Mobile continues to dominate. That is definitely the case when looking at visits to automotive manufacturer and dealer websites, according to global marketing technology company IgnitionOne.
The company released a report showing that more than 50 percent of traffic to automotive manufacturers and dealer websites across 50 countries was attributed to smartphones in 2018.
Site visits, however, are down by 11 percent year-over-year for North America. But the good news is that automotive marketers are making advancements in customer journey optimization, with targeted interactions and website personalization. That means site visitors are more engaged than in previous years.
That information comes from IgnitionOne’s Q4 2018 Automotive Industry Report, which highlights year-on-year growth in categories such as site visits, engagement metrics, lead volumes and segment trends.
The report notes that global site visits grew 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017. Mobile site visits grew by 20 percent during 2018.
On the topic of customer engagement, IgnitionOne reports that engagement is “proving the importance of quality over quantity.” Globally, average engagement increased by 8 percent from last year. Desktop engagement showed the most prominent increase, but mobile device engagement grew by 12 percent.
In other news from the IgnitionOne report, SUVs continue to be the preferred vehicle of the future. SUVs also continue to dominate in the area of site engagement. That engagement increased by more than 20 percent year-over-year and 26 percent within mass-market brands. That included a 3-percent increase in engagement for luxury SUVs.
The report breaks it down even further by stating that small sport engagement increased by 31 percent; 20 percent for the standard sport SUV.
The report also stated that in North America, uncertainty for car sales exists for this coming year, and potential increases in new vehicle prices because of tariffs and an increase in interest rates are two reasons. The report adds, however, that low fuel prices and increases in fuel efficiency help the SUV and truck segments.
Based on first-party data gathered from more than 350 automotive manufacturers and dealer websites across more than 50 countries, the IgnitionOne report looks at global car trends including website visits, visitor engagement, and cumulative leads.
The company notes that Americans view their smartphones about 14 billion times per day, which shows that the smartphone is “undoubtedly the preferred device for research and shopping,” the company stated in a news release. Engagement on mobile increased by 21 percent year over year. But desktop engagement is almost 40 percent higher than mobile.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, IgnitionOne notes that marketers are spending more money to drive traffic to mobile devices.
IgnitionOne’s report also covered Europe, noting that in the fourth quarter of 2018, more than 50 percent of website visits took place on mobile, reducing desktop visits to 40 percent.
“With the increasing ways in which customers can engage with auto brands across different channels and devices, it’s vital for marketers to leverage identity resolution,” IgnitionOne chief executive officer Will Margiloff said in a news release.
“It’s crucial for automotive marketers to understand every interaction a customer has with the brand, and personalize the experience per each channel," Margiloff added.