The longest day of the year may have come and gone, but for us Brits the summer season is only just starting, bringing with it a whole host of seasonal distractions – notably of the sporting variety. Chief among these of late has been the World Cup, with millions focusing their attention on the TV at home or down the pub as our gallant team of ‘heroes’ demonstrate that, as a footballing nation…we’re pretty good at cycling.
And then there’s Wimbledon, heaping upon us yet more disappointment. Win or (more likely) lose, major sporting events keep people glued to the gogglebox.
There are lots of other seasonal distractions, too. Consumers become focused on amusing their children during the school holidays, slowly turning themselves pink in the sunshine, raving along with Dolly Parton at Glastonbury, or burning food on a rusty BBQ in the garden (where did I put that Imodium?).
For many, searching for a new car loses its novelty, and that brings a less than sunny outlook for vehicle retailers for at least a few months.
Impact on dealer group websites
To consider the impact of the World Cup in particular, we monitored the number of visits that 10 major dealer group websites received before and during the tournament. On reviewing the analytics we found a perhaps inevitable reduction in website visits, equating to a month-on-month fall of 3.55% (May to June), illustrating the overall impact of the tournament in Brazil.
When England were playing the fall in visitor numbers was far more pronounced. Comparing the period when the game was televised with the same period the previous month, dealer website visits fell much more – by 18% during the first match against Italy, 16% when England faced Costa Rica, and a substantial 25% during the ‘must-win’ battle against Uruguay. One client experienced a remarkable drop in visits of 62.50% during the Uruguay game, despite coinciding with a traditional peak time for online traffic to dealer sites (8pm-9pm).
The trend is echoed elsewhere. CAP reports a significant drop in visitor numbers for its car valuation tool during the Uruguay match, which is also usually their busiest time on the website.
Of course, normal business will soon be resumed. Given our current propensity to exit sporting tournaments as early as possible, at least car retailers have reason for some earlier-than-expected positivity.