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Within Brazil's maturing digital space, automotive has become one of the market's leading retail categories in terms of consumer interest. IBOPE Media and Nielsen's "Netview" showed automotive as the 15th most popular website category in Brazil, and the one with the highest spike in number of unique visitors.
Some of this increased online popularity is a reflection of consumers' overall mounting interest in cars, following 2012 tax breaks pushed by the government to boost the automotive industry and incentivize consumption. Brazil's Associação Nacional dos Fabricantes de Veículo Automotores, the national association of automakers, reported that the first six months of 2013 saw the automotive industry reach record sales, with 1.8 million private and small commercial vehicles sold, 4.8% growth over the same period in 2012. But with taxes expected to be reinstated by the year's end, the sector is likely to slow down again.
Online, the automotive sector is also growing, though at a more modest pace than other more mature—and cheaper—online retail categories such as clothing and appliances. A recent edition of the Online Retail Index produced by E-Consulting, a digital services consulting company, forecast a 20.6% growth in online sales of cars, motorcycles and parts in 2013.
In an additional sign of a maturing online presence for automotive, data from Navegg, a Brazilian web analytics company, showed that over 60% of internet users interested in automotive online plan on purchasing cars, online or off. There was a slight lead in purchase intention for female consumers, while men were the ones more interested in parts and accessories.
A deeper look at the demographics of internet users interested in automotive online confirms the usual suspects of young, single and wealthier men leading in site visits to websites with car-related content. Interestingly, women led in almost every other demographic. For the 35-to-59 age group, for example, 24.2% of female internet users looked at automotive retail information online, compared to 10.8% of males. When considering middle income, or C class, internet users, almost half of females in the group browsed car information online, while for men the share was 34.4%.
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