Following Cyber Monday’s recent record-breaking sales, Aaron Krane at Drive Motors predicted online checkout could be a difference maker for dealers competing for transactions during the holidays and year-round.
Though the overall volume in online orders does drop around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, it doesn’t drop very much — only about 25 percent — according to Krane, Drive Motors chief executive officer.
“Which means there’s still a lot of people going car shopping on those holidays,” he explained in a mid-December phone interview.
Leading up to Christmas, Krane anticipated that similar to trends he saw in 2016, more online shoppers would be drawn to the checkout from home option.
“My prediction would be that we see a slight decrease in daily sales on Christmas Eve and Christmas because people are celebrating the holidays, and they are shopping less, but we expect a drastic increase of about 50 percent order volume for any given dealership four to five days after Christmas,” he said.
“And so we are encouraging our dealerships to embrace this. We are helping them create marketing campaigns, involving messaging around holiday sales, instant online ordering. That’s a great message. A lot of those consumers kicking the virtual tires are going to end up buying that vehicle in the following few days,” Krane continued.
Online Christmas Day orders rise
As Krane predicted, on Christmas Day, Drive Motors found that dealers who utilized online checkout sold more cars this past December compared to Christmas Day 2016.
Drive Motors dealers sold almost three times as many cars online on Christmas compared to 2016, according to the company.
Dealers’ online car orders were highest on Dec. 19 when they were up 57 percent compared to the daily average in December 2017. From highest to lowest, four of the other top days include Dec. 28, 13, 26 and 29.
The top five days averaged 48 percent growth compared to the December 2017 daily average.
Additionally, according to Drive Motors, in the final seven days of December, one out of four Drive Motors dealers made over 50 percent of their December online sales. That’s 5 percent more dealers than in 2016.
In December 2016, compared to average daily sales throughout the month, the volume of online car orders made that year were highest on Dec. 15 (+67 percent), Dec. 28 (+61 percent), Dec. 20 (+39 percent) followed by Dec. 29 (+39 percent), according to Drive Motors.
“There are many more discounts to be had on Christmas Eve, which makes it a great day for car buyers to pull the trigger,” Krane said.
But while there’s an influx of discounts available for consumers to take advantage of during the holidays, “generally, no one is buying cars, Christmas Eve or Christmas, or New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day,” he continued.
“Christmas Eve is sort of the first day of the eve/holiday discount window — a great day for anyone to go car shopping. With most car dealerships closed on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, it hasn’t been until the past year that car dealerships using Drive Motors could actually get orders on those days,” Krane explained. “For the first time ever, they are getting car buyers to order cars on the dealer’s own website on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”