The recent UK cold snap has sparked a sharp increase in the number of online searches for 4x4s, according to figures from Motors.co.uk. As the 'Beast from the East' caused temperatures to plummet, the car search platform saw a 300% rise in traffic from people hunting for 4x4s and similar body types on Google from Monday, February 26th to Sunday March 5th, compared to the previous week. With weather conditions making it difficult, if not impossible, for drivers to leave their home, Motors.co.uk also saw a rise in website visitors clicking on advertised 4x4s, with a 26% increase in vehicle views for the body type during the cold snap. The Nissan Qashqai received the biggest boost compared to similar vehicles, with a 130% increase in views on Motors.co.uk over this 7-day period, closely followed by the Land Rover Discovery and Defender Here are the top 5 performing 4x4s on Motors.co.uk w/e 5th March vs. w/e 25th February 2018:
|% increase in detailed page views (DPVs)|
|Land Rover Discovery||117%|
|Land Rover Defender||112%|
|Toyota Land Cruiser||
Motors.co.uk Marketing & Business Intelligence Director Dermot Kelleher said: "The bitterly cold and snowy conditions the country had to endure last week caught many people off guard.
"The weather left people unable to get to work or take their children to school and they have understandably started searching for 4x4s and similar vehicles that can make travelling in extreme conditions easier.
"Our figures suggest that consumers are prepared to quickly invest in a new car when circumstances permit and we are proud to provide a fast car search platform to help them find the right vehicle for their needs."
Motors.co.uk has redesigned its website with enhancements to its user experience to increase onsite conversion, and a new visual identity to underline its credentials as a sophisticated, modern car search platform. Utilising consumer feedback sessions and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) techniques, Motors.co.uk gained deep insight into usability that will see a number of further upgrades released during the year. All such changes have been implemented to better match buyers and sellers of cars. The new design style for the site uses strong, bold fonts and a pared-down colour palette. The website has been stripped back to offer a clean interface with the distinctive Motors.co.uk green - introduced on the site in 2013 - used to emphasise key actions including the top-level navigation bar, as well as the search and dealer enquiry buttons. A key driver of the changes has been the continued growth of smartphone usage, representing 56% of total visits in February 2018, up from 50% of visits in February 2017 and 42% in February 2016. The design changes are also reflected on the brand's content focused sections, such as the Motors.co.uk News blog, Car Reviews and Electric Cars Hub. Motors.co.uk Product Director David Hearns said: "The way that consumers search for cars is constantly evolving, so it's important that our site does too. Smartphone usage brings its own opportunities to create an experience that is optimised for that device, rather than just a squashed version of the desktop site. We encourage dealers to look at their own websites on smartphones to ensure response isn't being lost through difficult mobile experiences. "Our 2018 roadmap has a number of further enhancements planned as we are committed to connecting car buyers and sellers with the best, easiest to use website. We pride ourselves on constantly innovating and the positive feedback we get from consumers on the site." Motors.co.uk Managing Director Phill Jones added: "This evolution of the site shows that we are always listening, learning and improving. It is a commitment from the team that we will share our insight with dealers to help them optimise their own businesses. This openness runs through our business, including our Value Based Pricing model - where dealers have a performance target to clearly hold us to account for the response we deliver. "As 2018 brings its challenges for dealers, we are confident that we can help dealers both improve their visibility with in-market car buyers and better manage costs."
