Car washes and the “lipstick index”

car wash lipstick index

Does visiting the local car wash come under the “lipstick index” during times of economic uncertainty?

For those not familiar with the term “lipstick index”, it is a phenomenon observed during economic downturns. It suggests that, during times of financial uncertainty, consumers tend to purchase less expensive non-essentials as a more affordable way to indulge in small luxuries.

Mood boosting, affordable luxury.

These mood boosting, small indulgences are more affordance compared to luxury goods thus become a more popular purchase.

Lipstick is one such item. We wonder, is a trip to the car wash another? Is it one of the mood boosting indulgences preferred by Australians during economic uncertainty?

Our informal research indicates that, as consumer adapt to the cost-of-living pinch, instead of purchasing the most expensive car wash option every time, they’ll opt for a cheaper option in between and indulge in a premium wash every few months.

Adapting to changes in customer behaviour.

With this change in behaviour, we recommend astute car wash operators introduce budget saving incentives that will build loyalty and customer retention. Contact us for ideas relevant to your location and demographic.

Importantly, people are getting their car washed. This highlights the resiliency of the industry and its value as a successful, long term investment proposition.