Tax Season Sales Tips for Auto Dealerships

February 25, 2020
Tax Season Sales Tips for Auto Dealerships -

For many people the mention of April 15th evokes a heavy sigh and dread. However, for the automotive industry, tax season presents a big opportunity for dealership sales.

According to a recent study from eBay, 57% of Americans file their taxes by the end of February, that includes 59% of Millennials. Not only that, but 37% of Millennials use their refund to buy a new car. That’s over 10% higher than non-millennials.

The study also found that 71% of Millennials like to reward themselves with their tax refund. (Are you thinking what we’re thinking? There’s definitely a clever ‘Treat Yourself’ ad campaign hidden in there somewhere, right?).

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has reported March as one of the two highest sales months for new cars for 8 of the past 10 years. Considering that two thirds of tax refunds are distributed by the end of March, it’s safe to say that tax season does play a key factor in those sales figures.

Yet despite the statistics proving the sales potential this season, the biggest mistake dealers make is not embracing the opportunity tax season presents. So dealers, this one’s for you: switch your mindset from a filer yourself to an automotive expert that’s ready to embrace the opportunity.

The Critical Micro-Moments

Make your dealership’s goal to not only embrace tax refund season, but embrace the micro-moments that will steer consumers into your dealership. Refund season means big opportunities to meet consumers through the ‘want to know,’ ‘want to go,’ and ‘want to buy’ moments.

If your digital marketing efforts aren’t paired with strategic micro-moments then you’re going to waste your dealership’s ad budget and missing opportunities to engage low funnel shoppers in the market to buy. Drive more customers to your showroom by running special offers for tax season and running hyper-targeted campaigns to reach high potential shoppers in your PMA.

You can take it a step further with inventory targeting, channeling your spend into the vehicles that need the boost. With a sound digital strategy, you’ll meet consumers through the critical micro-moments this tax season.  

Go the Extra Mile

Consumers are accustomed to seeing an increase in auto advertisements this time of year, so how do you set yourself apart from the competition? Go the extra mile on online to offline customer experiences.

Going the extra mile is more than just a positive showroom experience (although that is critical). It begins online. A bad user experience online drives customers away, and yet too many dealers are unknowingly losing customers everyday by serving irrelevant messaging. Consumers are looking for an easy online search that takes them to the specific results they were looking for.

Because tax season brings new opportunity for sales, dealers should be prepared to go the extra mile by providing consumers with a positive experience both online and in-store.

Drive Demand with Incentives

Consumers are all about value. A vehicle is one of the biggest purchases they will make in their life, and they want to know they’re making the right decision. That said, dealers have the chance to influence demand in the market and become the clear choice in crowded markets by running incentives and service offers.

Spotlight these incentives with ads across your website, as well as search, display, social and video to meet customers where they spend the most time. Consider making a big impact, like offering to double their tax refund to max a down payment. Incentives will go a long way this time of year.

Alignment is Key

Dealerships spend a good amount of money on advertising to stimulate the market, but far too often their digital marketing strategy isn’t aligned with sales and business objectives. There are also many cases where advertising isn’t aligned with consumer behavior across channels and devices. A good place to start is with mobile, as the majority of searches begin on those devices.

Meet the on-the-go shopper as they file their taxes with your incentives, making your dealership top of mind. Also make sure that you are connecting your traditional ads with digital touch points to increase the likelihood that shoppers in the market to buy will choose your dealership.


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