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Mobile now key channel for car-related browsing and buying, reveals eBay

Automotive plate change and bonus season signal a lucrative month for motors

Brands should prepare for a spike in car-related browsing and buying this weekend, according to new data released today by eBay Advertising, which reveals that’s Cars, Motorcycles and Vehicles category saw a 24% rise in searches in the last three days of February last year, ahead of the March vehicle plate change and annual bonus season.

And this surge in interest continued, making March the busiest month for the automotive category on eBay in 2015, with more searches being made then than in any other month of last year.

eBay Advertising has also revealed today that mobile is now a key channel for car-related browsing and buying, reflecting increased consumer confidence in searching, and even purchasing, big-ticket items on mobile devices. Last year, in the week following the March plate change, recorded over 40 motors-related purchases per hour on mobile.

Phuong Nguyen, Director, eBay Advertising UK, commented: “As consumers become more comfortable making high-value purchases on mobile, there is a lot that motor brands can learn from more established mobile sectors like fashion. It’s now imperative that auto brands invest in having a marketing presence on mobile as well as desktop to cash in at this lucrative time of year.”

Motors brands also stand to profit from ‘bonus bounce’ at this time of year, when the UK cashes in on annual bonuses in March – which could explain the popularity of higher-end car brands in March 2015, when BMW and Mercedes were the most searched-for motors brands on eBay also recorded over 150,000 searches for luxury car brand ‘Porsche’ – over 22,000 a day – in the third week of March 2015 when thousands of Brits were pocketing their bonus salary.

Nguyen added, “This highlights the opportunity for car brands to engage shoppers with aspirational messages at this time of year, when they’re feeling at their most flush.”

Pauline Robson, Director, MediaCom Real World Insight, said: “March is an incredibly important time for brands in the automotive sector. We’ve seen from our own research at MediaCom that online is a key channel for the automotive purchase process at every step of the journey.

Using behavioural data to understand how people are using online channels at different stages of the buying process, and how this plays out across devices, allows car manufacturers to be there with the right message, on the right device, when it is most likely to resonate.”