Cox Automotive is advising dealers to get smart on GDPR and ensure they understand new requirements before the regulation comes in to force in May. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will place strict new requirements on all businesses to ensure data is effectively managed including new regulations around reporting serious breaches of personal data. Cox Automotive's Data Solutions team is running a Series of webinars aimed at demystifying the new regulations, that are tailored to the specific needs of the automotive industry. Ian Inman, Head of Privacy and Data Protection at Cox Automotive Data Solutions said: "We're passionate about our customers and this extends to providing them with valuable insight wherever we can. We know that GDPR is a concern for dealers, but they may not have the time or in-house expertise to dedicate to it, so that's why we've put this series of free webinars." The upcoming webinar, on 9 March, is the third in a series and will offer insight on: data breaches, incident management and mandatory data breach reporting, which is a new area of legislation. Inman said: "For this session, we'll offer practical tips and insight into data breach reporting with clear tips and key take outs that dealers can immediately apply. "We'll also offer practical advice around the softer side of navigating through the legislation including ideas on how to bring processes and procedures in-line with requirements. "I will also share insider knowledge around what the regulatory body is looking for, what data protection law is and what it's designed to achieve." Webinar attendee, Peter Dickey, Commercial Director of Citygate Holdings Ltd, said: "It's really important that we're ahead of GDPR and understand what needs to be in place prior to the legislation coming in to effect in May. "The Cox Automotive webinar provided me with insider knowledge and practical expertise, I now feel as though my business has a good understanding of what we need to put in place to be ready for GDPR."
Motors.co.uk has integrated and rebranded its dealer website development arm - Autoexposure - as part of its mission to provide dealers with cost-effective tools for attracting car buyers online. As part of this change, the Flex website platform has been updated with modern, mobile-first designs, and new highly cost effective package options created for Motors.co.uk customers. The platform is particularly beneficial to independent dealers looking to update their online presence for the modern car buyer. Flex gives dealers access to an expert team with more than 50 years combined digital automotive advertising experience, helping them with online design, branding and usability to create a distinctive and unique online presence. The updated platform has benefitted from customer feedback and latest design trends, to ensure Flex customers' websites stand out in a competitive marketplace. In addition, Flex offers functionality that allows customers to engage with car buyers beyond the point of purchase, including options to add news pages, blogs and social media links to make posting company activities, promotions and initiatives straightforward. Motors.co.uk Product Director David Hearns said: "Flex by Motors.co.uk is a further demonstration of our commitment to help dealers sell more cars, more profitably. "From listing their vehicles on the Motors.co.uk Network, to displaying them on their own up-to-date website built by our team of experienced developers and designers, we aim to support our dealers with bespoke solutions that allow them to improve their online consumer engagement. "Rebranding our website services team, underlines the step-change in this product and the Motors.co.uk-wide focus on helping dealers maximise the exposure of their stock to in-market car buyers." To find out more about Flex by Motors.co.uk services head to http://www.flex-motors.co.uk
Motors.co.uk has appointed the former General Manager of Inchcape Retail as its new Sales Director. Marc Robinson, formerly of Vertu and Pendragon, has replaced Mark Hammond, who has moved to a group role with Motors.co.uk's parent company, Cox Automotive UK. Robinson has joined the Motors.co.uk team after more than two decades of experience in operational roles in UK car dealerships, most recently at Inchcape where he was General Manager for their Mercedes-Benz Derby dealership. The appointment comes as the company continues to roll out its "Value Based Pricing" model which aligns a dealer's invoice with the response their vehicles receive from being advertised on the Motors.co.uk Network. Robinson said: "I am incredibly excited to join the Motors.co.uk team. I greatly enjoyed my time in retail and am passionate about using my experience to help improve the Motors.co.uk proposition to help dealers sell cars quickly and cost effectively. I was impressed by the energy and commitment from the team at Motors.co.uk and will help harness this to ensure it best meets the needs of our dealers. "Every dealer will be looking to increase used car sales in 2018 whilst carefully managing costs. I recognised the importance of sites like Motors.co.uk in attracting in-market car buyers and wanted to find ways of utilising this data and experience to help our customers strengthen their businesses. "Over the coming weeks, I will be meeting with our customers to understand their objectives and demonstrate to them our commitment and capabilities to build long-term partnerships." Motors.co.uk Managing Director Phill Jones added: "We are delighted to welcome Marc to the Motors.co.uk family. His expertise on the day-to-day running of dealerships will give us priceless insight into how we can help our customers face their challenges. "Marc's appointment is part of our ambition to make dealers more than just our customers and build strategic partnerships that see both parties mutually benefiting from working together and making car selling easier."
