Four Tips to Get Your Dealership Holiday-Ready
If you haven’t started your holiday shopping, you might be behind the rest of the pack. According to a 2016 Retail Me Not study, 45 percent of Americans started their holiday shopping before November 1, with half of those starting before October. Dealerships especially stand to benefit from the holiday craze. We found that luxury vehicle sales surge 41 percent above average in December, and non-luxury sales see a 13 percent lift. The holiday shopping season is in full swing, so how can you make sure your dealership is ready (and ready fast) for the craziness of the season? We’ll look at four quick and easy steps you can take to make sure you’re prepared for holiday shoppers.
Your Website is Your Best Friend
Before shoppers head to your dealership, answer their initial questions on your website. Make sure your Google Business Page has the correct store hours, phone number and link to your dealership website. Make sure your information is up-to-date and easy to find online. Take advantage of Google’s newly announced “posts” to add relevant specials to your page. The best way to see what your potential customers are experiencing is to search your dealership from a computer that you don’t usually use and see what the search returns. If your business isn’t the first result, work with an SEO expert or check out some of our advice on how to optimize your search results.
A Photo is Worth a Thousand Words
Before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, post videos and photos of the products you have in store on your websites and promote the photos across your dealership social media channels – like Facebook, Twitter or your Google Business Page. Having a website that is loaded with product photos, videos and up-to-date information can bring more shoppers into your dealership. According to a 2016 Google study, 50 percent of shoppers will look online to see a product before they come into your store to buy it. A video or photo online can increase the likelihood of people really making their way off their couch and onto your lot.
Check up on Your Advertising
While an always-on strategy will help you drive foot traffic year-round, advertising competition heats up during the holiday months. Make sure your advertising budget and strategy are set up for success. Start by taking advantage of the holiday themed campaigns your OEM is running. The OEM’s offline advertising (radio and TV) will spur online searches – and if you want those shoppers on your lot, you’ll need to be front and center when they search. Aligning your ad images and text also helps you capitalize on those campaigns, as your dealership is quickly recognized as a shopping resource. Don’t forget to check in with your advertising team and verify that your ads are targeting the right channels. Whether they’re searching in Google or surfing their Facebook feeds, there’s an opportunity to get your name and offers out there.
Keep Your Store Well-Staffed
Retailers should expect to see Black Friday sales increase from last year – with 56 percent of shoppers planning to make purchases throughout the day. This is compared to the 39 percent who planned to shop on Black Friday in 2016. Be sure that your dealership is ready for anything — stampedes of deal-crazed shoppers are a reality you’ll want to be prepared for. In addition to more people spending, they’re also expected to spend 238 more dollars than they did over the 2016 Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. More people making more purchases is great news for retailers, so make sure your dealership is ready both in store and online with additional sales and technical support. Have a backup plan in place for a no-show employee or other unforeseen circumstances.
Cyber Monday is the second most popular shopping day of the holiday season, after Black Friday. And, no surprise, the next busiest shopping days are every Saturday and Sunday in December. Now is the best time to plan and prepare for everything that the holiday shopping season can bring.