers find that December is a banner month for gifting cars, especially high-end models. And, as auto manufacturers and car dealerships start to embrace digital advertising more readily, holiday marketing campaigns are also an opportunity to reach a wider range of consumers.
Are Consumers Actually Buying Cars As Gifts During The Holidays?
Yes, people are actually gifting cars at Christmas, particularly luxury cars. “Luxury sales throughout the year make up 12 to 13% of total vehicle sales, but around December that rises to 16%,” said Thomas King, Senior Vice President of the Data & Analytics Division at J.D. Power.
However, there are a lot of other reasons people buy cars in December that just happen to coincide with Christmas. Holiday promotional sales, lease turnover – particularly with luxury brands – and a little extra hustle from dealers who likely have incentives are all contributing factors to the uptick in car sales at the end of the year. “Then, of course, you also have the question of wouldn’t it be nice to receive a new vehicle for Christmas,” said King. Adding, “Pull that all together and what you get is a very busy holiday season.”
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Online Car Shopping Slows Down At The Holidays, But Manufacturers Still Spend On Digital Ads
On-lot sales at dealerships that move out last year’s car models to make room for new inventory are another major reason for December car sales. Because of this influx of dealership activity, action on consumer car shopping websites goes down in December. Most car buyers have already done their research online by December and then go to dealers to take advantage of year-end sales. Regardless, manufacturers still make year-end pushes on consumer car shopping sites and across digital media, hoping to get one last shot at interested eyeballs.
Car Dealerships Have Integrated Digital Engagement Into Holiday Campaigns
Car dealerships began to embrace digital advertising about a decade ago, and 2017 was the first year that more than half of all car dealer advertising went online. Nowadays, many car brands integrate hashtags and social media strategies into their popular holiday marketing campaigns, hoping to engage consumers who crave connections with brands before buying.
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Regular Re-Engagement Is Essential During The Holiday Season
Holiday shopping can be chaotic, which means staying in front of prospective car buyers is important. Don’t be afraid to re-engage shoppers across all channels, including by phone, email, SMS and push notifications. But make sure you are able to change your messaging once they purchase, so you can shift to helpful owner content instead of sales deals.
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