- February 19, 2020
- Posted by: Kirsty Sidley
- Category: Automotive Industry
Car Dealer Magazine recently reported that motor retailers around the UK experienced a marginal loss for the month of December. While true, this is also the third year in a row that it’s happened – and we’re here to tell you why there’s no reason at all to panic.
We compared sales data from ClickEngage users throughout the months of October, November, December, and the succeeding January across 2017, 2018 and 2019 to see if there was any kind of pattern to this December downturn… and to our surprise, there was!
Like clockwork, dealerships have experienced a decline in sales towards the end of the year, culminating in a sharp slump in December. However, the following January then sees an increase in sales, returning to sales figures similar to those seen in October.
Consumers avoid making big purchases in December
To understand these behaviours, we must understand how our customers’ spending habits fluctuate throughout the year and how they may impact vehicle sales. December, in particular, is a tricky month to navigate for many retailers as it traditionally coincides with the holiday season.
With this in mind, it’s not unreasonable to consider that consumers avoid making big purchases in December as they have to be careful with their budgets over the festive season. In fact, insights released by online marketplace eBay, support this train of thought.
eBay found that searches for more expensive items, such as vehicles, jewellery, and household white goods, spike during January, suggesting that consumers defer making large purchases until December has drawn to a close.
Simultaneously, consumers have become accustomed to retailers hosting sales throughout January and, therefore, may be waiting to see what deals become available. In 2014, as the idea of Black Friday began to take roots in the UK’s public consciousness, retailer Argos reported flat sales in the weeks preceding the event itself. Despite a 45% increase in sales on the day, the anticipation of the upcoming sale resulted in a lull from customers in the weeks prior as they chose to wait instead of buying.
Once the festive season has passed and consumers have established what is best for them, they begin to spend again.
Not only does January bring an end to a sleepy December, it also signals the beginning of increased spending throughout the rest of the year. Like the seasons themselves, retail is cyclical, with peaks and lulls throughout the year dependent on customer behaviour.
The key to success, ultimately, is understanding that behaviour and planning for your business accordingly.
If you’d like to find out more about how Click Dealer can help your business, then please get in touch with us on 01782 478 220 or by email using firstname.lastname@example.org