Strong October Auto Sales Indicate a Bright Holiday Season

Leading up to the busy holiday season, automakers sustained strong sales results in October. There were 1.28 million new cars and trucks sold, a 6 percent increase compared to the same time last year. Car shopping activity across’s platform was consistent with auto sales, showing a 32 percent increase in form lead submissions when compared to October 2013.

Web traffic trends point to increased mobile research

Mobile traffic has experienced considerable growth over the last couple of years – so much so that mobile traffic is starting to level off, suggesting that the mobile device market may be approaching saturation point. While mobile usage is plateauing, how shoppers are engaging with mobile sites has changed significantly over the last 13 months.

Mobile visitors are now looking for additional information beyond the basic dealership details found on the homepage, like location, hours and telephone number. Visitors are now browsing inventory, deals and, overall, more pages from their devices going further down the automotive purchasing process than ever before. The number of page views per mobile visit has grown 15 percent year-over-year, with inventory listing pages driving the majority of the increase with 24 percent year-over-year growth.

Social media powers car shopper engagement

With 64 percent of all mobile users accessing social media, it continues to gain importance in digital marketing across industries: dealership website traffic from social media has grown 27 percent year-over-year as more shoppers browse inventory on mobile. In October 2014 alone, total traffic from social channels increased by 14 percent from the previous month.

And as noted in last month’s web traffic report, website visitors directed from social channels are more engaged with dealers’ sites, spending even more time viewing more pages than they had in previous reports. This month, the trend continues upward with a 20 percent increase in pages per visit and 28 percent more time spent on dealerships’ websites.

Mobile traffic driven by social channels continues to be the greatest engagers on dealers’ websites. These shoppers spend more time interacting with inventory and getting closer to purchasing decisions, indicating priorities for dealers in both social media and mobile strategizing. Dealers should consider these approaches as ways to engage customers and prospective buyers as we head into the holiday season.

Check back next month to see how dealers are revving up for the holidays and the effectiveness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions in terms of translating into sales.

Dave Winslow is Vice President – Digital Strategy at