Using coupons to draw customers away from competitors and to your dealership is a simple yet effective marketing tool in every economy.
Consumers are changing their spending habits and auto dealers should pay attention to these changing trends and adjust their marketing efforts. A 2008 report shows that "62% of U.S. consumers who were decreasing their shopping expenses in October 2008 were using coupons more often to do so."i
The same report shares that in the same quarter that year "more than 25 million Americans visited a coupon site."ii Many of these consumers actively seek retailers who offer coupons. A year later the Washington Post reported that "Internet coupon redemption grew 300 percent."iii
Here are a few ideas for auto dealers who want to increase sales by offering coupons or other discounts:
Be Creative with Your Offers
Consider offering a discount on specific parts or services. This would attract any vehicle owner looking to save money. Even a mere $5 off on a free computerized diagnostic check might attract new customers which can instantly boost revenue in your service department. These same customers may return to purchase other parts, services, and even newer vehicles.
Remember That coupons Sell for You
The purpose of creating coupons is to help sell your inventory. By offering sales coupons, like:
"$100.00 Off – Internet Only Coupon"
"Free Oil Change – On Your Vehicle Purchase – For Next 6 Months"
You can make these coupons general or make them vehicle specific. These coupons attract new and returning customers to your dealership; they increase your dealership’s opportunity of selling other products and services at full profit margin.
Don't Ignore the Power of the Internet
Using the internet to produce and distribute coupons will not only save you money, it can increase your brand name recognition. The best place to offer coupons is your dealership websites. As you already have the user on your site, give incentive to do business with you rather then the dealership across the street.
Create different types of coupon and test your market. Once you find out what works best in your market, you can offer those coupons all year long on your website.
As consumer behaviors change during this tough economy, it's time for dealers to change as well - offering coupons is a simple, tested strategy to increase your sales.
iFrom comScore.com, Retail_Economy_comScore_Q3_08.pdf, State of the US Online Retail Economy: Q3 2008, page 20.
iiFrom comScore.com, Retail_Economy_comScore_Q3_08.pdf, page 36.
iiiFrom thewashingtonpost.com, September 2009, The Humble Coupon Joins Social-Media Web