Finance Consumer Car manufacturers enter the Click Frenzy fray as new sales start to recover
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Car manufacturers enter the Click Frenzy fray as new sales start to recover

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Car manufacturers are trying to ride out the pandemic-induced sales downturn by jumping aboard this year’s Click Frenzy sale.

New car sales bounced back in October to almost pre-pandemic buying levels, after dropping some 18.8 per cent in the first 10 months of the year.

Whether by desperation or ingenuity, Subaru and Volkswagen have joined the legion of brands taking part in this year’s Click Frenzy event – the first time ever for any car maker.

They’ll join 800-plus other brands when the sale begins on Tuesday night.

Australians have shopped online this year like never before; a trend retail researcher and senior marketing lecturer Louise Grimmer expects will continue up to Christmas.

The perceived health and safety threats of going to physical stores, combined with fears over post delays, means consumers are already starting to buy for that strong festive retail period.

Dr Grimmer said it will be interesting to see how Click Frenzy plays out this year – she believes it will go one of two ways.

“Either consumers will embrace the promotion because so many people are now used to shopping online and some of the barriers that previously prevented people shopping online have disappeared as a result of the pandemic,” Dr Grimmer told The New Daily.

“Or we may see a level of consumer fatigue with regard to online shopping because this is just the way that lots of people shop now.”

A savvy move

It’s true that you can buy anything online these days, so in that vein it makes sense that car manufacturers would try to capture that market, too.

“If your customers are now online, then that’s where retailers need to be too,” said Dr Grimmer, noting Subaru and Volkswagen’s participation.

“There is now significant consumer appetite for online shopping and this behaviour might now even extend to buying cars,” she said.

online shopping
Groceries, holidays, clothes – why not buy a car online, too? Photo: Getty

“In this post-COVID retail landscape, retailers trying new sales channels and promotions probably have nothing to lose and we’ve seen retailers adapt and respond in really creative ways to the challenges presented by the pandemic – and this is just another example.”

Click Frenzy has chosen this year to partner with Couriers Please, a private postal company, in what could be a silent acknowledgement of the delays that have plagued Australia Post.

Click Frenzy begins at 7pm on Tuesday, and runs through until Thursday.

Its “little brother” event, Click Frenzy Mayhem, attracted a 120 per cent traffic growth when it went online in April.