Mobile the key battleground as car brands fight for plate-changing spend

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Purchases of four major car brands (BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Nissan) via mobile devices rises by more than 17%. Shoppers respond to aspirational messages.

March is one of the busiest - and most profitable – times of year for the automotive sector, with the plate change on 1 March triggering a peak in interest. eBay Advertising predicts that mobile will be one of the biggest battlegrounds for spend this year, as consumers embrace “showrooming” and become more confident buying big-ticket items on their mobile devices.

According to eBay Advertising, by January 2015 the percentage of mobile purchases of four major car brands (BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Nissan) on was more than 17% higher than ten months earlier, signalling the increasing importance for automotive brands to engage with shoppers on mobile devices.

Phuong Nguyen, eBay Head of Advertising:

"At such an important time for the sector, marketers must keep pace with how customers interact with the category. Brands must have visibility on mobile or they risk being excluded from the research and purchase journey. Showrooming is becoming an intrinsic part of the online shopping experience, and brands should use it as a chance to engage audience segments."

The end of March also coincides with the annual bonus cycle, presenting a second wave of opportunity for brands in the automotive sector, as consumers get ready to splash the cash after they have banked the month’s pay cheque.

In the third week of March 2014, recorded 35% uplift in searches for “Porsche”compared with the previous week. Similarly, high-end car brands BMW and Mercedes were the most popular car types searched for in the ‘Cars, Motorcycles and Vehicles’ category in March last year, highlighting the opportunity for brands to engage shoppers with aspirational messages at this time of year.

The role of mobile in the buying journey is increasing in significance as people become more confident to browse and shop across all categories, including large ticket items. Smart brands understand how potential customers are moving across devices, and give consumers the opportunity to engage in the time and way that suits them regardless of device.
Pauline Robson, Director, MediaCom Real World Insight

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