Proven Ideas to Increase Car Wash Sales and Improve Loyalty

  • May 24, 2011

Proven ways to increase car wash salesMost c-store car wash programs are similar … Buy 5 Car Washes and Get the 6th One Free.

Or…. Save $1 on a Car Wash With a Fill-up.

These programs are plentiful because they are simple to implement and don’t take a great deal of thought to put together.

That is all well and good—but I would argue that, unless there is a steady line of cars at your car wash during the week, there are much better ways to increase car wash sales.

With gas hovering around $3.50 – $4.00 per gallon, it is costing $60-$100 to fill up a tank—leaving little extra room for add-on sales like car washes.

I don’t think many people are “feeling the love” by saving a dollar after they have just spent $100 on fuel. To shell out $6 or $7 after getting sticker shock is a tough sell- so the incentive must be sufficient to encourage them to make these high profit sales.

Here are a few ideas to boost your car wash sales, which I would encourage you to test:

1. Free Gift With Purchase—Immediate Sale:

Instead of a dollar off their car wash–give them a free imprinted gift card for a Free Music Download Card. This will cost approximately the same $1 that the $1 savings has cost you, but it will give the customer a tangible gift that they will remember. In addition, it forces the customer to come into your store to get their download card, which can increase in-store sales.

Sure, we can provide you with a spreadsheet of unique ID numbers (like you have for your car wash already) but the tangible card gives you an additional chance to get a customer into your store.

Should you give a free Snicker’s bar or bottle of water instead with a purchase? Better than nothing, but the perceived value just isn’t there—and there is no brag factor associated with the program. It seems an afterthought, at best.

And though you are getting those items at wholesale, a free Snicker’s bar will probably not be enough to motivate a new car wash customer.

I would recommend testing various strategies and rotating your offer on a regular basis—two months maximum per offer.

2. Free Gift With Purchase—Bundled Prepaid Sales:

Encouraging customers to pre-pay for 5 car washes at a time can help with cash flow, reduce ..