Fourth of July Car Shopping Fizzles: Latest Dealer.com DataView Report


Dealer.com, a Cox Automotive brand responsible for operating more than 60% of dealership websites nationwide, just released its June 2017 DataView reporting, with an additional look at the Fourth of July holiday (July 1-5, 2017) weekend. The following digital trends emerged in U.S. automotive retail, particularly for a notorious car sales-blitzed holiday:

Fourth of July car shopping fizzles

Online car shopping activity (measured through vehicle detail page views [VDP] and quality visits) was down for the holiday weekend.

  • Average visits p/dealer website clocked in at 188 for July 4, vs. 235.68 p/dealer website for the three prior Tuesdays in 2017.
  • Average VDPs came in at 155.8 p/dealer website on July 4, vs. 182.08 p/dealer website for the three prior Tuesdays in 2017.
  • Average quality visits (those with the intent to purchase) rolled in at 112.5 p/dealer website on July 4, vs. 143.4 p/dealer website for the three prior Tuesdays in 2017.
  • However, overall VDP views per dealership are still trending higher year-over-year—running 4% higher than June 2016.

Ad costs skyrocket on holiday

When it comes to digital advertising to car shoppers, there was a massive explosion in average cost per clicks (CPC) for digital spend.

Auto marketers/advertisers faced an average of $3.44 CPC on July 4, skyrocketing the average of $3.14 for the three prior Tuesdays in 2017.

2017 digital advertising continues to ignite

Search advertising cost per click rates in June marked the fifth consecutive month-over-month increase, up 1% at $3.35.

  • This can be attributed to OEMs and dealerships have increased bidding on paid search – thus driving up the cost per click.
  • Furthermore, Google eliminated the paid search ads on the right-hand rail of the search results page, also driving up further bidding increases in recent months.

SUVs were the flavor of the month for June

SUVs are still receiving the lion’s share of VDP views at 36% for June, up from 35% in May 2017.

Over the same time period, sedan demand continues to slide further in online popularity to 24% from 25%, and trucks are reporting no movement.

Dealer.com’s—part of the Cox Automotive family, which connects with 87% of online car shoppers today—latest DataView reporting act as a quality barometer for where the industry is heading for the annual seasonal inflection point. This is specifically noteworthy following June’s sales numbers as we head into a ‘post peak’ period for the U.S. auto industry.

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