The prospect of a major sporting event – especially a football World Cup – is traditionally a concern across the retail industry and car dealers often prepare for a downturn in online engagement and physical footfall.
However, after analysing visits to its own website during England’s last two tournaments, Motors.co.uk is predicting a relatively minimal impact on online used car searches throughout the 2018 World Cup.
It saw slight decreases in visits on England match days at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 – with high-interest and knockout matches played during working hours having the most pronounced effect on normal visit levels. For example, traffic fell by 5% on the Thursday England played Wales during Euro 2016 compared to other Thursdays that month, but quickly returned the day after the match. As might be expected, as England progressed through to the knockout stage, interest increased, with visits down 11% on the evening of the last-16 game against Iceland compared to non-match Mondays. Again, visits returned to normal levels the following day.
Looking ahead, the match day with the biggest potential impact on traffic for used car searches during the 2018 World Cup is Friday, July 6th when England could play Germany or Brazil in the quarter-finals and consumers deviate from their normal routine to watch the fixture.
Motors.co.uk Marketing & Business Intelligence Director Dermot Kelleher said:
“Whilst the higher profile England games do appear to have a greater effect on visits, dealers should only notice a very short-term impact on traffic to their own websites.
“As our historical data shows consumers are still happy to search for a used vehicle online throughout the month of the competition – something that is made even easier with the dual screen behaviour as buyers look for vehicles on a smartphone or tablet while also watching football on their televisions.
“Even though England’s potential progression in the competition may cause brief disruption to online visits and forecourt footfall, I’m sure we would all be happy to take the hit until mid-July if it means football finally comes home!”