Motors.co.uk is urging UK dealers to prepare for consumer enquiries this Christmas as car buyers look set to stay online throughout the festive season. The car search website found its customers were still receiving consumer enquires on Christmas Day last year, as car buyers returned to shopping online once they have opened presents and had their lunch. Motors.co.uk has made five predictions for this year’s festive season which will encourage dealers to take the right steps to meet consumer demand and prepare for a busy Boxing Day:
- Motors.co.uk forecasts a record response for December and a 20% year-on-year increase in consumer visits thanks to a rise in search engine visibility and improved mobile functionality
- Consumers demand will slow down a day later than usual as December 23rd falls on a Saturday
- Consumer enquires to dealers will be relatively high on Christmas Day, with more than 400 calls and emails sent to Motors.co.uk customers in December 2016
- Online car searches will bounce back from 5pm on Christmas Day as families sit down in front of the television with their tablets and smartphones
- From Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve consumer demand will sharply rise – in 2016 average visits to Motors.co.uk per day were 4% higher during this period than on average per day in November last year
Data released today by car search website Motors.co.uk has revealed a growing importance of used cars to franchised dealers as new car sales slow down. The October analysis, which looked at consumer and retail trends from over 500,000 vehicles listed through the platform, reported that used cars for franchised dealers sold 10% faster than September 2017, with dealers also stocking 10% more cars in the month. The increase was driven in part by a renewed focus within franchise dealerships on used cars to compensate for softer new car demand, and also to an increase in part-exchange vehicles coming onto the market as a result of the September plate change. Phill Jones, MD of Motors.co.uk, said, "The data reflects the growing importance of used vehicles to dealerships as the new car market softens, Put simply, franchised dealers are having more success with used cars: selling more of them and selling them faster. We expect used cars to grow in importance for franchised dealers over the coming months. "However, although we have seen an uplift on used vehicle data during October, we are entering a quieter time of year when many businesses are positioning for a successful 2018. Our data provides dealers with insight into how consumer demand is altering." In addition to figures on new and used vehicle sales, the Motors.co.uk data also showed a fall in customer interest in diesel. A slowdown in sales pace was recorded, with diesels taking on average 37 days to sell - an extra day more than when compared to the same period year on year, and 5 days slower than petrol vehicles. This fuel data reflects the latest SMMT data (released 6 November) which revealed sales of diesel cars in the UK fell by nearly a third in October compared with last year. Ends.
Click here to download the October Motors.co.uk Market View Data released today by car search website Motors.co.uk highlights the importance of used car sales to dealers, with growth in vehicle sales - supported by dealers stocking more used cars, and selling each used car more quickly. The September analysis, which looked at consumer and retail trends from more than 500,000 vehicles listed through the platform, potentially indicates that dealers are anticipating a shift in consumer demand from new to used. Phill Jones, MD of Motors.co.uk said: “Looking at the data, it would appear that dealers are anticipating higher levels of interest from consumers than this time last year, and therefore keeping stock levels high on forecourts in preparation. At present, it does appear to be paying off. Used vehicles are selling more quickly than a year ago, in contrast to the new car data we saw from the SMMT recently.” In terms of the vehicles held by dealers, the data shows that while there were more diesels available for consumers searching online (56% of all vehicles advertised were diesel - an increase of 4% year-on-year), they remained on forecourts for longer - up from 39 to 40 days year-on-year. In contrast, while there were proportionally fewer petrol vehicles advertised (42% of total advertised – down 5% year-on-year) consumer demand was higher, with petrol vehicles generating 48% of vehicle views and selling four days faster than the same period last year (34 days compared to 38). Jones said: “Although diesels are still in demand, and we can expect them to be the dominant fuel type for many months to come, there is evidence that the on-going negative media attention, as well as increased taxes and road charges for diesel vehicles compared to petrol are slowly having an impact on buyer behaviour. In terms of reacting to this emerging change, we advise dealers to use data to understand the right mix of stock to match demand.” The Motors.co.uk data also revealed that while hybrid vehicles equated to a small proportion of overall sales in September, when available, they sold in just 21 days on average. This is eight days faster than in August, and 59 days faster than in September 2016. “This time last year hybrid models were taking 80 days to sell. The drop to 21, compared to diesel and petrol cars, signals a significant change in consumer desire for these models, albeit from a relatively small segment of the overall market. Electric cars are also selling faster month on month, so this shift to alternative fuel types will be interesting to monitor over the coming months,” said Phill. In terms of models, the data revealed on-going interest in smaller, supermini and convertible vehicles, which all saw a reduced stock turn during September. Superminis in particular, such as the Fiat 500X (the top selling model in September) and MINIs were selling six days faster on average, buoyed by the milder weather as we move through Autumn. In contrast however, larger models and 4x4s were defying traditional sales trends. Phill continued: “Affordable, lower asset risk vehicles continue to maintain interest, but larger vehicle segments are not evoking the levels of interest we usually see at this time of year. 4x4s in particular, although in demand, are taking two days longer to sell than in September 2016, although there were widespread thunderstorms and floods last year which we didn’t see this year. “As we move into the wetter, winter quarter ahead, we expect demand for 4x4s and cross overs to pick up, but for the month ahead in particular, we would encourage dealerships to adopt the necessary marketing and display tactics for their smaller vehicles to ensure consumers are aware of the models they have on offer.”
