With Shelter-in-Place mandates across the majority of the country, product categories like automotive sales will likely to take a hit, but a peek into consumer online behavior might indicate that the dip might be short-term.
Consumers have increased their digital content consumption across all categories, and with that we can shed a bit of light on what is going on for those focused on automotive. ShareThis data captures real human behavior directly from content sources across the open web. This provides a unique ability to extract key insights into how consumer activity is changing as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Surprisingly there are early indicators showing that there is a pent-up demand for vehicle shopping, which could actively convert to dealership and site traffic when the shelter-in-place mandates are lifted. Looking at a year-over-year data snapshot, it appears that consumption of automotive intent-related content is up significantly.
Commercial vehicles, trucks and SUVs are seeing the most significant increases. These categories are experiencing four times the average intent engagement. This could be tied to both main street and larger businesses response to the steady increased need for delivered goods.
Clean air vehicles, including both electric and hybrid models, are experiencing double the interest over last year. In addition, microcars and city cars saw similar rises. Rising fuel prices, social distancing from even places like gas stations and small signs of environmental repair resulting from the shelter in place might be driving these interests.
Even surprisingly, performance cars, sleek and fast models, are seeing a lot of attention. More than double the audience are checking out manufacturers pages and content relating to them. However if you are thinking of pre-owned, there has been a 10 percent drop in consumer engagement.
Top brands that consumers are seeking out: Audi, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, BMW, and Buick.
On the flipside, scooters, mopeds and motorcycles have seen more than 50 percent drop in interest and campers and recreational vehicles are down 60 percent.
For those that prefer their transport self-powered, there is a significant rise in bicycles frames, repair, helmets, and protective gear, with 2-3x intent engagement. People are out there peddling but not as many are looking for new wheels. Finished mountain and road bikes interest is down by 50 percent on average.