On the rare occasions that the British summer decides to be… summery, everyone in the land that owns a convertible car becomes awfully smug. Forgetting those cold winter days when they found ice on the inside of the roof, or endured persistent leaks during April showers, in summer they simply drop the roof and make everyone else on the road, cocooned in their sweatboxes, outrageously jealous.
Britain is currently in the grips of an official heat wave, so this jealousy – rather like the temperature – is soaring around the land. And from Kent to Cumbria, on dealer forecourts men and women will be capitulating to the sun and seeking out a convertible car to make the most of the weather.
Recent statistics certainly back this up. With the prospect that the heatwave will last for a good proportion of the summer, Motors.co.uk decided to look at patterns of demand for convertible cars. Since the end of June, Motors.co.uk saw a 37% increase in searches for convertible models, and it’s not just Motors that has tracked this spike.
Looking at the Google Trends (which ranks search interest, with 0 being no interest and 100 being maximum interest) search term ‘convertible car’ since the beginning of the year for the UK shows the expected slow start, with a gradual increase in interest peaking in mid-June, at 67. After a small decline to 49 in the first week of July, the interest sky-rocketed to 74 in the week commencing 7 July and then continued this upwards trajectory to 100 for the week commencing 14 July.
Demand for three of the UK’s most popular convertible cars mirror the overall trend displayed by Google. The Mazda MX5, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster have all seen sizeable – and similar – growth in search interest since the heatwave began.
All of this highlights the fact that businesses should be geared up to capitalise on seasonal demands. Supermarkets stack their shelves and change their marketing (in-store and digital) to make the most of seasonal changes in the products that consumers want. For example, if the weather forecast suggests it will be sunny, warehouses and distributors up-and-down the country will rush to get all the necessities for a barbecue to the aisles. Similarly, if snow is forecast, soup (oddly) is one of the most in-demand products, and the supermarkets stock up appropriately.
Dealers need to follow suit. Their digital communications, the front of their forecourts, any product-pushes; they should revolve around consumer demand as often as possible. When the sun is shining, this means elevated visibility for convertible cars, air conditioning re-charges in aftersales and lifestyle add-ons like bike and roof racks.
The weather may be the default conversation between people who have nothing to say to one-another, but for car dealers, it could pay dividends.