Dealerships may be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day, but car buyer engagement remains strong throughout the holiday season.  Photo by Daniel Stocker

Dealerships may be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day, but car buyer engagement remains strong throughout the holiday season. Photo by Daniel Stocker

Aaron Krane’s Drive Motors is back, offering partner dealerships tips and solutions to boost their holiday sales quotas. The Silicon Valley-based online sales platform is aiming to help dealers maximize sales potential, even as they close down for Christmas and New Year’s.

“The best day of the year in terms of sales for buying a car is Christmas Eve,” said Krane, the company’s founder and CEO. “That’s sort of the [beginning] of the end of the month and the end of the year. So that, combined with the holidays, equals massive markdowns.”

Based on observations from sales during Christmas 2016, Krane said dealerships didn’t drop their order count too much on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“They only dipped, I believe, 22%,” he said. “Even though, obviously, their stores were closed and everyone was celebrating the holidays. And then the few days following Christmas, their order volume spiked by way over 50% because, well, a lot of people who started to kick the virtual tires Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”

The Home Stretch

Although this is the first year that dealerships will be able to fully participate in online sales during the final stretch of the holiday season, Krane expects dealers who are using the Drive Motors platform to experience only a 10% to 20% decrease in site traffic and order volume on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Since most dealers will be closed those two days — as well as New Year’s Eve and day — they won’t be directing as much traffic to their online sites. However, Krane still predicts sales will mimic last year’s quotas, with a spike over 50% the daily average order count for the days falling between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

He also estimates that dealers who actively use Drive Motors platform will make over 50% of their online sales in the final week of December. Much like the ecommerce platform’s Black Friday offerings, Krane’s company is supplying partner dealers with holiday marketing sales consultation.

“The only thing we’ve done is created a sort of seasonal flavor of ... sort of our pumpkin spice latte of marketing consultation, if you will,” he said. “We created a holiday stocking of holiday-themed marketing content for dealerships as well. And then we paired that with our existing marketing targeting or channel consultation. Which we normally charge for, but which we’ve given all our dealerships for free in order to help them take full advantage of sales through the end of the year.”

An Unexpected Increase

Due to Drive Motors’ Black Friday marketing techniques and promotions, dealers using the platform saw average daily car orders increase 83% over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, according to data analyzed by the company.

Top-performing dealers sold two to three cars daily, including Sunday, when dealerships are closed. Additionally, data showed online car orders increased 93% over this Sunday in 2016.

Similarly, Saturday car sales saw an increase of 164% over Saturday last year and some dealerships sold up to three cars on Thanksgiving Day.

This article was updated Dec. 27 to include the correct author's name.