Digital Marketing Blog


The Dealer's Guide To EU Car Shoppers

How well do we understand our online audience in Europe? 

I thought I had a pretty good idea, but a recent report from ComScore dove deep into the numbers to understand changing online trends in buyer behavior in the EU5 (France, Germany, UK, Italy and Spain).

And it blew my mind. 

All the data is completely up-to-date, most of it collected in June 2018 and for this blog I want to look at the three most interesting findings and write a dealer's guide to the EU car shopper. 

Finding 1: Half of the EU5 population visited an automotive site in June 2018

Finding 2: 55% of Automotive audience exclusively use Mobile to Surf Automotive Sites

Finding 3: 20% of the automotive online audience account for 80% of the time spent on automotive sites 


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Finding 1: Half of the EU5 population visited an automotive site in June 2018

Automotive websites are among the most visited site categories in Europe.

In fact, in June of this year over 108 million individual visitors checked out an automotive website

That's 53% of the EU5 population and what's more, those visitors spent on average 33 minutes on automotive sites with roughly 38 views per person. 

These findings tell us something a lot of marketers already know, buyers are increasingly using online resources to research cars and move along the buyer's journey. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, the number of visits to actual dealers has dropped from an average of 5 to just 1

Obviously, just establishing an online presence isn't enough anymore. By the time a potential buyer reaches your site, they're already on the buyer's journey. It doesn't matter whether it's because they're considering buying a car or because they've decided to buy but aren't sure which one they're interested in.

The most important thing is for you to make sure, the second the visitor is on your site, you're moving them further along the buyer's journey.

Action Points

  • Make your site easy to navigate and understand at a glance
  • If you haven't already, consider what journey you want your visitors to take on your site. You want them to sign up for a test drive? Map out their user journey, how are you leading them to conversion?
  • Where are the conversion points on your site? Where can you include more? If you're using PDFs for your brochures, you're missing an opportunity to convert!  Check out how Ford use pop ups in their brochures to encourage visitors to find their local dealer. 



Finding 2: 55% of Automotive Audience exclusively use Mobile to Surf Automotive Sites (2)


The finding that 55% of visitors exclusively use mobiles to surf automotive sites was really surprising to me.

Maybe it shouldn't be, especially since half of the world's population spent 5 or more hours on their mobile devices each day last year. But still, I didn't expect mobile to be this dominant already. 

Only 37% of visitors exclusively used their desktop to surf auto sites and 8% used both mobile and desktop. 

What really hit home with this finding is that no matter how you look at it, 45% of your potential buyers in EU5 countries are looking at your site on their mobiles. 

Is that something you're ready for? 

Action Points

  • If it isn't already, your site needs to be mobile optimized to cater to this growing audience. 
  • All the marketing material on your site needs to be mobile optimized too. 
  • That goes for your brochures too. Some online brochure makers like ours make brochures responsive across devices automatically (see example below) but not all do - does yours?  


mobile optimized car brochure resized

Finding 3: 20% of the automotive online audience account for 80% of the time spent on automotive sites 

In their report, ComScore identified three main types of visitors, Heavy Users, Moderate Users and Light Users. 

The Heavy Users - potentially your most valuable digital consumer - are only 20% of the audience but account for 80% of the time spent on automotive sites. 

In fact, even the Moderate Users (30% of the audience) only account for 11% of the time spent on automotive sites and the Light Users who represent 50% of the online audience only account for 3% of the time spent.

So who is the Heavy User? This varied slightly from country to country, but a general deduction based on the data tells us that he is most likely a man who isn't interested in family or kids, nor religion but is interested in finances, entertainment and travel.    

A word of warning here

Buying behavior in automotive is complex, to say the least. The customer is highly involved in the purchasing and decision-making process and their choice is usually carefully considered. 

So while it's important to cater to Heavy Users by making your site as easy to use and convert on as possible, you can't neglect your most "valuable" users. They might not always be the same as a Heavy User. 

Motorheads will spend hours pouring over the newest specs and looking over new brochures, but while enthusiastic, they won't be the only one's looking to buy a car. 

Action Points 

  • Take a hard look at the Heavy User traffic on your site. Are they the one's booking test drives? In your brochures, are they the one's searching for their nearest dealers? 
  • If so, target Heavy Users, but if in fact, your best selling car is a family car, or maybe a small city car, consider how you can be more inclusive of less active users. Do they need content to help them understand why your brand or car is the best fit for them? Do they need technical knowledge communicated to them in a more understandable way?
  • Tailor your language and tone on your site and in your brochures to communicate with your most Valuable User, not necessarily the most active one. Being inclusive of the needs of the users who are most likely to buy your car is as important - if not more important - than thinking only of your super fans.

Before I leave you...

Over the last few months I've been working with our marketing department to put together an eBook focused on the needs of dealers and manufacturers who market with brochures. I'm really happy to share what we've made, which covers how to build growth and generate leads with online brochures. It's absolutely free to download and I promise it's worth your time.

Banner for eBook Building Future Growth with Car Brochures



A version of this blog was originally published on Balazs' personal Linkedin blog, which you can find here :) If you're interested in talking to Balazs about adapting your brochure marketing to convert leads and boost sales, you can contact him directly or start playing with our platform right away by trying out free trial .  

Related Reads

How Volvo Markets To Millennial Car Shoppers & What You Can Learn

How Car Makers Go From Brochure To Test Drive And How You Can Too

About the author

Balazs Judik

Balazs Judik

As an automotive industry specialist and SaaS enthusiast, I help digital marketeers from the industry's major brands to innovate their brochures and succeed in their objectives.

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