Which car manufacturers drive the most UK mobile traffic?

Jul 27, 2017

Vanessa Gentile

Buying everyday things like groceries, books, clothes, and takeaways through your mobile phone has become the new norm. It’s a trend that now even extends to bigger spend items like holidays. But cars…? Surely no one buys a new automobile on their smartphone? Recent numbers around mobile user behavior might suggest otherwise.

Results from a study carried out by GroundTruth (formerly xAd) found that 21% of people researching cars on their mobiles were looking to make a purchase within the same hour. Almost two-fifths of the same group (38%) planned to buy one within the week, with a further 15% looking to do so within the month.

As with so many industries, mobile has become a key battleground for automotive customers’ attention. Certainly enough for us at Ogury to take a closer look at finding out which manufacturers are leading the pack when it comes to mobile engagement, and which might need a tactical pit stop. Our study looked at the behavior of 23,000 auto enthusiasts in the UK over the first two quarters of 2017 and revealed a number of intriguing observations.

Vauxhall takes the lead in web traffic

UK-based Vauxhall earned the most mobile web volume, claiming 21.42% of all traffic to manufacturer sites during the first quarter of the year, and maintained this lead into Q2 with 17.13%. Ford had to settle for second place in both quarters, with 17.1% and 11.56% respectively. Mercedes took the third podium position for the entire period, the only luxury manufacturer in the winners’ circle.

Amongst the top car brands, Ford enjoyed the highest engagement amongst web users, with 17% of all visitors sticking around to view six pages or more during their time on site. The US giant also had the lowest bounce rate of the top ten, at just 39% and 41% for each consecutive quarter, well below the overall average of 54%.

Nissan the front-runner in-app ownership

Across both quarters Nissan took an unassailable lead in app ownership, with 18.40% and 16.10% of all downloads of manufacturer apps in Q1 and Q2 respectively. Web traffic champion Vauxhall placed second in Q1 with 13.7% but was overtaken by German constructor BMW in Q2, which clocked in 14.3% for the period and increased its market share by 3.4 points in the process.

Autotrader most trusted by buyers

For those who were looking to dip into the automotive market during the study period, classified advertising outlet Autotrader proved to be the standout performer. The site was the most popular of all automotive websites in the UK in Q2, taking home 22% of all web traffic amongst comparable sites. 5.7% of all sessions on any car manufacturer website was preceded within ten minutes by a session on the Autotrader website in Q1, with the same being true for 4.2% of sessions in Q2.

Motorpoint the king of independents

Self-described ‘car supermarket’ Motorpoint enjoyed the most web traffic during the first six months of 2017, with an impressive 28.8% of all unique visitors to independent car dealerships. Also worthy of note is the performance of Car Giant, which despite only owning a single outlet ranked joint second for traffic with 15.3%.

With this level of granular detail around mobile user behavior, we’re able to fine tune automotive mobile campaigns for maximum efficiency, and CTRs up to 20%. But enough about us, how could we help optimize your mobile targeting?