A Yorkshire-based car dealer will soon be packing his bags for a dream trip to Fabulous Las Vegas, after winning a competition with Motors.co.uk. Mark Brams, from Brams of Birstall, was stunned when he was greeted by Elvis and awarded his prize at his dealership earlier this month. Mr Brams has won return flights for two people and four nights of accommodation in Las Vegas after being randomly selected from nearly 300 entrants. For the chance to win, Mr Brams joined Motors.co.uk’s independent customers in logging into consumer response tracking platform The Eye between May and July, and then answering a survey question based on recent automotive industry news. Dealers could then improve their chances of winning by logging in and answering a new question every week. During the competition period, the number of Motors.co.uk dealers accessing The Eye increased by 68 per cent and visits to the dashboard increased by 174% compared to the pre-competition period. The Eye helps dealers understand how consumers interact with their advertisements on Motors.co.uk by tracking lead assists, such as detailed page views, as well as email and telephone enquiries. Mark Brams said: “I’m dumbfounded. It’s come as a complete shock and I am delighted to have be selected as the winner. “I’m really looking forward to going to Las Vegas and need to start planning where to go once we get there. I want to say a big thank you to Motors.co.uk for making this possible – I didn’t think I’d have any chance of winning the trip.” Motors.co.uk Marketing and Business Intelligence Director Dermot Kelleher presented the prize alongside the King of Rock and Roll, and said: “We’re delighted to award such a hard working car dealer this fabulous prize. “This competition was an initiative to drive our dealers to our redesigned consumer response tracking platform, The Eye. “Thanks to The Eye, dealers can measure how consumers respond to their adverts, whether that’s online or on the telephone, and understand which cars are performing well on the Motors.co.uk Network. “We are committed to providing our dealers with transparent solutions that help them improve their business and customer services so they can sell more cars.” To watch Mark Bottomley receive his surprise trip to Las Vegas, click here: https://youtu.be/1w6V1Gkz2a8 ENDS
2017 has been a year full of high profile businesses suffering cyberattacks as hackers become more sophisticated in how they steal sensitive information. However, businesses of any size, include car dealerships, are potential victims of cybercrime as they often store valuable consumer information, such as payment details and addresses. Ransomware has been prominent this year as hackers want reward for their efforts in gaining access to business's systems. For those who may not know, ransomware is the tactic of taking control of a system and then demanding a ransom, usually in Bitcoins, to unlock it and give access back to the owner. Here are some key tips to help dealers keep their systems secure and what to do should the worse happen:
- Install anti-virus software and keep it updated
- Back up your saved data – create a regular routine to ensure your customers’ data is safely secured in another location
- Update your IT systems as soon as the latest patches are released
- Never share login information with anybody outside of the business
- Do not open emails or attachments unless you are sure who they came from – a quick phone call to check won’t hurt
- Do not use hard drives or USB sticks in your computer if you are not sure where they came from
- Never send personal information via the internet
- Ensure all your staff have unique passwords to log into your systems
- Enable two-factor authentication, such as a code sent by text, to log into your systems
- If you are a victim of an attack, do not give into a cybercriminal’s demands.