Auto Trader mobile has announced that it achieved 2.2m unique users in the month of January 2012.

The brand says that this represents 150% growth in car searches made via mobile in the past year.

eBay, which expects to see $5bn of sales come via mobile for 2012, also recently identified Motors as one of its core sales categories.

It upgraded its Motors app to allow people to search for a vehicle simply by taking a picture of it, since eBay currently sells around 2,800 vehicles worldwide each week through its mobile platform.

eBay's Clare Moore-Bridger said the popularity of buying and selling cars through mobile had been surprising. 

People don't expect our customers to be willing to buy cars using their phones, but we have sold Bentleys and Porsches through mobile in the UK.”

Auto Trader is now fighting to retain its place in this space, and has revealed a multitude of behavioural data on how people use it to search for cars.

Years of credibility in the car trade means that it's a natural choice for many, with its focused offering appealling to those that want to buy from a specialist.

The stats have been compiled into the infographic below, taken from the Auto Trader's mobile site, iPhone app and android app.

Vikki Chowney

Published 14 February, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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Comments (7)

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Brian Clifton

Brian Clifton, Author, CEO & Web Metrics Strategist at Advanced Web Metrics

Nice growth - but the fact is that the Auto Trader website is full of scammers and fraudsters. My issue is, if you talk to Auto Trader themselves, they have a very superficial approach to combatting that. And an approach that simply does not work. Try the site for yourself.

Perhaps the ability of tracking an individual's mobile phone will make in-roads into preventing that...? Possibly if Auto Trader show an interest in taking the matter seriously.

That is where the PR value of this article lies IMO

over 6 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

I can't say I've used it myself, but that feels like a bit of a shame. Perhaps I'll reach out to them and speak in more detail about that issue.

Thanks for flagging Brian.

over 6 years ago

Dean Marsden

Dean Marsden, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai Ltd

I think the recent advances Auto Trader have made to their app and website have been a positive move. However I am still surprised that no one has come close to competing with them (except eBay but that is not a dedicated motoring channel).

Having worked with a relatively new competitor to Autotrader a couple of years ago, there were no decent motor classifieds apps or mobile sites. I spotted this gap easily but unfortunatly my client was un-willing to invest the relatively small amount of money into the idea.

I say this was a big missed opportunity as many new companies have made a name for themselves through creating mobile apps that do the job of a website run by a *slow adopting* company.

over 6 years ago

Ali White White

Ali White White, Director at Elliptycs

Dean, you say no one has come close to competing but I disagree. It just depends what you are selling.

We find that only certain stock is best suited to Auto Trader. For some franchises (or some specific models) you get a better ROI on other platforms.

This complimented by the fact that car manufacturers now also take their dealers' used cars a lot more seriously than they used to. They develop their own stock locators, offer their own used 'services' and have some very interesting details on how and where buyers start their journey.

Autotrader let themselves down because they are constantly trying to expand their offering, but still get the basics wrong in how they support sellers using their service - and the prices they charge.

These points are why "Auto Trader is fighting to retain its place in this space".

They simply do not deliver the ROI they use to and just expect sellers to live with their price increases.

The information that Autotrader can provide to a seller is vast, but their reps are only interested in trying to sell you something each time you meet, instead of working through actionable insights to help you get more out of their services.

over 6 years ago

Dean Marsden

Dean Marsden, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai Ltd

Hi Ian, I forgot to mention that I mean no one has come close to Autotrader mainly in terms of audience and the facility for users to sell their cars online.

I have seen a big improvement in the websites of dealer groups, such as yours. I found that in the online market for used car sales, the majority of the competition was 'used car outlets' and dealer groups.

But from what I saw at the time, these dealerships had failed to capitalise on the mobile market. There were a few of them using a templated application which provided a basic search functionality. Autotrader (evenually) innovated in the area of selling via a mobile device.

I think that some dealerships are leaving the Autotrader platform, but unfortunatly trying to capture a market online if you are a smaller dealership is more costly when you factor in the cost of a dynamic, easy to use website and the online marketing needed to gain exposure. Heck, Autotrader reps even go round to dealerships to take photos of their cars for them still, thats how uninterested small independents are in online.

Be good to hear more from your experiences Ian as mine were from two years ago.

over 6 years ago


Gary Wood

We are sick of the price rises and feel that in the current financial climate that autotraders pricing bears no understanding on the number of sales currently actually happening. We have found ebay to be more cost effective & are also doing around 70% of our business through leads from local papers. Enough is enough.....we have handed our notice in to autotrader!

about 6 years ago



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almost 6 years ago

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