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The automotive industry moves online - polling shows

Consumers are officially using the internet to make more automotive-related decisions. Last year the IAB SA conducted an online poll into automotive purchasing behaviour, and the results showed that online is definitely the most favoured platform of people who own, use and maintain vehicles. The SpaceStation has added data from other sources to contextualise these insights further for advertisers in the automotive sector.
The automotive industry moves online - polling shows
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AMPS data shows us that people who access the internet have a significantly higher incidence to purchase both new and used cars than consumers of other traditional media types. This shows that not only are internet users more likely to purchase cars than any other media type, but they also have more cars per household than any other media type, with 59% of them having one or more cars in the household (9% have three or more cars). Internet users are also more likely to spend money on safeguarding their assets, with 42% of internet users who own, use and maintain a car having a vehicle recovery system. They are also seven times more likely to have vehicle finance, and six times more likely to have short term insurance than the average population consuming other media types.

"What is worth noting from the IAB SA poll data was the significantly long consideration phase for purchasers in the motor vehicle category. 44% of all respondents had researched a vehicle online in the last three months, and 24% of all respondents were planning on buying a car in the next six months. This highlights the need for brands to have a consistent presence in the market to engage with potential consumers, throughout the awareness, consideration and brand confidence phases," says Natasha Fourie, Strategist at The SpaceStation.

As expected, price was listed as the most important factor when purchasing a car, but what was interesting was the fact that the brand name was listed by both men and women as the second most important factor, highlighting the bond that consumers have with their cars. An overwhelming 44% of the IAB SA poll respondents had researched a vehicle online before making a purchase decision.

"These results are exciting for digital media sales as they clearly show that the internet has become the primary media type for influencing vehicle purchase decisions," says Gustav Goosen, CEO of The SpaceStation. "This is on trend with what's happening internationally where there is a definite move towards increased investment in digital media spend within the automotive industry."

Recent MediaPost research in the USA forecasts automotive advertising growing at 17% this year, with online media accounting for 95% of this increase. For the first time, more than half of all automotive ad dollars will be spent online. In South Africa we are seeing a similar trend emerge amongst brands in the automotive sector, with increased focus on communicating to customers online throughout their path to purchase, from awareness, through to consideration and post purchase affirmation.

For further insights about automotive consumers online, please contact The SpaceStation team to arrange a presentation of the full research data:

About The SpaceStation:

The SpaceStation is the largest premium display advertising sales house in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A Naspers' lead digital media sales company in Africa, through an innovative partnership between and DStv Media Sales, The SpaceStation is able to offer clients - whether advertisers or media planners - an effective, single point of access to the biggest online and mobile portals in Africa.

Their full service team of more than 40 staff offer creative, customised, innovative and engaging advertising solutions to strategically targeted audiences across a range of premium digital platforms including web, mobile, app, email and interactive TV. This provides the opportunities for powerful cross platform and multi-channel integration of campaigns.

With over 30 million International and 16 million South African Unique Browsers each month, The SpaceStation exclusively represents more than 50 of Africa's favourite websites, mobi-sites and mobile apps, affording their clients unrivalled, strategic and competitive access to Africa's online population.

For more information, visit

15 Jul 2015 11:52