According to recent data from Auto Trader, its marketplace attracted an average of 64 million cross platform visits in 2021, marking a 15% increase on the prior year; the number of leads sent to retailers also increased.

Auto Trader’s influence was supported by significant consumer marketing activity throughout the year. In fact, 2021 represented Auto Trader’s largest ever annual marketing investment, and culminated in the launch of a new campaign on Christmas Day, which highlights the ease and simplicity of buying a car online from retailers on its marketplace. Scheduled to run until April 2022, in its first two weeks the campaign already reached 22% of all UK adults at least once through TV advertising and achieved over 24 million ‘impacts’ across TV and video on demand channels. It’s well on target to reach over 80% all UK adults over the course of the campaign.

The campaign helped fuel even greater consumer demand on Auto Trader. Between Christmas and the New Year there were 1.3 million daily unique users on its marketplace.

In addition to more visits, the level of consumer engagement on Auto Trader has also strengthened, and today, over 75% of all time spent on UK automotive sites is spent on its marketplace. As a result, the volume of leads delivered to retailers in 2021 also saw significant growth, increasing 20% on 2020, and a significant 62% on pre-pandemic 2019. It’s a clear sign of both strong buyer intent, as well as the ever-increasing importance of digital in the buying process.

Auto Trader said it is “committed to empowering its circa 13,000 retailer partners with the tools and insights they need to adapt” to the changes facing the automotive industry.

Nathan Coe, Auto Trader’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “2021 was a remarkable year for the industry, and I’m pleased that the very strong levels of consumer demand resulted in many retailers achieving record performance. The high demand, which we saw reflected on Auto Trader, also helped to fuel unprecedented double-digit price growth, and with it, very strong margins. Last year also marked important changes in consumer buying behaviours and a further positive shift in sentiment towards digital retailing, all of which will have a long-lasting influence on automotive retailing.

“As we look forward to the year ahead, and beyond, we’re proud that the strength of our marketplace puts us in the best possible position to help our retailer partners. Not only to capitalise on the growth in consumer demand, but as we continue to provide more tools, more data, and more insight, to also successfully embrace the huge opportunities that these changes present.”