The end of the year is an important season for car dealers and buyers, as some of the best expected deals and discounts happen between Columbus Day and New Year’s Eve. But December outshines them all when it comes to finding discounted prices, especially as manufacturers offer steeper breaks to improve their annual sales. Typically, the end of the year usually means an uptick in luxury model sales as well, so many studies show both the size of discounts and the transaction totals increasing.

As a dealership owner or salesperson, you already know that showrooms and lots have a tough time drawing people in the winter months, as foot traffic goes into deep decline. But if your business relies on foot traffic, you’re already playing the wrong game; studies have shown that car buyers visit fewer showrooms than ever before. First-time buyers are more likely to stop at several lots before making a purchase because of the novelty of the experience and their own uncertainty, but more experienced customers often don’t want to visit more than one shop. They do their research for makes and models online, and then decide which dealer to make the purchase from based on the availability of deals that work for them.

Holiday Auto Buyers can be attracted through promotions designed to appeal to them

Successful dealerships have moved beyond the idea that you make your sales pitch on the lot; consumers are doing so much research online before they show up that there is only a small chance a salesperson can change their mind once they show up. They already know the promotions, they’ve made up their mind about the model, and they’re here to take the car for a spin and sign the papers. The dealership has to make its case long before the customer arrives at the door, and that means connecting with them during their research phase.

One effective tool for connecting with car buyers is an online car dealer chat, an online chat and overflow call system where consultants engage in real time with visitors to your website. Managed chat systems are the smarter way to go, as it means someone is on hand to answer your visitors’ questions, push your inventory, and book test drives 24/7. However, in the past few years, these systems have evolved a long way from simple chat windows, and better solutions offered by companies like Gubagoo come with a long list of features that help generate leads and sales through your website.

Behind today’s most effective chat solutions are behavioral intelligence systems that track IP addresses as they flow through your website and build a profile of the user depending on what promotions successfully (or unsuccessfully) get their attention, which models they click on, and how ready they seem to buy. When the behavioral intelligence system created by Gubagoo flags a repeat visitor, an online consultant engages the visitor through the chat window proactively, and proceeds to offer suggestions and help based on the visitor’s viewing patterns. The behavioral intelligence system also informs your promotions publisher on which deals it should show to a visitor, meaning that the promotions that appear on your website are matched to the visitor’s behavioral profile. The next time your dealership heads into a season with a lot of deals and discounts, like Christmas Eve and New Year’s or President’s Day, you can make sure that your web visitors are shown the one that convinces them to buy with you.