Automotive update: Should you scrap Sunday trading?

With all the noise about energy price rises, this is front of mind for many of my customers. How do you combat the effects of the rises?

One way to help reduce the impact is by not opening on a Sunday. I’ve been looking at call data and other metrics to show that dealers should be seriously consider not opening on a Sunday.

I also look at the return on sales of retailers that don’t open on Sundays and they are mouthwatering. From Peter Vardy at 10.7%, through to Vospers at 2.9%, and several others in between. You would be in good company if you choose to stay closed on Sundays. Even though I say it myself, I recommend you read my blog on this, and then be brave and close your retail units on Sundays.

Happy to explain more if you want to know more about the data I’ve used – just get in touch.

With regards to the market, I’m feeling like a stuck record. New car supply remains tight, the used market continues to provide good returns but it’s a struggle to get suitable stock. Whilst we’re seeing a downturn in enquiries, we’re also seeing dealers taking one of two approaches:

    1. They’re not reducing their marketing, but getting much more focused on the whole lead process and how this relates to their marketing spend. Thus, it’s not an issue of providing leads, more an issue of managing those leads. On average, only 50% of phone leads make it onto a lead management system. If they can move the dial on this, and take their average up to at least 70%, then this translates straight to the bottom line.
    2. They are reacting in a more traditional way. They see marketing as an optional cost and easy to cut, when in reality they should be cutting other areas. Cutting marketing spend causes the lead pipeline to dry up. They say doing too little marketing is like winking in the dark – you know you’ve done it, but no one else does.

The groups in the first camp are, not surprisingly, the ones who are feeling chipper. Those in the second camp are the gloomy bunch, and are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Headline Autotrader figures

  • 2022 stock MoM 36.1% increase, YoY 33.7% decrease
  • 2021 stock, MoM 8.8% increase, YoY 12.0% increase
  • 2020 stock MoM 10.1% increase, YoY 19.0% decrease
  • Total market MoM 1.8% increase, YoY 9.5% increase

Top 5 brands by market share of 2021 stock

  • BMW 10.0%
  • VW 9.2%
  • Audi 8.9%
  • Toyota 8.1%
  • Ford 8.0%

Have a wonderful opening to the new quarter and let me know how you get on with looking at closing your retail outlets on Sundays.

About the author - Harry Bott

Harry Bott, Director at Mediahawk, has over 20 years of experience helping marketers generate a better response from their marketing. He has enabled businesses to improve their conversion rates through his consultative approach and deep understanding across various sectors, including automotive and care homes.

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