The Digital Car Buyer in Numbers 2022 | front cover

Download the Digital Car Buyer in Numbers 2022

Thursday 31st March 2022 | Sophus3 today releases the 2022 edition of our annual review of the automotive sector’s digital, campaign and sales performance during the previous year, and sets out some predictions for the year ahead.

From the introduction: “The Digital Car Buyer in Numbers 2022 looks in more detail at the progress made last year by the industry as it continues its transition to digital business models to engage and transact with consumers. We look ahead also to the challenges and the pressures that car makers face in the months ahead and the likely priorities for digital teams within the industry as they seek to navigate another highly unpredictable year.”

Executive summary

2021: The year in numbers

  • The fall in visits to car brand sites in 2021 suggests the undercounting of traffic due to an increase in the rejection of cookies since GDPR. (p.5)
  • Traffic patterns over the year reflected the fortunes of the car market, declining in the second half. (p. 6)
  • Germany saw the largest downturn. (p. 6)
  • Globally, the USA was where traffic recovered most from the Covid downturn in 2020. (p. 7)
  • Bounce rate, visit duration and page view data show the need to engage quickly with the audience. (p. 8)
  • There was a decrease in activity year-on-year in the lower funnel of car brand sites. (p. 8)
  • Device use continued its shift to mobile; only 34% of visits were on a PC/laptop. (p. 9)
  • Traffic to SUV model pages showed these products remained of most interest to online visitors (p.10) but interest in EVs continued to grow, accounting for a fifth of all model page visits. (p.11)
  • Automotive press and TV advertising grew over the year as a whole but was below 2020’s level in the final quarter as supply chain difficulties impacted brands’ marketing activity. (p.12)
  • Renault led OEM spending (p.13) heavily promoting its Zoe EV model. (p.14)
  • European new car registrations had risen by 28% mid-year but these gains were wiped out as supply chain problems slashed sales in the second half of 2021 (p.15)
  • SUVs remained predictably popular although the market may have been distorted as high margin vehicles were prioritised. (p.16) Brands with reserves of components fared better. (p.17)
  • Registrations of pure Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) increased 72% in the Big 5. (p. 18)
  • There were 123 brand site visits for every car registered during the year — a 4% improvement over 2021. (p.19)

2022: Ten things that will shape the year ahead

  1. Covid (p. 20)
  2. Chip shortages (p. 20)
  3. The economy, stupid (p. 22)
  4. EVs: “are we there yet”? (p. 23)
  5. Road pricing back on the agenda (p. 24)
  6. F1 withering on the vine (p. 25)
  7. Mobility services (p. 25)
  8. Agency models (p. 26)
  9. LCVs unromantic but profitable (p. 26)
  10. Continuing digital transformation (p. 27)

You can download the full document here in .pdf format:

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